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The Malthusian Post-Potter World

Having done such a good job helping us into the Iraq War, the New York Times now has to take on not just Harry Potter but the entire literary world. Bad enough they should “prove” that kids lose interest in Potter by describing a boy who, at 15, will not immediately run out and read “Deathly Hallows,” but this article brightly concludes with this killjoy thwack on the head:

“Some reading experts say that urging kids to read fiction in general might be a misplaced goal. ‘If you look at what most people need to read for their occupation, it’s zero narrative,’ said Michael L. Kamil, a professor of education at Stanford University. ‘I don’t want to deny that you should be reading stories and literature. But we’ve overemphasized it,’ he said. Instead, children need to learn to read for information, Mr. Kamil said, something they can practice while reading on the Internet, for example.”

At least that’s blunt: education shouldn’t be some some artsy-fartsy waste of the taxpayers’ dollars, teaching kids dumb stuff like cultural appreciation, empathy, and the power of art; it’s about preparing a workforce of Silicon Valley drones. I can see the poor little tykes plowing through Census databases and SEC profiles as they furtively peek at books tucked in their laps. “No can haz Harry Potter?”

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