Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reader's Notebook

Excerpts from the sci-fi (cyberpunk?) novelFeed, by M. T. Anderson, about teenagers in a futuristic society where the "feed" (internet, advertising, etc) is pumped directly into the brain.

People were really excited when they first came out with feeds. It was all da da da, this big educational thing, da da da, your child will have the advantage, encyclopedia at their fingertips, closer than their fingertips, etc. That's one of the great things about the feed - that you can be supersmart without working. Everyone is supersmart now.

We had this major debate going on...and then I said this thing, and Calista said this thing, and it was like, da da da da da, da da da da da, da da da da da, all day. It was kind of fun. I like debates where you argue about different points of view.

Here's a pretty fair review, in my opinion. What's frightening is that the depiction of the teenagers didn't strike me as terribly futuristic, sadly, but current, and the relentless targeting of them by corporate advertising is already occurring - if not directly into their heads through a feed like in the book, then as close to it as possible. The book is worth picking up at the library.


Catherine Johnson said...

This is amazing.

I had no idea kids heard all these justifications.

Catherine Johnson said...

Sorting through the paper clutter around here, I came across a copy of the high school newspaper.

The editorial said, "Google isn't research."


The school is buying Smart Boards instead of books (search the internet in class!), but the high school newspaper editor has somehow managed to absorb the truth that Google isn't research.

There is hope.

Catherine Johnson said...

I almost wrote, "There is hop."

That, too, probably.

Redkudu said...

Last year, our high school newspaper caught on to the fact that we spend more money and time on our AP students. They wrote a scathing (and in my opinion justified) editorial about it.

Kids get a lot more than we give them credit for.