Everything Bad is Good for You

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Everything Bad is Good for You

  1. 1. Everythingbad…<br />isgoodfor you?<br />A REVIEW AND COMMENTARY OF: EVERYTHING BAD IS GOOD FOR YOU: HOW TODAY’S POPULAR CULTURE IS ACTUALLY MAKING US SMARTER BY STEVEN JOHNSON<br />by Marisa Paulson<br />
  2. 2. Are the media making us smarter?<br />Comic by Sean McLean, underwhelmedcomic.com<br />
  3. 3. Video Games as Learning Tools<br />Digital Journal TV explores the benefits video game playing offers kids and teens. A Pew Internet & American Life Project recently showed that nearly every American teen has played a video game, and most gamers show incredible engagement and other positive traits from their time in front of the screen.<br />Video “How Video Games Can Make Kids Better People from Youtube.com by user digitaljournal. Uploaded 9/19/2008, downloaded 10/17/2010. <br />
  4. 4. THE SLEEPER CURVE<br />Johnson asserts that television, film, video games, interactions on the Web, etc. are not corrupting our intelligence, but educating us.<br />=<br /><ul><li>Our culture and media has becomemorecomplex, nuanced, stimulating, and thought-provoking over time. Johnson calls this upward path the “Sleeper Curve.”</li></ul>Photo 1: Online Shopping Ventures, sbjventures.com<br />Photo 2: University of Wisconsin: Eau Claire, uweccareerservices.org<br />
  5. 5. VIDEO GAMES<br />Often difficult, require time and concentration<br />Usually require engagement with other players, guidebooks, online discussion boards<br /> Must complete sequence of events<br />“Probe and telescope,” constantly making decisions and solving problems<br />Engage the brain’s reward system: accomplishments result in feel-good hormone dopamine<br />Video games have progressed from simplistic Pac Man and Tetris, to complex and layered Legend of Zelda and The Sims<br />Then & Now:<br />Photo 1: The Video Game Critic, videogamecritic.net<br />Photo 2: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review, armchairempire.com<br />
  6. 6. TELEVISION<br />More passive than video games, but contain complex narratives<br />Many characters and plotlines threaded throughout today’s programs<br />No “flashing arrows,” key elements must be picked up, connections inferred by the viewer<br />Social intelligence developed by reading characters’ emotions and reactions<br />TV shows have progressed from simplistic Dragnet and Dallas, to complex and layered The Sopranos and Lost.<br />Then & Now:<br />Photo 1: University of Calgary,The Rise of Detective Fiction, ucalgary.ca<br />Photo 2: Sopranos on DVD, theage.au<br />
  7. 7. FILM<br />Like television, risen to new narrative complexity<br />More characters, plotlines, elements<br />More complex arrangements: reverse chronological, flashbacks and flashforwards, unclear patterns of time<br />Movies have progressed from simplistic Mary Poppins and Star Wars, to complex and layered Finding Nemo and Lord of the Rings. <br />SW Characters: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Grand MoffTarkin, Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Darth Vader<br />LOTR Characters: EverardProudfoot, Sam Gamgee, Sauron, Boromir, Galadriel, Legolas Greenleaf, Pippin, Celeborn, Gil-galad, Biblo Baggins, Gandalf, Saruman, Lurtz, Elendil, Aragorn, Haldir, Gimli, Gollum, Arwen, Elrond, Frodo Baggins<br />Then & Now:<br />Photo 1: Top 25 Movie Franchises, movies.ign.com<br />Photo 2: watchmoviesstreaming.com<br />
  8. 8. THE INTERNET<br />Process of acclimating to networked communications has salutary effect on our minds:<br />We are forced to learn new platforms at a rapid rate<br />We function in new channels of social interaction<br />We are more participatory in the interactive nature of the Web<br />“Television and automobile society locked people up in their living rooms, away from the clash and vitality of public space, but the Net has reversed that long-term trend.” (p. 124)<br />Photo 1: Google Instant, stevefolland.blogspot.com<br />Photo 2: Twitter Universe, flowingdata.com<br />
  9. 9. CRITIQUE<br />Johnson makes a strong case for the existence of the Sleeper Curve, but little convincing evidence that smarter media is making us smarter.<br />No determined, direct correlation between the media and our brains<br />Little evidence that these skills gained from media are transferable to real-life situations<br />No explanation as to why these skills couldn’t be and are not learned elsewhere<br />Best concrete example: The Flynn Effect<br />Photo 1: Nature vs. Nurture, wilderdom.com<br />Photo 2: What Is Intelligence Cover, coverbrowaer.com<br />
  10. 10. Thank you for listening.<br />Questions?<br />Comic by Don Addis, movingimages.wordpress.com<br />

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