Stupidiest (stū’pĭd est) adj.
- Being the most slow to learn or understand.
- Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
- Characterized by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless.
I am a huge fan of the “Greatest Generation” as described by Tom Brokaw and cinematically iconized by “Band of Brothers“, “Saving Private Ryan“, “The War” by Ken Burns, and countless other films showing valiant, heroic, and sheer willpower of the era. It was a heady time of American idealism, where shared sacrifice was required for the epic battle of good versus evil.
We now face challenges of similar proportions, with the global economic meltdown, intractable global terrorism, looming health care crisis and political unrest throughout the world. The eternal optimism of a new year definitely dims against the shadows of these ongoing specters. I love Apple’s mantra of “investing through the downturn” and the notion of returning to the hard core basics that have enabled our nation to be great.
For me, that means the notion that America remains the land of opportunity for all to realize their dreams. And opportunity begins with education – and we have slipped very far down a very slippery slope. Slippery both in quality and also in time – it will take another generation to catch up with our global colleagues.
To see what I mean, tie these threads together:
- Is Google making us stupid? – Author Nicolas Carr diagnosis this social malady first in himself and then in society
- Googling before Thinking – interesting followup by Emily Walshe, a librarian and professor at Long Island University.
- California Schools to shut down early due to lack of funding – I seriously can’t believe that our country and my state does not value education more than this. My kids are going to get “out early” because there is no funding for their education. Can you say “Voucher”!
- 2 Million Minutes – If you want to freak about the worldwide decline of America as a super power – watch this. This puts into contrast the demise – education is truly the foundation for greatness and American society clearly does not value education as much as the rising super powers do.
I remain warily optimistic given America’s uncompromising to “do the right thing – after all other options have been exhausted” (quote from Churchill). I am feeling like we are exhausting alot of options in terms of our good will, our good name, and our foundational values that have made us great. I want to see education takes its appropriate place amidst the competing priorities, to see our rising generation buried in their studies versus twittling their thumbs (literally), and our society understand the relationship between our educational investment and our societal attainment.
Rise up, google generation!