Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I really think that this is unfair. Every generation has new information that they need to know that the previous generation could not have known about. Human brains do not get bigger with each generation, so some information must be lost in order to make room for the information gained. Grandpa knew how to tune a carburetor, but he never learned how to install a CD-ROM drive. Today, every new PC has a CD or DVD-ROM drive, but no new car has a carburetor. So I will never bother to learn how to tune that car part from the past, but I do know how upgrade my computer.
Mark Bauerlein notes that though young people enjoy access to a wide wealth of information via the Internet, we still don't know important facts about history. He laments that many young people do not know that the US and USSR were allies during World War II. But Albert Einstein once said "Never memorize what you can look up in books." In his day, obtaining information often required a trip to the library. Today, all I have to look it up online. The only information I really need to remember is whatever is relevant to my day to day life.