is a quote from Steven Johnson’s NYT article Magazine > Watching TV Makes You Smarter. Years ago I read a short blurb in a paper about a new study done by the military that showed IQ’s were rising. This was attributed to video games and the workout they give cognition. I filed that away, and now that meme has broken out into full-blown idea. Like it, or hate it — believe it, or think it’s bullshit — anyway I find it fascinating. The NYTimes article (and another in the May WIRED –"Dome Improvement" pg 100 — not online yet) are adapted from from this book which will be available
next month now.(Order: Everything Bad is Good for You) The Times article has some good simple graphs the contrast the lack of complexity in an episode of "Starskey & Hutch" vs. "The Sopranos."
There is also an illuminating discussion of how much confusion a contemporary story-audience will tolerate — how much exposition do you really need. The television drama model would indicate that
it is very very much less than is often thought — but try to convince some sf editors of that.
The message here for storytellers is (and that’s my main interest in the subject) trust the story, trust the audience, and complicate, complicate, complicate.
UPDATE 4:45pm See also Boing Boing