Wednesday, December 26, 2018

off-spring of Donald Trump ... count me in

Maybe this article is worth a skim:
Ziming Liu from San Jose State University has conducted a series of studies which indicate that the “new norm” in reading is skimming, with word-spotting and browsing through the text. Many readers now use an F or Z pattern when reading in which they sample the first line and then word-spot through the rest of the text. When the reading brain skims like this, it reduces time allocated to deep reading processes. In other words, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings, to perceive beauty, and to create thoughts of the reader’s own.
The drum-beat of the dunces is not limited by age or youth, it appears. Anyone can be and perchance is, dumbed down. We are all Donald Trump's marginalized children. And, reading this article made me realize that I am not exempt. I skip and skim in the face of tsunami-like washes of information, misinformation and half-baked information. To ingest and digest the damage done to actual-factual, blood-pumping individuals ... it's whelming when it's not overwhelming. Is there no fucking reprieve? Is there no place where critical thinking can wax and be swallowed?

I admit it to it: My tendency is to find a single individual who may exemplify the problem that I imagine or revile. An individual to skim -- perhaps a movie actor -- can fill the gap, perhaps. Imagine allowing your world view or critical thinking to rest on the musings of a personality who spends his or her time pretending to be something or someone s/he isn't. And yet, in odd moments, I do it because it's easier.

I listen a bit to Tom Selleck or George Clooney or Chow Yun-fat (all of whom seem to have a whisper of seriousness) and then excuse my inattention by playing the age card.

Oh well -- stuck at the beginning, hoping in vain not to do too much harm.

And perhaps the skimming capacity is not so different from my own leaning away, eventually, from writers like Melville and Henry James and other 19th century luminaries whose pre-TV viscousness became cloying and overbearing and too damned time-consuming.

Perhaps everything -- every bright light -- is doomed to dim. If critical thinking doesn't work for you, just watch what happens when critical think is laid to rest.


  1. I knew that we were doomed when the analogy section was removed from the verbal SAT: the ultimate dumbing down.

  2. Your assessment while interesting, might be missing the mark.

    For example, Trump most likely has a serious learning disability in addition to assorted other personality problems forming his freakish personality disorder. We may skim by choice, an LD person actually can’t read well and may have a hard time grasping new information by listening too. A fortunate LD person might have had opportunity to acquire good skills, an unfortunate LD person learns to fake it. I fear Trump’s vast inheritance allowed him to fake it big time.

    The 25th Amendment would get a good test if used to remove Trump. We’d need a cabinet with integrity and true patriotism. Something apparently deeply lacking in Trump and those he surrounds himself with.

    BTW - While some of us are truly overwhelm by information, not all of us are. Incuriosity, laziness and lack of energy are to be dealt with. Also, too much TV eye candy.