WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Will on-line reading alter our brains, compromising in-depth, nuanced reading & thought?

Scientific research into the effects of consistent on-line reading, the tendency to skim and scan - coupled with the bombardment of other stimulii - suggests our brains are being rewired, and future generations may find it increasingly difficult to construct complex sentences, or think in complex ways.

I can't say I'm surprised. Call me a bit of a luddite, but I always thought even the quick pace of the widely-acclaimed "Sesame Street" helped produce a generation inclined to get restless in a hurry, resistant to traditional teaching methods in classrooms, absent all those visual stimulii. Perhaps that even feeds into our politics, where an electorate becomes impatient for results, then tunes out.

Yes, I scan and skim too each morning as I check out dozens of news-oriented websites, in part, to generate material for this blog, but also as background for the interviews I do, and as fodder for our talk-show hosts.

But I also welcome curling around with a book, which I find to be the much more relaxing & fulfilling experience. From this article in The WASHINGTON POST, now I know why---


Posted at 7:52am on April 7, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 8:21am
Interesting article. Definitely sitting down with a book is far more enjoyable than on-line reading.

Mon, Apr 7, 2014 9:06am
We are indeed being "rewired" as we adapt to the newest tech...when I find a long/interesting on-line article I go "oldskool" and kill a tree (i.e., print the article on an "archaic" printing machine).

This is also one of the reasons I am not for our students learning purely on I-pads or laptops...humans seem to absorb more complex subjects from books. Once again, we should not throw out all "old ways" in favor of new tech. Embrace the new tech, but continue to use all ways of teaching that best work for the students.

Mon, Apr 7, 2014 9:30am
why u thnk tech is goin 2 change the ways of speek?

Mon, Apr 7, 2014 9:33am

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 7, 2014 10:14am
EarlGrey: I do the same thing EarlGrey, that is print out the longer article as it is easier to read and absorb in the paper printed form.

Arthur: U R funie - lol !

Mon, Apr 7, 2014 8:27pm
Sorry. The printed page just doesn't work for me like it used to.

Mon, Apr 7, 2014 9:22pm
Here's an article that should alter your brain. If this doesn't convince you of the similarities between today's USA and Nazi Germany, then you live in la-la land:


Tue, Apr 8, 2014 7:10am
I know WDEL has to report on the fact that Biden is giving the U.D. commencement speech, and I really appreciate the fact that WDEL's content is always free.

But really. Do you have to have a picture of Joe on the front page to advertise it? Couldn't you at least substitute a picture of Herman or Grandpa Munster instead?

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 8:48am
Gee let's see, Joe Biden is from Delaware, he's also the Vice President, and WDEL shouldn't give good coverage of his comings and goings for what reason, Mrpizza???

You'd never make it as a news reporter, you're too biased... Oh wait, FOX might hire you, you fit their style one-side journalism.

Now on to a different topic.

On this date April 9, 1945 Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazi's.

Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, dissident anti-Nazi. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world have become widely influential, and many have labelled his book, The Cost of Discipleship,a modern classic.

Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer became known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship. He strongly opposed Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and executed by hanging on April 9, 1945, while imprisoned at a Nazi concentration camp, just 23 days before the German surrender.

Here are some quotes from Bonhoeffer:

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

“By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

“From now on there can be no more wars of faith. The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.”

“Jesus does not impose intolerable restrictions on his disciples, he does not forbid them to look at anything, but bids them look on him. If they do that he knows that their gaze will always be pure, even when they look upon a woman.”

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

“Suffering, then, is the badge of true discipleship. The disciple is not above his master. Following Christ means passio passiva, suffering because we have to suffer.”

"Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.”

“The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—-we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

“It's much easier for me to imagine a praying murderer, a praying prostitute, than a vain person praying. Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity.”

“For the rest of mankind to be with Christ means death, but for Christians it is a means of grace. Baptism is their assurance that they are "dead with Christ", "crucified with him", "buried with him", "planted together in the likeness of his death". All this creates in them the assurance that they will also live with him. "We with Christ"--for Christ is Emmanuel, "God with us." Only when we know Christ in this way is our being with him the source of grace.”

[On abortion] "Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

"Luther's return from the cloister to the world was the worst blow the world had suffered since the days of early Christianity.”

“To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity. It is not the sort of suffering which is inseparable from this mortal life, but the suffering which is an essential part of the specifically Christian life. It is not suffering per se but suffering-and-rejection, and not rejection for any cause or conviction of our own, but rejection for the sake of Christ.”

There are 309 quotes, if you wish to read the others here's the link:


Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 10:55am
Speaking of in-depth nuanced reading and thought:

An article discussed the New Black List.

Pat Buchanan says:

"This is the new blacklist.

The old blacklist declared that if you were a member of the Communist Party that toadied to Stalin, and you refused to recant and took the Fifth Amendment, you would not be permitted to work in Hollywood. We are Americans, said that Hollywood, and we believe in American values.

The new blacklist means that while diversity of races, genders, and sexual orientations is mandatory, diversity of thought and opinion is restricted. In Silicon Valley, they burn heretics."


Tue, Apr 8, 2014 12:23pm
Mike: Thanks for the Bonhoeffer quotes and reminder of his amazing life and brave death.

Tue, Apr 8, 2014 8:04pm
Once again, it's time for a musical break. This one is in honor of our illustrious vice-president and Delaware native, Uncle Joe:


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