You are Not a Gadget...or are you?
In "You are Not a Gadget" Lanier asserts that there is a lack of creativity, creative thinking, and culture because of how we are using technology. I will first address evidence that supports his claim. Students can just copy anything they see off the internet to use for their projects, as I have seen in person. You see many trends online take hold, and everyone is doing it. Take multiplayer in single player games for examples, it is everywhere now - Some of you may understand this reference ;)) Critical thinking can decline from relying heavily on the computer to find the instant information, or using Google in a shallow manner.
I disagree with these views though. From my students alone, they created some pretty creative works through technology. They managed to use the tools they were given and put their own identity to it, adding their own character. On the meta level technology, particularly the internet, gives rise to a plethora of ways for one to be creative, there is blogger, you tube, comic life, twitter etc. one of the learning objects used in this presentation was a creative video , that can be used in the classroom to teach the students in a creative way. In fact using technology has opened up so many doors for just teachers alone when it comes to teaching. Just the basic fact that books can be placed on the internet, primary sources and secondary sources, gives teachers a great advantage because it requires little resources to have students read a historical primary source, and then analyze them. Technology is a tool that you can use for great purposes.
Lazy students will always be lazy, great students will always be great. I do not mean that an individual lazy student will always be lazy, but that students can be lazy without internet or general technology. All that means is that lazy people will use the internet in a lazy way and the non-lazy people will use it in a good way.
His third point ties into the question section:
The previous generation "holding back" "progress" is not something new...it existed for as long as man began to write , and of course soon after we had man's first trolling of the stone tablets. Older generations usually view changes as something wary, they have seen changes for the worse (and better) int heir lives, be it personal or world related. Also the idea of progress as moving from point A to B is also wrong. There is no set path to progress, in fact many paths lead to a society falling off a cliff, move to far in a direction things get messed up, that is what older generations fear.
From my experience the older generation is not holding back technology. I have met many from the Baby Boom generation, or those who were born soon after it, who love this new technology and embrace it. Those who do not usually do not use the technology anyways, therefore not affecting the use or nature of the technology because they have no interaction with it. Some of this advancement comes from the elder generations, see Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc.
The culture has changed as well, we can access culture and create our own niche culture. YouTube casters have huge followings, music is shared easier, diversifying what is hear. Also , just because an older generations culture still exists, that does not mean it is holding anything back. I mean he points to the 60's and how nothing big came from it after but really, I don't care about anything from the 60's, except like Civil Rights, Moon Landings those things but not artsy cultural music stuff) Honestly, I can not care less about the Beatles, I listen to them and go "meh." Meanwhile music, art, and expression has changed. How many rockers, rappers, or even trumpet players say "the 60's really influenced me." Not alot, and if it did, they would also mention the 70's , 80's, 40's etc. Influences can come from many generations.
TLDR: No generation is holding back cultural or technological change. The advancement and improvements to both have come from both the young and the old.