Tech advancements make it too easy to forget age-old realities.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Americans now have more computer power in their smart phones than did the
AVIDAC was Argonne’s first digital computer. Designed and built by Argonne’s Physics Division for $250,000, it began operations Jan. 28, 1953.
Pentagon in all its computer banks just 30 years ago. We board a sophisticated jet and assume that the flight is no more dangerous than crossing the street.
The downside of this complete reliance on computer gadgetry is a fundamental ignorance of what technology is. Smart machines are simply the pumps that deliver the water of knowledge — not knowledge itself.
What does it matter that millions of American students can communicate across thousands of miles instantly with their iPads and iPhones if a poorly educated generation increasingly has little to say?
The latest fad of near-insolvent universities is to offer free iPads to students so that they can access information more easily. But what if most undergraduates still have not been taught to read well or think inductively, or to have some notion of history? Speeding up their ignorance is not the same as imparting wisdom. Requiring a freshman Latin course would be a far cheaper and wiser investment in mastering language, composition, and inductive reasoning than handing out free electronics. Read more →