Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What's bad is good

Developing Intelligence reviews Steven Johnson's book, "Everything Bad Is Good For You".

"Everything Bad" makes the provocative and controversial claim that the changes to popular culture over the last fifty years which have been decried by many as signs of the demise of society and the collapse of civilization (think music videos and sound-bites) are reponsible for the drastic increases in IQ seen over the last century.

The significant upward shifts in IQ over the last fifty or sixty years have never been explained satisfactorily. Johnson's book suggests that the every-increasing speed of pop culture forces us all, but especially children, to engage in mental calisthenics, so to speak.

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