Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | July 31, 2014
Nearly none of today's young people are idiot savants. Their fascination with information, a.k.a. the world, to me resembles the sponge-like fascination and absorption of babies. Most of us don't condemn babies for being so ignorant, but instead funnel our best and most resources to their hungry and adaptive minds. Most of them turn out to be like us, the bright, knowledgeable and articulate who post on Blowback. 8-)
In a previous post here I suggested that this searching mob may be the raw material for the key to a new paradigm of education. I repeat that proposition here, pointing out the foreshadowing of existing online programs from kindergarten to graduate school. It behooves one and all to develop ways to manage to funnel the flood of information to the young people we care about, just as we did for the babies.
James | Phoenix, AZ | July 31, 2014
When I went to college in 1980s, I would have killed to get hold of an iPhone or other smart phone. I had a watch which contained all my data (names, addresses, phone #s, appointments, etc.), but it only held 500 items. I have learned more in the five years I've had an iPhone than I have in all my college years, and been able to apply it. Life is much simpler now that I have access to so much information. Wikipedia is a good starting place but you need to even check that -- don't go with the text as much as the articles and links provided.
All these complaints about kids nowadays and their computers: imagine back to the time before Commodore 64s, and 128s, Radio Shack, Apple, IBM, and DOS -- was that more productive or less productive for you? Half my time was spent looking things up in books -- which have essentially created and printed by computers since the 1950s. Stop your complaining, folks. You've found the enemy and you is it.
Alex | Chicago, IL | July 31, 2014
Young people using computers remind me of savants. Here's a guy who knows Shakespeare backward and forward. Literally. Recite four words and he can tell you the character the act, the scene, all of it, in a second. Has a functional IQ of 80. Here's the guy who can play any piece of Mozart. Can't compose anything himself. Here's the savant who can draw an absolutely flawless copy of any picture you show him. Hand him the materials and ask him to do something for his own enjoyment and he just stares. In other words, a search function, a CD player, and a scanner. Big deal. And I think about them when I see the young playing on their computers. Most of these people aren't writing code. Most are simply playing: a tweet here a Facebook post here. They aren't learning or thinking or reflecting, they're simply consuming.
E. Bernhard Warg | Philipsburg, PA | July 30, 2014
Today's Classic strip is unintentionally prescient, with Zonker's dad telling Mike that he hopes he'll never have to experience separation from his wife.
Marie O'Ryan | Hometown, IL | July 30, 2014
Got a kick out of Sunday's strip. Generation communications check. Middle=age Boomer fashion statement is right on -- Zonker's hat and lol that plaid!
Edward Cherlin | Columbus, IN | July 28, 2014
According to Evangelical pollster Barna Group, 38% of Christian Millennials say that they fact-check sermons on their smart phones. There is hope for youth yet. Now if somebody would fund One Laptop Per Child to get computers into the hands of the rest of the billion children in the world...
Romuald | New Britain, CT | July 28, 2014
Wow!! Yesterday's strip really captures the intellectual laziness of a generation that knows so little, but can diddle themselves silly on their stupid toys looking for factoids. Sadly, this is common not just in high school, but at colleges and universities, where it is quite the struggle to get incoming freshmen and sophomores interested in the world around them. As some students mature, they do learn that there is more to the world than what's on their stupid toys. One only wishes that more would dis-engage and confront the real world, not the imaginary digital one.
Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | July 27, 2014
It is indeed remarkable that a young person can be impervious to knowledge offered in a conventional classroom setting and yet hold the world literally in his/her hands to access at will. Is it deplorable or a new paradigm demanding to be included, or even a key to a better educated world class? As a retired "old fogey" I've learned a brainful of stuff that gives me perspective on everything else I knew. But, unguided curiosity can give rise to a dilettante populace, knowing facts, but not understanding. I trust teachers will embrace that emerging need to guide an expanding ability to satisfy curiosity.
Bobby Padgett | Gastonia, NC | July 27, 2014
As a high school teacher, I must say that today's portrayal of Zipper is a spot-on depiction of today's students. They know so little but can Google the knowledge of the world in seconds. The only thing that would have made the strip more powerful would have been if Zipper had cut-and-pasted his response from a vandalized Wikipedia article.
Mark Gamon | Cambridge, UK | July 25, 2014
Naturally I miss my daily Doonesbury, but it's a joy re-reading some of my favourite* moments from the past -- like Honey telling the audience to "go wild." I'm looking forward to the ball bearings...
* Please excuse my British spelling.
Norm McCracken | Porter Ranch, CA | July 23, 2014
How long, O great cartoonist, will you remain "on vacation," as you seem to have been since the Ides of March?
GBT has put the daily strip on hiatus in order to write another season of the political sitcom "Alpha House," whose 11 initial episodes are all available online from Amazon Studios. The Sunday strips continue to be new, but twelve days before the Ides of March the Classic Doonesbury series began with the very first strip, which originally appeared on October 26, 1970. Since then GBT has been posting four weeks of dailies from each year of the strip's run. As of today, we are up to December, 1975. You can delve even more deeply into the Doonesbury archive here. GBT talks about how creating Doonesbury helped prepare him for writing "Alpha House" in this interview.
Chris | St. Augustine, FL | July 22, 2014
"Those Chinese are an especially tricky people!" I've been waiting for this one to show up. Back in college that was a line assured to get a laugh.
Niki | Montreal, CANADA | July 21, 2014
My cat died and I didn't cry. Sunday's strip made me tear up. How do you do it, GT?! Live forever.
Rev. Dr. Bob Faser | Hobart, AUSTRALIA | July 21, 2014
I'm personally enjoying the combination of vintage Doonesbury on weekdays and new material for the Sunday strip. Keep both of 'em coming.
Joshua Eliason | Givat Ada, ISRAEL | July 20, 2014
In today's strip, do I notice bags under Boopsie's eyes??? Hopefully it's a case of a bad lighting glitch in the Doonesbury studios. I dread having age catch up with Ms. B.... You should always soften the spotlights.
Jan | Cincinnati, OH | July 20, 2014
Is it my imagination, or do Boopsie's eyes get wider every year?
THANK THE STARS
Ksnook | Alberta, CANADA | July 20, 2014
Thank the stars for Sundays. I really needed to be able to look forward to something like a new Doonesbury to get me through this week. Seeing Boopsie was a bonus, as always.
IN THE UK
Victor Field | London, UK | July 19, 2014
Actually, you can get Fox News in the UK on Sky Channel 509. The good news is that no one in Britain seems to take it seriously. The Daily Mail, on the other hand...
GETTING THE NEWS
Tiger69 | Silverton, CO | July 19, 2014
Fox: To quote Mel, "It's like getting the news from the town drunk."
LEADS THE PACK
Shooshie | Dallas, TX | July 17, 2014
I know what it's like to talk to someone who has absolute faith in Fox. They believe that their opinions "are just as good as yours," even though you have studied the material carefully over years and thousands of articles in dozens of periodicals, while they heard it one night on Fox. They really cannot see any difference between the two. If you can cast doubt and aspersions upon their one source, they have the "right" to cast equal doubt and aspersions upon all 60 of your sources. One person, one opinion. What could be more fair and balanced?
One soon learns that Fox has more in common with religion than news, so you just leave those viewers alone. Yellow journalism is all about getting people to believe, getting them inflamed and angry, and channeling that public energy into the political outcomes desired by the media who practice such "journalism." There is something about some people that enables them to trust beyond doubt the news organization that most blatantly lies and generates speculation with the most childlike mentality, using statements that defy even reasonable attempts to parse and make sense of them, much less determine their veracity.
Is it a total trust of authority, where authority takes the form of a corporation? No, because there are other, larger corporations telling the news which those same people are convinced is all lies. So why do they hitch their wagon to Fox? Maybe it's because Fox is free to create the most dramatic stories with the most impressive smears, since they are not bound by actual events or truth. People like drama, so it seems very likely that they're drawn to Fox like moths to a flame.
It only takes a few minutes to find the clever falsehoods that Fox News spins into fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Sometimes it's not even verbal, but a lifted eyebrow, a tone of voice, or outright mocking laughter. I'm not saying that Fox alone does this, just that it leads the pack in such outrageous propaganda for their team.