Thursday, 12 January 2012

Digital Idolatry

The Groaning Hags (Guardian) think that digital literacy is the key. They're utterly wrong, of course; sold a pup by idealogues too intelligent to have any common sense whatsoever - much of that thinking from the 'creative', progressive left. That the Guardian thinks it deserves a campaign is illustrative enough of the sloppiness of thought involved.

In many ways these obsessions with teaching new tools almost before inculcating and certainly before consolidating basic skills is at the heart of the trouble we're all in. With too much time on its hands, our toy-rich, time-rich yet ignorant electorate does not engage with the crucial issues such as how we are going to actually survive the next century as populations outgrow available resources and consume at an ever greater per-capita rate .

We have a gadget-savvy, common-senseless population who have willingly bound themselves to materialistic pursuits with no vision beyond what they can get for themselves. Oh, so human and oh, so unrealistic and destructive. Give a man a fish and he'll eat today; give a man a computer and he'll eventually work out how to make fish extinct.

Without the imagination that comes with learning, code-writing kids will only create havoc and banality. Why will people simply not see that human ability spans an enormous range of competence and that the vast majority sit along the wide lappy shores of the shallow seas of that pool of talent. (We're all basically thick, is what I'm saying.)

Humans are tool users at heart but only a tiny minority are tool-makers. If you fill every child with aspirations way beyond its potential you end up with - oh look, you already did.

So let's forget about digital literacy until we've made at least an attempt at the real thing.

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