Intelligent Discussion in the Comments: No, Really!


In the age of lowest-common-denominator YouTube douchebaggery, it is remarkable and refreshing to find intelligent discussion in the “comments” section of any social media-enabled content.

My dad sent me a link to this preview from an article in Scientific American entitled The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: Why Paper Still Beats Screens, originally published as “Why the Brain Prefers Paper.” I suppose the folks who read Scientific American are of a different variety than those who troll for nasty things to say just because they can, but the point is that the discourse on the topic of paper books and digital books actually adds to our larger collective conversation about this paradigmatic shift. This is a pretty healthy example of the democratization of information and the participatory culture that personal digital devices allow us to consume and create.

Why is this relevant to children’s librarians? Because this is exactly what every kid who has a hope of being successful in life is going to have to know how to navigate from a very young age.

Here’s my favourite comment:

I just wish the “in brief” material had been more centered and promonent, the main intro, instead the melodramatic quoting of some Youtuber’s misconceptions being placed in the most attention grabbing area. Some people following this from other sites like Facebook and not use to the format may mistake that intro for the main message and get the whole thing backward. Get ready for a new urban legend supporting the assumed betterness of digital — something many people already assume just because its new and trendy.

Now I think I might pop over to the library to get the paper version of Scientific American. Because while reading is now a group sport, I still love cuddling up with a physical magazine before bedtime.

On a somewhat unrelated note, read An Opinion Piece On A Controversial Topic. Comments too. You’ll giggle.


Posted on November 12, 2013, in Literacy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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