Thursday, May 4, 2017

Aww, there's no pictures!

Pedagogically speaking, the internet represents a special-education children's book. Pictures, colors, implied textures: it's all there. Still lingering in ourselves is the notion that reading is "good," but it's also "hard," and social networking sites offer us the ability to feel like we're reading without actually having to read that much. Facebook is an intermediate stage, where pictures are everywhere and "too much" text is disguised below a clickable link, so that you can feel that you're really scrolling through a lot of reading without reading every word, like your social life is a test on a subject that you hate, so you skim through it and feel accomplished at the end.

Twitter is an intermediate stage of progression, with mandated simplicity, gigantic empty borders forced between any text, and of course, pictures relieving the eyes from needing to connect recognizable glyphs to recognizable thoughts, or new thoughts. Twitter sets the neurotoxin standard for the ability to read just enough that it's almost like reading, whereas wholly-picture-based social networks don't usually include the lie that you're doing anything more than looking at pictures.

In that sense, the internet is more dangerous than television, not only to standard people, but to scientist®-influenced ones. Standard people can be on the internet and think not only that they're part of something (which TV feigns also), but that they're reading, which, they've always learned, is a good thing. More interesting still is that science® can confirm that using the internet--say, by scanning Twitter--causes more "brain activity" than television, therefore you're doing something with yourself. The bias should be obvious to scientists, if not scientists®; head-brain or abdominal brain; what kind of activity; and, is it "good" activity, long term effects, et cetera. But, like extra-large fries, more is better.

Without an understanding of mathematics, you go through life not ever needing it, and with an understanding of mathematics, you generally go through life similarly, by not ever needing it. If you know some math, it changes your ability to perceive things that do not seem to have anything to do with math; unless you're an asshole trying to validate yourself, either internally or externally, you may not even be aware of the ways that an understanding of different relationships influences many things that you perceive, giving you a deeper understanding of it all than you would've had otherwise. Whether or not you could or do appreciate it, it's there. Frequent math-users, too, are often dangerously unaware of the math-ways and non-math-ways of perceiving reality, ergo they end up being annoying jerks when they try to make everything linearly mathematical, more socially problematic than people who don't know any math.

The benefits of mathematical understanding--a forcible, provable science--have long been lost by European society, proving the accuracy of the warnings of teachers of old that high levels of competency still need to be required of policymakers, and, maybe more importantly, voters, certainly more importantly, citizens, whether or not any of these groups could be said to "use" math in their trade, at commerce, or at play. Literacy is in obvious kinship with mathematics in this regard, but we still haven't hit a bottom equivalent to the mathematical one. Without math (or with too much math, which tends to correlate to cripplingly low literacy), we see certain problems. Literacy can still drop that low. The dumb kids who couldn't do the math, and the dumb and/or evil policymakers who made the math irrelevant (except perhaps as to product design), won their battle. The literacy one is close to being won, but not yet. Pictographic runes, but with better detail--akin to attractive models holographed mimicking emoticons or commands--may have a future. Not runes in the manner of the now-traditional, stylized "male bathroom" or "female bathroom" logos, but detailed ones, covering a wide visual vocabulary that progressively deadens the conceptual abilities aroused by non-pictographic alphabets, making abstract thought first laughable, then infeasible, then forgotten. The kids who said long division was stupid, and gave it up, are now expressing themselves in international policy, but international policy is still somewhat well-read. We've certainly reached the point where the kids who wouldn't read chapter books because there were no pictures are empowered. In our pursuit of the awful, though, we have yet to see the fullest expression of the kids who think Twitter itself is too much reading. It can, nay must, come to fruition.

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