Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Economic Rx

By Tom Toles


The best part

We are enslaved by our devices! This is what we are being told now that it's too late to do anything about it. An article in the New York Times Monday and a recently published book, The Shallows, warn darkly that our brains are now soggy with addiction to high-speed technology. No, today I'm NOT providing any links to these -- that would only feed the beast! But is it true, and should we worry about it? Of course it's true and of course we're not going to worry about it. Soggy brain is the whole point. We LIKE soggy brain.

After fifty years of television, the mental bog was already just about fully saturated. The new technology seems like a genuine step up, if anything. The internet is absolutely packed with information. There is far more reading and far less passive watching. But give it time! Like a fossil gradually replacing organic cells with minerals, sufficient device-time can replace discovery with distraction. In an old Animal Crackers cartoon (no, I'm not linking to that, either), a fish asked a sponge if sponges don't get bored just sitting there saturated with water and accomplishing nothing, and the sponge replied, "That's the best part!" --Tom Toles



By Tom Toles  | June 9, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Lost in translation
Next: Roberts's rules of order

Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:



I have seen many a strange things as of late..even this morn on my run....I did look up in the sky only because when I came to a bridge and was walking across it a van started driving in the center of the road and put his window down...I thought he was going to ask directions. Instead, while pointing at the sky, he yelled out to me to take a look at the Bald Eagle flying over the water. I glanced over, sure enough, there was a young eagle (I say young because even though it had it's "white tips" the body feathers were still brownish in color). Anyway, that Eagle flew over my head and circled SEVERAL times above me until I 'disappeard' into the pollution there, 'cept maybe from the van that pointed the bird out to me to begin with.....Gee that wasn't you doing some crazy mind thing was it??
ha, ha.
I don't care much for 'Sylvia' however I do enjoy reading the horoscopes...even tho 9 times out of 10 the predictions are wrong...kind of like watching the 5 day weather forecast. Hell, sometimes tomorrow's forecast is wrong!
Then again, tomorrow never comes so I guess it's ok then.

Comparing aircraft "exhaust" to the oil disaster seems a bit much don't you think?
Especially when you see the effect it, it being OIL, has been having on humans, wildlife, plants,shorelines,economy, etc. etc. etc. (ohh, The King and I, just flashed by)......

Posted by: bertzel | June 9, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Mark this on your calendar Tom, for once I agree with your blog post. Wait, lightning's gonna strike or the earth is gonna shake DC apart. Perhaps a Tsunami off of Lake Champlain will cover all of Vermont under 3 feet of water! Oh, the horrors, the end is near!


Posted by: ATrueChristian | June 9, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

True story: last year, at the hospital where I am employed, a new pharmacist, fresh out of pharmacy school, posted a memo to the staff regarding issues "that need 2 be addressed at 2morrows meeting." I wish I were joking.

Posted by: Kevin71707 | June 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

bertzel---I promise you safe passage. A pocket knife is no match for a Directed Energy Weapon or a Psychotronic weapon or maybe even Montel's Sylvia. HA HA HA

bertzel while you are running look up and see if you notice any chemical trails coming from the aircraft in the sky. Those my friends are just as damaging as the oil spill in the gulf.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | June 9, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The problem with all this electronica is that the younger generation is forgetting how to talk. They can type(keyboard) like crazy, click on avatars, icons, etc, but can't form a complete sentence while speaking. Hey! Great idea. Let them all be Network Anchors. PS:Couldn't live without my iPod, I,m almost 64.

Posted by: bavery1 | June 9, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Mercury poisoning always elevates intelligence. Nice idea though.

Posted by: SuperGriz | June 9, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Best diet?

I would suggest fish as a brain food. Then Mr. Toles will see spending as one of two types (1) productive (2) waste. Then we can decide what to spend and if it is worth a deficit or not. Numbers do not show the true [picture. Imagine a college student spending more than they earn, but getting a ticket to a better job and future earnings at a higher level. It either pays off or it does not.

That is the decision.

Not how much.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 9, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Snicker, snicker…
oh what the hell, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!!!

You just made my day Kevin, and, I’ll be running right along with you (in thought anyway) as I head out for my morning workout.
I’ll be the one with the big smile on my face as I am picturing the scenario you have described. And no, I won’t be wearing any one of the typical chic running outfits, with my hair in a neat little pony. My hair will be disheveled and I’ll be in a tee-shirt with, most likely, my cargo shorts. I ‘need pockets’ for my keys, cell phone, and... pocket knife,just in case Toles, or God forbid, Jonahandthefish, would happen to pounce out of the bushes…
then again, I’d probably have a heart attack (from eating too much salt,not getting enough sleep and just plain ‘freaking out’) and die right there on the spot!

Happy Trails : ) Ha, ha, ha…

Posted by: bertzel | June 9, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Tom try a neuro-phone that will help rejuvenate a soggy brain. The CIA has been developing mind control technologies that are quite amazing. I have had many of these technologies used on me. This involves total memory recall that can go back to the earliest years of your life. Also mind transfers that can change your way of thinking and even the way you conduct yourself accordingly like the donor. It is possible to act and think just like someone else. It is also possible to electonically download capabilities and knowledge from one brain to another. This is all part of a program known as Trans-Humanism. This is like Frankenstein all over again. It is a quite amazing technology but all so VERY SCARY. To think that people could all be made to conduct themselves the same and think alike is REAL SCARY. The Borg on Star Trek came to mind after this was done to me.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | June 8, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Toles is shedding ears as expectant almost miniscule compared to the last administration.

Posted by: carbonhog | June 8, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Mr. Toles, a very good cartoon of Ms. Thomas. Five Stars.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 8, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

It's not the device, it is the content or software that is the problem. Our technology is marvelous, spectacular. But like television if you go for the lowest common denominator it all looks bad. The internet is the ultimate, living encyclopedia. The greatest learning device yet designed by the hand of man. But of course it contains alot of trash. Television can be great, but so much of it is trash. The kids of today plant themselves in front of it and watch MTV or BET videos, which have no redeeming value whatsoever. The cell phone, personal computer, HDTV, cable television are marvels of engineering. If only more people would use this technology for good instead of evil. Our First Amendment should never be infringed upon, but people need to respect it and use it responsibly. It is not the device but the content that can turn brains to mush.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 8, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Slave to my devices? Maybe it is a bit much using my treadmill while surfing the web on my laptop, listening to my ipod, and tweeting via cellphone. Then again, maybe not.

Posted by: Kevin71707 | June 8, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company