“Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him.” – Ernest Hemingway, 1954
Hemingway ages himself in this quote. In 2012, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the younger generations (college students and below) do have this so-called “automatic crap detector” operating within ourselves. We develop these BS detectors at such an early age that by the time we are in college and ready to do our own research and form our own opinions, it is second nature to weed out the unworthy online information with just a glance or a few clicks.
As a result, Rheingold’s article was helpful… if someone over the age of 30 reads it.
What I found interesting was what Rheingold chose to leave out – the idea that because younger generations are so accustomed to weeding out other people’s BS, we are simultaneously becoming even handier at creating our own. With the vast amount of knowledge and information available to us, we have the ability to patch together a quilt of facts and manipulate them to cover whatever subject we are assigned – all in under an hour, tops.
The key part is, for the majority of students, there is no guilt involved in the art of BS. This isn’t because students are heartless and enjoy slacking off on assignments (well, the majority of students, anyway). Rather, students don’t know any other way. Crap creation and detection have become second nature and are embedded in our technologically savvy genes… and these genes can only evolve from here.