Luminar Podcast: From Illiteracy to Illusion

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12 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    It wasn’t only 9-11 that shattered our (US) myths. It was 9-11, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the 2008 financial crisis. And now with the election of Trump, Humpty Dumpty will never be put pack together again. very, very, good podcast. Thanks.

  2. Mihai says:

    You know, I should really stop saying you know after every two words.

    You know it is a very annoying verbal automatism, you know…

    So yeah, you know..

    • A.D. says:

      Well, you know, I do it more, so…you know…shrugs 🙂

      (I think it is quite polite and kind to imply that the other knows. )

  3. Ante says:

    Do you think that the cause of illiteracy you noticed among highschool students in your teaching days was the internet? I doubt that could have had much of an effect in early 00s.

    I don’t doubt the importance of hand writing and it having an effect on our mental development or lack of it having a disastrous effect, but I don’t think that what you saw back then was the same thing. I was a highschool student myself in those years, we wrote with our hands on practically every occasion and read from physical paper. The biggest exception I can think of was er maturalni rad which I typed using some pirated word 2000. In fact back in those days being into computers was still taken to be a sign of weirdness, ironically in a similar way not having a facebook account is nowadays. Heck, we had informatics class which was about transforming numbers from decimal to binary to hexadecimal systems and doing basic calculations like that. And most of the PCs in the classroom were 386 and 486, with DOS. And that was in the center of Zagreb.

    Good conversation. I liked Mihai’s constant you knowing, you know.

    • Malić says:

      It is pre-Internet, too bad I forgot to point that out.

    • Mihai says:

      Hehe, I remember a cousin of mine had 586- it was the apex of technological achievement in those days- in our eyes at least.

      I remember the mid 2000s, when the first mobile phones with cameras appeared on the scene, a lot of my friends (with me included, of course) saw it as something completely useless- a phone is for talking, after all, why would I want to take pictures with it also- so we reasoned back in the day?

      My first surreal moment- a real shock- when I felt that I was losing track of my surroundings because of the insane pace of change, came in 2012. I heard from a highschool teacher how kids were no longer doing anything during the breaks except of looking into their phones- each into his own.
      It was a shock because I finished highschool in 2007 and there was only 5 years of difference, yet there was not even a single sign of such a thing during my days- we played football, got into fist fights, you know… the normal, day-to-day teenage stuff. :))

      • Ante says:

        Ah yes, pentiums. Get it one day, have a new game stutter and frame rate ruin your eyes the next. The times of galloping increase in hardware requirements.

        Anyhow whatever Branko noticed back then, it couldn’t be technological. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was some kind of different filter. I know when I was in highschool I thought more or less everyone is capable of expressing themselves in a written form as well as of having at least basic communication in English. But when I got to college I realized this isn’t the case. Granted it was a technical college, someone who studied philosophy could get a different impression and then get amazed at the low level of writing skills outside his previous environment.

        Also, it’s not like people 100 years ago were more literate than today. Difference was that writing was done by a particular part of the population, while today everyone is expected to be able to read and write, which makes the average quality of writing lower. This isn’t taking away from your points about the internet and gadgets though, since as we see there is a huge difference between today and just 10 years ago.

        • Malić says:

          Inability to write seems to be intimately correlated to inability of being alone with oneself. I said that on the podcast but I think it is edited out because we had constant glitches and drop outs in Skype.

          • A.D. says:

            It’s there at about 15 minutes in.

          • Ante says:

            Nah, it’s in there, I remember now that you mention it. So fair enough.

            I’m not sure what you mean by inability of being alone with oneself though. At least in the context of being able to write down a proper sentence.

          • Mihai says:

            I think I can explain what Branko means. Young people today always like to be surrounded by noise- even when they are alone.
            When they go out- it has to be the most crowded places- preferably with a high volume ambient music. When they walk on the street or sit in public transportation they always have their headphones on.
            When they’re at home or by themselves anywhere, they continue their routine- movie series, music, typing to friends on the phone etc.

            Of course, this isn’t to say that technology is the cause of this, but that it facilitates the possibility of this behavior, whose root is, I believe, fear of one’s self, that is of one’s inner emptiness.
            We live in times when it is increasingly becoming impossible to live a human life in the true sense. This de-essentializing of the human existence, with its corresponding limitation of possibilities to the most mundane and trivial creates an inner void which few (and even them- rarely) have the courage of confronting.

            So in this case, to truly be alone with one’s self is the first thing you want to avoid- hence you create a wall of noise and distraction.

          • Mihai says:

            Here is something which relates and confirms what I wrote in the previous commentary:


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