Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Generation Illiterate?

Scene at the cafeteria today:
I am paying for my lunch. The cashier, a young lady of 20-something, is punching in the pre-programmed selections and the total comes up to 230 rubles. I hand her in the 500-ruble note and then the unexpected happens. For some reason, the system did not give her an option to calculate the change, so she got up, walked to the next cash register, picked up a calculator and computed that 500-230 was indeed 270.
All pensive, I picked up the tray, sat down and ate my lunch deep in thoughts... 
Some call them Generation Einstein, and they have all the reasons to do so. They know the answer to any question, they can make complicated calculations and spell better than Shakespeare and Oxford professors, but --- they can only do all of that if they are aided by the modern technology. I recall my not so distant school years when we were forbidden to use calculators in the Maths class. We were not allowed to use dictionaries writing essays and other in-class assignments. We had to commit difficult formulas and long poems to memory. We were the you-are-what-you-know generation. Now we are having the you-are-the-speed-of-your-processor generation.

Is it progress or degradation?

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