Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 28, 2009 / 3 Shevat 5769

You're damaging your brain with practical skills

By Jim Mullen


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dad is typing away furiously at the computer, sweat glistening off his forehead.


He is trying to make a Web page for his business.


His 13-year-old son is across the room playing one of those horrible video games filled with mindless violence, bazooka-toting Barbarellas in hot pants, unshaven macho men blowing up anyone who pokes their head around a corner.


Everyone knows that this kid will grow up to be a violent, know-nothing sociopath who will be a drain on society for years to come.


Everyone knows that video games are gradually sucking out his once-malleable brain and replacing it with oatmeal.


As any pundit will tell you, the kid should be outside playing basketball or football with his friends; he should be outdoors breathing the fresh air, that his parents are letting him squander his best years in front of a video screen. They are raising another wastrel.


Dad stops typing and yells across the room to Billy, "What do you call those things that hold websites?"


Things that hold websites? Does he mean a bookmark? Does he mean an ISP? Does he mean a web host?


"Server?" Billy guessed, not lifting his eyes from his IQ-draining game, which was wrecking his life.


I wonder how many professional basketball players and football players would have known the answer? Yet the pundits think that being the high school football hero is a wonderful achievement. It's common pundit knowledge.


Except for the gambling, the divorces, the steroid abuse and the building of wildly expensive stadiums with public money, sports build character.


There are plenty of examples of what pundits think is logical that is exactly opposite of what really works.


There was a story recently about a college journalism freshman class that didn't know the dates of the American Civil War.


They couldn't name an American Secretary of Defense. An absolute disgrace. Right?


That's why nothing gets done in this country, the schools have failed teaching kids important dates in history.


Guess what? No Japanese kids can tell you the dates of the American Civil War.


Nor can Italian kids or German kids or Korean kids or English kids.


Yet they all seem able to make more popular cars than we do: Toyota, BMW, Fiat, Volvo, Mercedes.


I wonder how many of their workers could tell you the capital of Kentucky?


But they could all tell you one thing. The CEO of their company isn't paying himself a $100 million a year plus bonuses.


Maybe knowing the exact date that Lincoln got shot isn't that important in the big scheme of things.


Maybe historical dates and sports are the least important thing we should be concerned with in school, not the most.


"Servers! Yeah, that's right," said the helpless dad, digging into the keyboard once again.


His son could have set up the Web page in minutes, but here was tough love, the kid was letting dad learn by doing.


Video games may be to computers what comic books were to me. I devoured them still read a lot to this day.


Thank you, Batman and Robin. I would guess today's gamers will turn into tomorrow's tech whizzes.


Maybe we should teach video games in school instead of state capitals. We could hardly do worse.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."


Previously:


The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
Gross-ery shopping



© 2009, NEA

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles