According to Steven Johnson, author of a new book, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Todays Pop Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter (Riverhead Books), violent videogames and reality TV are increasing the intelligence of the average person.
Not only do videogames teach pattern recognition and complicated cause-and-effect problem solving, reality shows like Survivor explain sophisticated lessons about social interaction.
Also, Johnson says a person watching music videos can learn cinematic techniques in a fraction of the time it takes in a four-year film school.
Johnson admits that the type of intelligence boost that comes from pop culture is different than the type that comes from reading a book, which he says is more linear and requires building upon a single thought to its fullest.
There is a catch: Johnson says the pop culture intelligence boost benefits average schmoes more than rocket scientists. As he puts it, The smart people are still smart but pop culture simply makes the dumb people more intelligent.
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