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Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter

Steven Johnson · 2 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
From the New York Times bestselling author of How We Got To Now and Farsighted Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing big idea book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day—from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons —has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. After reading Everything Bad is Good for You, you will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again. With a new afterword by the author.
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Guess so. That's the premise of "Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter" by Steven Johnson ( Though Idiocracy is a great underappreciated film.
It does make sense the humans would get better at pattern matching. Interacting with UIs constantly and exposure to video games with loads of information must be good for the brain.
Just agreeing with rogerbinns here - I think the fact that some of W8's new features and interaction models are not immediately obvious is probably the worst type of criticism. I consider it actually to be a confused sort of praise. Technology changes. New things become possible. Old UX models become outdated. Products are released which are different. People are confused, but then society adapts, and hey, it turns out that these new-fangled features make things a lot better.

Just because iOS is soothing and friendly and easy to use for the last generation not to be educated in problem-solving complex systems from their earliest walking moments[1] doesn't mean in any way shape or form that it is a superior interface. In fact in many ways iOS is very inefficient, and its popularity stifles real progress in computer interfaces. So we should be happy that a new interface model, that challenges people's expectations a little, is emerging.

[1] Videogames section in:

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