Reading low-complexity stuff makes you write as though you’re intellectually disabled

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Surprise, surprise.1 From this article at Salon:

A recent study in the International Journal of Business Administration looked at MBA students at the University of Florida to determine how reading habits shape writing ability. Scientists analyzed writing samples from student cover letters, which were believed to be the most telling form of a student’s best writing — no one wants to make a bad impression on a cover letter — to determine complexity and style.

The study found students who consume primarily digital content (such as Reddit and Buzzfeed) had the lowest writing complexity scores, while those who often read literature and academic journals had the highest levels of writing complexity.

Also, from Robert W. McChesney‘s “Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy“:

The idea that the Internet is transforming people unwittingly in ways that may be less than desirable is best developed in The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. While acknowledging all the benefits of the Internet, and his own addiction to it, Carr argues that the advantages “come at a price,” specifically by reshaping the way our brains work. Carr draws from the recent surge in brain science research demonstrating that brains are “massively plastic” and can be changed dramatically by their environment and how they are used and not used. Carr argues that research demonstrates that with the rise of the Web and the decline in traditional reading, humans are losing their “linear thought process.” The Internet’s “cacophony of stimuli short-circuits both conscious and unconscious thought, preventing our minds from thinking either deeply or creatively.” People substitute skimming for reading, and “offload” their memory to computers. The consequences are disastrous. Carr invokes William James, who declared that “the art of remembering is the art of thinking.”

Also, don’t forget the benefits of handwriting vs typing:

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  1. I need to add “Yellowless” to my name.[back]
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One Response to “Reading low-complexity stuff makes you write as though you’re intellectually disabled”

  1. Niklas' blog » Blog Archive Distraction and advertising: how we are turned daft to make money for companies - Niklas' blog Says:

    […] When you’re not delving into stuff, not using nuance, when you won’t read a text because it’s too long (TL;DR), that’s when your mind is shut inside a compound. Check the proof. […]

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