Literature and Functional Curiosity

Topics: Literature, World Wide Web, Mind Pages: 3 (1104 words) Published: November 14, 2012
Reading and Though 
In Dwight MacDonald’s Reading and Though, he disagrees with Henry Luce’s Idea of functional curiosity. Luce coined the term “functional curiosity,” meaning “the kind of searching, hungry interest in what is happening everywhere.” MacDonald’s opinion of functional curiosity is that it only encourages practice in reading rather than giving beneficial information. He considers today’s literature as flimsy and overwhelming. MacDonald assumes that all reading done in today’s society is “shallow thinking.” I agree with MacDonald that there is a great amount of mediocre literature floating around, but he does not take into account the technological advancements, the lifestyles of people today, and students.  With the new amount of technology that has been invented information is put out faster and is within most people’s fingertips. Technology has created the World Wide Web where an abundance of information, though partially considered junk holds information about international news to local news. Anything that anyone can possibly think of is on the internet. MacDonald’s ideals would consider the internet is a collection of the world’s unsophisticated literary works. Henry Luce’s functional curiosity is used to skim through the overwhelming amount of information in order to help find topics that people are interested in. Search engine were also created to sort through the internet to find web pages that are relevant to a topic. I think that MacDonald would appreciate search engines, because it makes the internet clearer of pointless web pages. The way that information reaches people has changed greatly.  Not only is there the internet, but there is also the television. The television is probably one of the most influential pieces of technology ever. TV affects people worldwide. It provides news all around the world and even gives the weather forecast. Though society enjoys following pop culture more than learning about how many people have died in...
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