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Libraries Give Us Power?

The opening of a well know song, symbolic of the empowerment that access to books and learning gave to the proletariat in isolated mining communities in Wales. Hearing it on the radio this morning made me think about knowledge:

In this great age of information, do we further empower generations to hunger for meritorious learning and achievement? Even to the extent that they are savvy enough to disrupt the wealthy and privileged who have traditionally had the means to suppress their education, hopes and achievements?

Might we even see a profound tectonic shift where the "haves" and "have nots" become measured not by material wealth but by intellect, where the "have nots" can only make very limited contribution to society in the wake of automation, robotics, machine learning and AI, architected by the "haves"?

Or have we simply spawned a Generation Z who, in general, refuse to read, have little interest in detail, question nothing and focus solely on content provided by the highest bidder to whom Mark Zuckerberg has sold a half second of their limited attention spam. Some of whom even eat laundry detergent; in essence a general dumbing down of society?

By anonymous7
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5 comments

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1

A lot of today's problems with the younger generation is that they gave gotten their info from sound bites. And more and more pressure is out there to become part of the in crowd. There seems not to be an expectation any more of reading books.
But I am so proud of the students who put together the march for gun control and they keep speaking out and actually are more well spoken than I was at that age. But here in the US schools are not all equal

2

I do most of my reading and research online these days, but I think libraries are important. They're building a new junior high school by my house, and I had to go to several town hall meetings to keep our neighborhood from being 'improved' and assessed. I couldn't believe it when they showed us the building plan. No library! They'll have a resource center with computers. I don't like that at all. With all the natural disasters that happen, I think it's very important not to rely exclusively on technology. I mostly buy ebooks now, but not all books are available as ebooks, and I keep many around for power outages.

catlady5 Level 3 May 2, 2018

St Paul, Minnesota has a gorgeous old marble library downtown. They did a ton of work on it a few years ago, so I hope it doesn't close. It's like walking around in a castle. I actually used to go there when I played hooky from school when I was a teenager. Yeah, I know, just a bit geeky. LOL!

2

A bit of perspective
[google.com]

Same as it ever was! I remember the "older generation" despairing of the youth (us) when I was young. Happens every generation.

4

Nah. Change is not automatic degeneracy. People have been complaining about "youngsters and technology" since the invention of books. The same criticisms greet each new level of tech.

@beansontoast oh dear. That sounds awful. Work with reactionaries?

@beansontoast gah!

@beansontoast

I was thinking of the American boomers today who are desperately trying to "save" white culture by killing or evicting black & tan citizens. (Ooh, black & tan...yum.)?

As a latchkey kid who grew up watching Phil Donahue after school in the 1970s, I sure didn't expect this racist garbage to still be dividing us today. It's sad to be a GenX liberal watching your peers turn into scared conservatives.?

(Then again, I thought we'd have our flying cars and jetpacks by now!)

With Brexit and the the whole nasty Tory situation where you hang your hat, do you think the U.K. is doing any better for your average citizen than the U.S.? I do like to believe you have a slight advantage with retaining your humanity, what with most of you knowing how to spell, read, and make conversation without constant digital assistance. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I think of U.K. citizens as still having empathy despite the wretched financial practices absorbed from the U.S. by the sewer dwelling bankers of London. The U.K. still retains a bit of the spirit of all for one, one for all, in comparison to the U.S., where most people are ready to hang their grandmother for a Benjamin.?

I'm probably just watching too much BBC America and Acorn. If I could still ex-pat at my age, I believe I would. I'd decamp this opioid den in a heartbeat.??

1

Well, judging by the day I had today teaching English to 15 year olds, I think we have every reason to despair. I posted a resume of it in the "Academic" section, just for the ironic value.

@beansontoast - I bet you didn't hoik your skirt up inside your tights and sit with your legs on the desk. Most of the screamers are girls.

@beansontoast I was awful too.

@Blindbird - So now you can see how you made your teacher suffer! Boo hoo!

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