Death by Books

A search for the real dangers in books, who they've hurt, killed or maimed, and the reasons why they are so feared by governments and religions everywhere.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Death to books...

I've been reading the chinese classics of late. 2 years ago I finished the Three Kingdoms. If I thought that was a long book, my current endeavor The Story of the Stone is 5 volumes totalling almost 2500 pages. Written 300 hundred years ago it remains one of the most popular chinese novels to date, if you don't count that guy who wrote all those flying kung-fu serials.

So this is what I am seeing. A couple weeks back it was reported that a German University had done a comprehensive analysis of the effects of computers in the home on test scores. The result? The more computers/computer time available to young students, the worse their grade. Worse, did I say?

Worse! (

Why? It seems obvious to me. Not enough books. Not enough pen and paper. Instead of memorizing common mathematical systems (i.e. the multiplication tables) I simply pull out my trusty calculator. Result: I didn't learn anything except how to enter equations into a calculator. The process is still a mystery to me.

Gee, now I'm thinking about books. What effect does the reading of books have on test scores. Hmm. Every report that I can find on the topic says exactly the same thing: Scores improve. I hate to say it, but Jerry Mander may have been onto something. Oh my god, I can't believe what I'm about to say, but Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television may have more basis in reality than I previously thought.

So how do governments feel about this? Well, in the US where funding for public schools is low and students tend to graduate with a third world level of education, it would seem that this is a good thing. The on-going diet of commercialism, TV, computer generated imagery is maintaining the status quo (ignorance) and satiating the masses.

Religion? Well they only want us to read one book anyway. Be it the Quran, Bible, Bhagavadgita, or ancient Tantric scrolls.

The death of books. Wow!


At 2:08 AM, Blogger Cori said...

Well said!

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sir-
Please post something.
The internet police.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Hey, he's not the internet police! You are number 53 on my quest to comment on every blog in the world.


Post a Comment

<< Home