Thursday, August 23, 2012

Each Year, This List from Beloit College Makes My Balls Ache.

The Beloit Mindset List:

This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future, and are entering college bombarded by questions about jobs and the value of a college degree. They have never needed an actual airline “ticket,” a set of bound encyclopedias, or Romper Room. Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1994, are probably the most tribal generation in history and they despise being separated from contact with friends. They prefer to watch television everywhere except on a television, have seen a woman lead the U.S. State Department for most of their lives, and can carry school books--those that are not on their e-Readers--in backpacks that roll.

The class of 2016 was born the year of the professional baseball strike and the last year for NFL football in Los Angeles. They have spent much of their lives helping their parents understand that you don’t take pictures on “film” and that CDs and DVDs are not “tapes.” Those parents have been able to review the crime statistics for the colleges their children have applied to and then pop an Aleve as needed. In these students’ lifetimes, with MP3 players and iPods, they seldom listen to the car radio. A quarter of the entering students already have suffered some hearing loss. Since they've been born, the United States has measured progress by a 2 percent jump in unemployment and a 16-cent rise in the price of a first class postage stamp.

The List.


  1. I would be amazed if any incoming freshman had ever heard of the word 'baud'. For that matter, virtually none of them know what a bit is, or how it relates to a byte.

    But their thumbs are 20% more dexterous than ours!

  2. What? They haven't learnt of the baud of Avon? I am shocked...

    1. They certainly haven't heard of the bawd of Avon.

  3. From what I can see, carrying your school books in rolling luggage is a good way to get shoved into a locker, daily.

    "Your trivial cultural touchstones are fascinating and reveal much about your character and worldview" said no one ever.

  4. The compilers of this list are showing their age themselves. It's not so much that CDs and DVDs are not "tapes": it's that CDs and DVDs are on their way out, and have been for some time. Actual tapes, such as VHS tapes or cassette tapes, are soooooo last millennium.


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