Daily Archives: February 24, 2009

Suffering Social Symptoms

A brain expert called Lady Greenfield (professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln college, Oxford, and director of the Royal Institution) has suggested that “Social network sites risk infantilising the mid-21st century mind, leaving it characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity”

I’m not sure is this is the first time that she has looked at the media landscape that surrounds us – but surely she doesn’t see this as a new development.  Throughout the history of time, these symptoms have affected people regardless of one too many tweet or poke.  I can see her point and I’m sure that the use of SMS and even email to an extent has had an effect on writing skills – but I’d be more inclined to look at the benefits of communication and of maintaining a dialogue – no matter how that dialogue is maintained.

Anyway, isn’t what is being communicated more important than how it is communicated. Structurally magazines like ‘hello’ and ‘grazia’ offer cohesive narrative, but the content is complete shite…

Greenfield warned: “It is hard to see how living this way on a daily basis will not result in brains, or rather minds, different from those of previous generations. We know that the human brain is exquisitely sensitive to the outside world.”

Seems like a classic case of nature and nurture. Our environment will always shape us but to see only the negatives of social networking doesn’t seem to be that openminded.  And isn’t the process of brains and minds differing from those of previous generations called ‘evolution’?

‘intellectual blitzkrieg’

I saw a great term today… ‘intellectual blitzkrieg’

It was used to describe the University Challenge winner Gail Trimble. The term just conjures up some great imagery. Dropping ‘bombs’ would be a term more commonly used for a rapper or something. The idea of her firing out answer after answer like missiles to destroy an opponent is a fantastic thought. Less fantastic is the thought of seeing her naked as she revealed that she had been approached by a lads’ mag to take part in a “tasteful photoshoot”.

I just fail to see how that could be of any interest to anyone .  Having said that, people seem to find stories about Jade Goody dying interesting so what do I know. God, I’ve had enough of the whole Jade Goody thing . I empathise with her wanting to give her children the best possible opportunity but the whole affair is incredibly unedifying. Somehow things always seem this way when Max Clifford is involved. The way that this guy leeches on to the dregs of society makes me feel physically sick. Perhaps far more worrying is that Daily Mail reading  Middle England can’t get enough of it…