I am a huge fan of Clay Burell, now over at Change.org; he also has a wonderful blog Beyond School where he attacks schooliness and ragged thinking while bringing to life classics such as Gilgamesh.
He recently posted a (justified) attack against a recent Science Daily article that highlighted a study that suggested that newer technologies had a hand in declining critical thinking skills. It's worth reading.
Still, the disciples of the high tech crowd did not disappoint this "reactionary clock-turn-backer" with their crowing. So I responded.
I wanted to carry a small piece of my words back here:
It's been awhile since I sat in a Friends (Quaker) meeting. The local meeting is unprogrammed, which means we sit silently for an hour or so. Occasionally someone will speak if so moved, but most times little (blessedly) is said.
The first few minutes I am incredibly twitchy, and cannot settle down until I remember I cannot settle down by trying, then am content to watch the sun beam creep across the bench in front of me.
I stare out a window looking at a tree. A few telephone lines run by it--I think about the tremendous amount of information that passes through those lines every minute. Then I think about the tree.
Both are marvelous things, the human wire, the mystery of trees, and both hold vast amounts of knowledge. The wire is ultimately knowable, the tree ultimately not.
I'm more interested in the tree, because it's more interesting.