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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Mind Wide Open comes a groundbreaking assessment of popular culture as it's never been considered before: through the lens of intelligence.

Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day - from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons - has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. You will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again.

©2006 Steven Johnson (P)2006 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Skips sections

Periodically the audio book will skip over a sentence in the book. It also skipped four pages (109-113 depending on your book copy)

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a good cultural commentary, a little redundant

Maybe it's because he's preaching to the choir in my case, but there were sections of this book that seemed a bit obvious and superfluous to his thesis. That said, there is plenty in this book that I would want everyone to read. The fashionable self deprecation in our culture should stop and this book gives good reasons why it should stop.

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  • Sean
  • Tucson, AZ, USA
  • 12-07-15

Wish he had more to say.

Great content. The author's points need to be heard. I only wish he would bring up more than just games and TV, or at least he could have delve deeper. He could have talked more about the change in crime rates, the similarities to work life, and more about user-created content.

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Smart people… it must be TV and video games!

Would you recommend Everything Bad Is Good for You to your friends? Why or why not?

No. It's references are dated.

Was Everything Bad Is Good for You worth the listening time?

Not worth the time. It's an interesting idea and I'm sure parts of it are true however he provides little proof to support his theory. The book is full of "I think" and "I suspect" without backing up his assumptions.

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Wanted to love this, but, not convinced.

Would you try another book from Steven Johnson and/or Jason Culp?

Yes to both. Johnson writes well and Culp's narration breezes along. It was an easy listen. Alas, I just wasn't convinced of the author's claims that watching TV and playing video games has made us smarter. In fact, I'm not convinced that the people who say these things dumb us down are wrong. Believe me, as someone who's watched and played more than my share of TV and video games, I would like nothing more than to agree with the author.

Did Everything Bad Is Good for You inspire you to do anything?

Frankly, it made me think of watching less TV and playing fewer video games.

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  • Pekka
  • Oulu, Finland
  • 11-05-12

Interesting, a little spread out

Interesting, fun and varied.
[Audible: I would rather use the guided review form, but if you then ask me to give three describing words, try first removing the minimum limit of 15 words, okay?]

1 of 4 people found this review helpful