Sunday, November 02, 2014

Wasting Time On The Internet Is Now An Ivy League College Class

It's true. Now you too can go thousands of dollars into debt in student loans and PAY to waste time on the Internet, something that is free for most of us.
Next semester at the University of Pennsylvania, students will walk into a classroom, pull out their laptops, their smartphones, their tablets, and sit there, for three hours, doing what they no doubt do pretty often: Waste time on the internet.
Or they could take classes that will benefit them in their careers, and waste time on the Internet for free.
"I'm very tired of reading articles in the New York Times every week that make us feel bad about spending so much time on the internet, about dividing our attention so many times," Kenneth Goldsmith, a world-renowned poet and the course's professor, told me. "I think it's complete bullshit that the internet is making us dumber. I think the internet is making us smarter. There's this new morality built around guilt and shame in the digital age."
So do what I do. Don't read the New York Times, or any other disconnected source of elite opinions.

As an intimate object, the Internet is what you make of it. You can use it to make yourself smarter, or you can mindlessly click on Buzzfeed articles and get dumber. It's all about how you use your mind.

I can't speak to this guy being a "world renowned poet". I've never been able to get into poetry, but I'm sure most modern poetry is as bad as modern art. About all the poetry I can stand is centered around limericks "There once was a lady from Venus..."
So, his students will explore what, exactly, wasting time even means. Is it a waste of time to tap out some forum posts or internet comments? Is it a waste of time to gchat with your friends? Is it a waste of time to click through YouTube videos? Can we consciously or even unconsciously channel the things we do on the internet to make a work of art or the next great American novel or an autobiography? 
His students will be tasked with trying. For much of the class, they'll be wasting time online, sure, but at some point, they're going to have to take the raw material of all that time wasting—browser histories, text messages, screenshots, who knows what else—and turn it into a "compelling and emotional work of literature."
A "compelling and emotional work of literature"? I'm sure being forced to read most of the output of this class would make me cry.

At this point, I'm almost forced to conclude that it's not the Internet that makes you dumber. It's college. That's why it's time for the majority of red pill, conservative, or libertarian men to abandon the modern university. Stop giving them your money. Do something to enrich your own mind and your job prospects. You can CLEP out of most of the lower level "Internet Time Wasting" and English classes and focus on the core curriculum for your field of study (which should be STEM). Or learn a trade through trade school or an apprenticeship.

This class is offered at UPenn (Ped State).

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