Poetry, Teaching and Technology With August Kleinzahler

Ratik Asokan interviews August Kleinzahler and asks about changes noticed in students’ habits of writing and reading. He mentions about keeping a distance from information technology

Technology is fabulous; it has unquestionable merits. But it has liabilities, as well. The amount of information we have access to is a wonderful resource, but it eliminates a number of steps that include thinking and memory and association, and I think it makes the mind rather lazy (there is some evidence now that shows that technology is changing the chemistry of the brain in real time).

Later in the interview he discusses the distractions created by technology but suggests that poetry will continue to be significant

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Crowd-Sourcing Expands Power of Brain Research

Benedict Carey reports on a study by 200 scientists at over 100 imaging centers which analysed relationships between genes and intelligence.  Working collaboratively helped to create one large database which was then linked to a similar study in progress.

Brain imaging studies are expensive and, as a result, far too small to reliably tease out the effects of common gene variations. These effects tend to be tiny, for one thing, and difficult to distinguish from the background “noise” of other influences. And brain imaging is notoriously noisy: not only does overall brain size vary from person to person, for instance, but so do the sizes of specialized brain regions like the hippocampus, which is critical for memory formation.

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