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The Dumbing of America

“Facebook, Target, poker, religion, food, sports, etcetera will not replace having a brain, people. We’re getting dumber and more ignorant by the day. Yeah, actually, I’m talking to you. Reading has declined not only among the poorly educated, according to a report last year by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1982, 82 percent of college graduates read novels or poems for pleasure; two decades later, only 67 percent did. And more than 40 percent of Americans under 44 did not read a single book — fiction or nonfiction — over the course of a year. The proportion of 17-year-olds who read nothing (unless required to do so for school) more than doubled between 1984 and 2004. This time period, of course, encompasses the rise of personal computers, Web surfing, and video games. Then again, I’m writing this on Facebook, I just came home from Target, I may do a little Texas Hold Em before bed, I’ve thanked God that my week is almost over, I just ate some damn good BBQ chicken, and I thought about how the Dodgers are doing. But I swear I’m gonna read that Jackie Collins book before the end of the summer.”
— Aloha Marine

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