April 17, 2008 Digital Natives Series Continues with May 12 Lecture, "Everything Bad Is Good for You"
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
For today's "digital natives," information is ubiquitous, instant and permanently available. They are connected, interconnected and multitasking. Is this affecting how they think, how they process knowledge? A spirited defense of the digital generation will be presented at the Library of Congress by Steven Berlin Johnson, who will discuss "Everything Bad Is Good for You" at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 12, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Library's John W. Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. The lecture will be available at a later date as a webcast at www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/. This is the second lecture in a series titled "Digital Natives," the generation that has been raised with the computer as a natural part of their lives, with emphasis on the young people currently in schools and colleges today. The series seeks to understand the practices and culture of the digital natives, the cultural implications of the phenomenon and the implications for education -- schools, universities and libraries. In his talk, based on his 2005 best-selling book, "Everything Bad is Good for You," Johnson will discuss the response to his argument that popular culture is growing more complex and cognitively challenging, and is not racing downward towards a lowest common denominator. He will also talk about the future of books in this digital age. Johnson is a distinguished writer in residence at New York University and founder, along with Stefanie Syman, of one of the earliest e-zines (electronic magazines), Feed Magazine. His latest book is "The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic -- and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World" (2006). He has worked as a columnist for Discover Magazine, Slate, Wired and other publications. Future lectures in the series are:
- Monday, June 23: "The Anthropology of YouTube" by Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University.
- Monday, June 30: "Open Source Reality" by Douglas Rushkoff, author of "ScreenAgers: Lessons in Chaos from Digital Kids."