A Scary Stat

I’m still reading the stuff for my pedagogy workshop and I saw a stat that really blew my mind. What percentage of men in their twenties and without college degrees have not worked at all for a year or more?

One in four. One. In. Four.

That’s really scary, folks. Men in their twenties were always the group that was most reliably employed.

Teenagers and Books

And the really scary part:

In 1975-9 (to take a random example), a clear majority of teenagers read a book every or almost every day.

Right now, the number is 15% and it’s dropping every year. This includes reading on a tablet or any other device, so it’s not about different formats of reading.

My anecdotal observations support this. Student perceive “reading a whole book” as a very unusual and weird thing.

As you can see from the preceding posts, the time taken away from books isn’t going into working for money, dating, hanging out with friends, homework or extracurriculars. It’s going into screens.

These are poor, crippled kids who have been robbed of one of the greatest pleasures and purposes of life. Imagine what your teenage years would have been if books (and magazines and newspapers) were taken away and substituted with an endless succession of duckface selfies, Twitter likes, and Instagram follows.

More on Teens

Another interesting fact: teens today are significantly less likely than their predecessors to: go out without their parents, date, drive, work, stay at home alone, have sex, manage their own money (such as an allowance), fight with their parents, keep things from their parents, or drink alcohol.

This is all from the materials I’m reading for a pedagogical workshop I’m in this year.

Teens Today

So you know how we constantly hear that today’s teenagers are overscheduled with extracurricular activities and overburdened with homework because college entrance is harder and there’s social anxiety pushing them to succeed?

Well, it’s all a myth. Today’s teenagers actually spend a bit less time on homework, the same as amount on extracurriculars and dramatically less time working for pay than their peers 30 years ago.

For example, high school seniors heading to college in 2015 spent 4 hours less per week on homework, paid work and extracurriculars than their peers in 1987.

A Brilliant Quote

An absolutely brilliant article on the GND:

And so we have the grand game of make-believe and moral dress-up, in which Field Marshal Sandy rallies her troops on Twitter in the service of a half-organized bouquet of slogans and prejudices that no mentally normal adult — and there are still a few of those around — takes quite seriously. The purported goal of the great national deployment isn’t the point — the deployment itself is. It is an excuse for a great deal of noise and running in circles and excitation and displays of Very High Moral Seriousness that is its own reason for being. Sandy’s war is not a struggle over the future of Earth — it is only a struggle over the future of Sandy, and all the other Sandys out there in the great vast wilds of America, waiting tables at TGI Friday’s or grinding away in the obscurity of some master’s program in women’s studies, sure that however things were supposed to turn out, they weren’t supposed to turn out like this, a mess of loneliness and pointlessness, all dressed up for battle with nowhere to go and no comfort but Netflix and Facebook and Twitter, little fixes of dopamine just strong enough and frequent enough to keep the addicts upright and sedated enough that they do not begin asking the really difficult questions and demanding answers.

I know, I know, it’s a long quote and everyone hates them. But it’s so good.