Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who is supposed to be the dumbest generation?

Today's laugh comes from Lewis Lazare at the Chicago Sun-Times. He posts a quick blurb with his insight about how "The Dumbest Generation", a book from Mark Bauerlein, which decries the Digital Age and warns of the future collapse of society, will affect the world of advertising. I haven't read the book yet, but Lazare's few paragraphs are pure comedy gold. Here's an example:

"...She polled 1,300 students at the University of Illinois-Chicago about their favorite Web destinations. At No. 1 was Facebook (78.1 percent) followed by MySpace (50.7 percent). Only 5 percent of those polled regularly checked a blog or forum on politics, economics, law or policy."

For some reason Lazare believes that this simple poll result contains any information at all, and worse, that the information is relevant to anyone. Notice that the poll asked what their "favorite destinations" are, but the argument used talks about "checking" political or news blogs. If you asked me what my favorite sites are, none of the news or political sites that I read multiple times every day would even be on that list. My "favorites are sites like Wired, Ars, Techdirt, etc. But debunking stupid pools isn't why I'm here. I simply find it laughable that our younger generation is Dumb.

As I mentioned I haven't read the book, but now I'm eager to do so. I think it's ignorant to assume that the under 30 crowd is anything but smarter, faster, and more intelligent than the rest of us. Through his fretting over the advertising industry, Lazare has even given us proof. Advertisers are doing worse and worse, because their targets are getting better, and better at avoiding their content. In short, the advertisers are being outsmarted. Now, which generation is supposed to be "Dumbest?"

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Faking Normality. The one place we don't do it. All is not well. The world is not coming to an end. Don't fake normality, achieve it.