In Fact, We're Dumbing Up

Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Jane Austen--what is our culture coming to?

The obvious point to make about American culture today is that it's going to the dogs. That is, of course, the obvious point to make about every culture every day. Still, the indicators are alarming: magazines read more and more like tabloids, and newspapers treat foreign affairs as if they referred to overseas friendships. The Internet bombards us with more data than knowledge of how to make sense of them, and in certain parts of Los Angeles, 89% of the citizens at age 18 can't read. I am often to be found on street corners declaiming about the days before speed-of-light...

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