The late NYU professor Neil Postman examines the cultural shift from the printed word to electronic media as the preferred form of communication. More than another ‘TV will rot your brain’ diatribe, Amusing Ourselves to Death delves into how we perceive and consume information, formulate thoughts and arguments, and construct beliefs based on the technology we use. This classic cautionary tale points out what we are unknowingly sacrificing on the altar of entertainment. Not for the faint of heart.
Read on for key insights from Amusing Ourselves to Death.
8 Minute Read
TIMES reporter Amanda Ripley was in the habit of sidestepping stories on education—until she saw a graph showing the United States’ educational standing compared to other nations. The United States was consistently average. By contrast, three countries—Finland, Poland, and South Korea—had come out of nowhere, and are now topping the charts. What were they doing that the United States was not? Has the United States failed to understand what does and does not make for a quality education? The Smartest Kids in the World is the story of what these countries teach us about educating effectively. Ripley’s conclusions will surprise some.
Read on for key insights from The Smartest Kids in the World.
10 Minute Read
The gurus of international development seem convinced that improving public education is the answer to the problems of illiteracy and failing schools in the developing world. What most education officials, researchers, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) tend to ignore or downplay is that the poor have abandoned public schools in favor of low-cost private schools. The Beautiful Tree is an account of the poor who are tired of waiting for government aid and for NGOs to find creative, affordable alternatives to educate their children.
Read on for key insights from The Beautiful Tree.
8 Minute Read
Economist Bryan Caplan boldly argues that benefits of education in its current form are tremendously overrated. Considering the money spent and the grueling hours that students are subjected to, very little prepares them for the actual workplace nor are there benefits to our broader society.
Read on for key insights from The Case Against Education.
7 Minute Read
There are three Great Untruths that have begun to coalesce into a cult of “safetyism” in the United States. These untruths fly in the face of ancient wisdom and modern research, and have proven harmful to the individuals and groups who have imbibed them. Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt team up to illuminate these untruths and their deleterious effects, as well as suggest some remedies.
Read on for key insights from The Coddling of the American Mind.
11 Minute Read
George Orwell of 1984 fame reflects on the poor state of the English language and its corrosive effect on political life. He points out recurring problems with the popular communication style, like vagaries and cliché images, and suggests practical ways we can move English—and with it, politics—in a more constructive direction.
Read on for key insights from Politics and the English Language.
9 Minute Read