Technological Advancement and Erosion of Intelligence Term Paper by jaberwocky

Technological Advancement and Erosion of Intelligence
A discussion of the negative effects of technological advances and entertainment media, especially in the form of television and Internet, on human intelligence.
# 103055 | 1,600 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004 | US

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This paper examines the issue of the "dumbing down" of the American people by means of technological "progress." The paper states that American society is becoming overly obsessed with technological advances and entertainment media with a goal of making life better. However, the opposite is occurring: The reduction of the effort needed to succeed is causing a downgrade in human intelligence and the drive to learn. The paper questions whether this can be blamed on machinery created with the original intention of making life easier, or by our educational system which encourages this relinquishing of academic and leisurely thought. The paper concludes that, in order to counter this trend, several changes in attitude must be made. First, the paper suggests that the misplaced belief that all changes in technology are an improvement must be diminished. Second, the paper stresses the fact that mass media should be seen merely as a form of entertainment. Most importantly, the paper advocates improving our knowledge and understanding of the world around us.

From the Paper:

"Furthermore, the educational system is deteriorating and busy parents with full time jobs no longer have time to tutor their children in the methods of the old world, with one on one interaction. These days it seems much more convenient to place the child in front of the television set watching shows presumed to be educational, such as "Sesame Street" or "Blue's Clues", while the mother or father do other, seemingly less important things. It is true that the above mentioned shows are much better for the young mind then violent or explicit shows, which are also sprouting up on every channel, but this method of teaching only forces them to depend more heavily on television for education and entertainment. It is, for the children, just another form of passive learning, another topic that Bradbury tackles in Fahrenheit 451. In the beginning of the novel, Clarisse describes the current educational system as completely unsocial. As she says, "they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four or more hours of film teacher." Moreover, at a later part of the story, Mildred and her friends are discussing how to care for children and Mrs. Bowles makes a rather disturbing statement. She says "I put up with them when they come home three days a month; it's not bad at all. You heave them into the 'parlor' and turn the switch..." These references to television in this work of fiction are fairly worrying, as it is no longer such a fictional theory. This form of education is becoming more and more feasible for the near future. Parents already just "heave their kids in the parlor and flip the switch" so who's to say that schools will not soon also take on these apathetic teaching methods. Rather than teach young ones to amuse themselves in ways that will benefit them, the kids of today are taught that television is the source of all significance, and with the short attention spans of today, even television shows must be careful not to be overly verbose. A child must be taught that activities such as reading, which expands the mind and inspires thought, and playing with other children, to teach them valuable social skills, are far more important than vegetating in front of a box with moving pictures."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Postman, Neil. "Future Schlock".
  • Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451, Del Rey, 1987.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt. Player Piano, The Dial Press, 1999.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Technological Advancement and Erosion of Intelligence (2008, April 13) Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Technological Advancement and Erosion of Intelligence" 13 April 2008. Web. 24 March. 2023. <>