Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Technology

Technology and Wisdom

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.

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 →

The Obamacare Generation

The ACA depends on Millennials picking up the tab — as they already are for other entitlements — in the midst of a bad economy.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

There are all sorts of time bombs embedded within Obamacare.

Will we force doctors to treat the millions of new Medicaid patients who are signing up for services that can be only partially reimbursed? How exactly will the IRS collect penalties from millions of off-the-books youth who choose not to buy coverage? Read more →

A Culture in Ruins

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

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Disney | ABC Television Group

Lady Gaga reportedly spent $25 million on pop art to jazz up her new and apparently underwhelming album. In contrast, Miley Cyrus’ sexual twerking at the MTV Music Video Awards earned her more millions by exposing her rather unimpressive anatomy. Both make the once vulgar Madonna seem like June Cleaver, but at least raise an existential question: how much lower can we go?

Meanwhile, hip-hop artist Kanye West is promoting his own new music video. He seems to be having sex with his girlfriend Kim Kardashian while riding a motorcycle. If you did not know that Kanye West was the singer of the background music, by the quality of the lyrics and beat, you might think that a fourth grader was spewing rhymed obscenities, in the fashion that Gaga and Cyrus make up with obscenity, both spoken and visual, what they lack in musical, dance, and artistic talent.

In the two-second attention spans of our app culture, a bare nipple, a potty-mouth obscenity, or a multimillionaire’s flippant reference to a “ho” earns followers and thus big money in a way that even once cutting-edge Elvis Presley’s melodies or an against-the-grain Van Gogh impressionistic painting or a T.S. Eliot poem could never quite seem so shockingly profitable. Read more →

ObamaCare and the Techocratic Abyss

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

The continuing disaster of the Obamacare website, like the law itself, illustrates one of the biggest bad ideas of the Progressive movement, one that reflects a central assumption of modernity: that new knowledge is now available that will allow an elite of technicians to order society more justly and efficiently, and eliminate the tragic realities of existence. Progressives bought into this idea wholesale, and ever since have wanted to expand the scope and reach of the state in order to empower those technocrats so they can lead Americans into a world of justice, equality, prosperity, and universal happiness. The metastasizing federal government now bankrupting the country is the creation of this dubious proposition. Read more →

Why Read Old Books?

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

We all know the usual reasons why we are prodded to read the classics — moving characters, seminal ideas, blueprints of our culture, and paradigms of sterling prose and poetry. Then we nod and snooze. Read more →

America’s Big Fat Advantage

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

For all the Obama-era talk of decline, there is at least one reason why America probably won’t, at least not quite yet. Read more →

High-Tech Nothing

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Faster or Smarter, Neither, Both?

I am not a Luddite who wants to destroy looms. The modern age has made life comfortable in ways unimaginable just twenty years ago. Read more →

How Marxism Killed Keystone

by Bruce S. Thornton

FrontPage Magazine

The global warming apocalypse and its Elmer Gantry, Al Gore, may have faded from public view lately, but that old-time green religion is still making mischief. President Obama has just delayed until after November’s election a decision on the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline. Read more →

Civilization in Reverse

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

In Greek mythology, the prophetess Cassandra was doomed both to tell the truth and to be ignored. Our modern version is a bankrupt Greece that we seem to discount. Read more →

So Why Read Anymore?

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Is Reading Good Books Over?

There is great “truth and beauty” in Homer’s Iliad [1], but I would not try to make his sale on such platitudes. Read more →

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