We have a speaker scheduled this afternoon who exuberates elitism-- an English professor from Emory hyping his new book that complains about the kids today. You know the story, they don’t read books, texting has killed grammar, facebook has replaced real conversations, video games and TV are bad, and so forth.
I’m all for the open exchange of ideas and I think it fits with our desire to be a public forum, but I worry about the message. I think he is off-brand. Our goal is to empower students, not insult them. I mean, The Dumbest Generation, seriously? Looking at his work, he seems like a character out of conservative talk radio, or one of those traveling campus preachers crying out about how sex is sin. I actually feel sorry for the guy.
I thought about organizing a public response, something flash mob style where you fill the room with students and then ten minutes into his talk they all pull out their cell phones and start texting each other, but it takes a lot of energy and effort to pull off something like that; maybe I’m getting too old for such shenanigans? Besides it’s summer and there is no one here.
I can’t speak for Emory, but Georgia Tech students are wicked smart and wicked industrious. Dr. Bauerlein, don’t worry man, the kids are alright.
A side note:
Personally, I don’t see the library as being in the information business. In fact, I don’t see us in the service business anymore either. We’re in the inspiration business, and everything that we do should drive their success.