Will The Info Highway Educate Us Or Addle Us?

In response to Mark Landler's commentary regarding the entertainment industry's potential to sap American civilization ("Are we having fun yet? Maybe too much," Cover Story, Mar. 14): Lighten up. Although catchphrases such as "edutainment" do nothing to turn me on to our world's advances in entertainment technology, it is clear that entertainment and education are not mutually exclusive. Observe the Japanese, one of the most literate and industrious societies, where electronic paperbacks are becoming the rage as commuters zip through pages and pages of reading during their daily commutes.

Whether gambling becomes America's favorite pastime or whether a larger percentage of our society earns a living as cocktail waitresses and valets is not what is at issue. What is at issue is that Americans are demanding more--in the form of more TV, more telephony, more services--and that is not just interactive but proactive.

Soo J. Hong


Voices such as Landler's are not heard often enough. With all the high hopes and hysteria over multimedia, interactive entertainment, and the Information Superhighway, too few in our society have thoughtfully reflected on the potential negative consequences of this brave new world.

In the home, newfangled media promise to further overwhelm kids' senses, turning them into social misfits with scrambled brains. Meanwhile, at school, the increasing and widely heralded use of these technologies will help create intellectually retarded youth who cannot think for themselves.

If we take the wrong detour, the Information Superhighway may quickly transport us to a dreadful dystopia.

Mike Lord

Durham, N.C.

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