Speaking to graduates of Hampton University last weekend, Obama warned that technologies like the iPad and Xboxes turn information into a "diversion," rather than a means to better ourselves and our society. Tech fans derided him for his "out of touch" statements. Unfortunately, says Daniel Lyons in Newsweek, "he's right." Not only do "our digital tools serve only to enslave us," they turn us into “zombie people.” Here, an excerpt:
"We have more information than ever before. We're never away from it. The air around us fairly hums with it. Computers are all around us too—they're on our desks, in our pockets, on our coffee tables.
"And yet I can't shake the sense that we are all becoming stupider and stupider—and that we are, on average, less well informed today than we were a generation ago....
"Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, Glenn Beck has become an influential television commentator, and Sarah Palin is a credible candidate for president in 2012. You think this is a coincidence?
"No way. What's happening is this: we are being so overwhelmed by the noise and junk zooming past us that we're becoming immune to it. We've become a nation of Internet-powered imbeciles, with an ever-lower threshold for inanity."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- How to live a long life, according to science
Why is Obama still smoking?
Subscribe to the Week