Everything Bad Is Good for You

Everything Bad Is Good for You

How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

Book - 2006
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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.

Publisher: New York: Penguin Group, c2006.
Edition: 1st Riverhead trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9781594481949
Characteristics: xvi, 254 p. :,ill.


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Dec 11, 2015

Johnson's book is somewhat contingent on his audience being shocked (shocked!) that anything in the mire of pop culture (video games, tv, movies) can possibly be of value. If you agree, at least somewhat, with his premise, then this book is rather redundant. Johnson, sort of like Thomas Friedman with globalization, is ready to play the cheerleader to such a degree that he doesn't fully take into account objections to or weaknesses in his argument. I don't entirely disagree with him, but he's not very convincing or incisive. Plus, he seems to selectively choose instances that support his point, which is just lazy. If you've got half a brain, you've probably come to some of the same conclusions and this book is a waste of time. Maybe play video games instead.

KCLSRecommends May 08, 2014

The title and subtitle say it all: Johnson argues that so many things that 'we' have long been putting down for being harmful, like videogames, tv and movies are actually improving our minds -- or at least, is of much higher quality than the same shows and movies from decades earlier. Convincing!

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