Brazilians With Tiny Orange Laptops

Unattributed, L.A. Times, Jul 10, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

See, this is just false: "Serious learning will always be boring compared to the entertainment bombarding young people 24/7 these days." But explaining why it's false takes a bit more doing. It's not simply that what Mill called the "higher pleasures" appeal to more mature minds. But more mature minds are more free and more able to engage in a topic of enquiry of their own choosing and for its own reward. Not that this article, purporting to cover NECC 2006, manages anything close to insight on this. The author tries to make the point by talking about riots. "Think about that. How many kids today would steal a flat-screen TV before they'd grab a laptop?" Leaving aside the prejudice to which this panders, surely the writer, had he thought about it, could have understood the appeal to looters of a $3000 (or much more!) TV screen to a $500 computer.
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