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“Mind over Mass Media” Steven Pinker Article in New York Times Essay- by EduBirdie


Whether or not technological progress is a positive phenomenon is a controversial question. Much has been written and said about the effects of media and technologies on human performance. Steven Pinker’s article in the New York Times is a reasonable response to public concerns about technology, progress, and media evolution.

Essay on “Mind over Mass Media” Steven Pinker Article in New York Times

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According to Pinker, technologies are the only things that keep people smart. There is an emerging consensus that technologies do not lead to higher returns in business but result in overspending; however, the current research does not support this belief.

Steven Pinker is correct in that technologies to help students and scientists to improve their skills. The Internet is not dangerous by itself and does not lead to the development of emotional and psychological disorders; instead, when used reasonably, electronic media hold a promise to improve the health and wellbeing of people.

Steven Pinker’s article in the New York Times is a reasonable response to public concerns about technologies, media, and progress. Thousands of people perceive the Internet as a source of multiple adverse effects on individual and business performance. Nicholas G. Carr is no exception: Carr is confident that technologies do not improve organizational and business competitiveness but result in overspending.

These claims do not reflect the realities of technological advancement. Pinker claims that technologies are a hallmark of the current scientific progress.

The Internet and other electronic media help to multiple discoveries like fruit flies and speed up the implementation of various scientific projects (Pinker). In some instances, excessive information can be addictive and damaging. This is particularly the case of people with attention deficit disorder (Pinker). However, digital media and technologies are not dangerous by nature. When used reasonably, they are the only things that keep people smart (Pinker).

Steven Pinker is correct: when used reasonably, digital media help individuals and organizations to improve their performance and skills. Writing, writing processes, and literacy presents an excellent example of human-technology integration since writing is the fundamental human skill.

Media and Society ?

According to MacArthur, the use of technologies improves traditional writing outcomes (259). Automatic spell check helps struggling students to meet their learning objectives and improve their writing results (MacArthur 260). In other instances, technologies facilitate better learning experiences through automated feedback (MacArthur 260).

Technologies do not affect all learning processes directly but change student expectations and experiences in the classroom (MacArthur 260). For example, an Internet search task activates brain regions that are usually involved in reading a text, and the more experienced are Internet users, the greater extent of brain activity they demonstrate (Small, Moody, Siddarth & Bookheimer 122).

Individuals with prior Internet search experiences demonstrate a greater extent of activation in brain regions responsible for decision making and complex reasoning (Small et al. 122). These media can support individuals in their striving to improve their writing and decision-making skills. As a result, they enhance the quality of their social relationships and outcomes.

Pinker suggests that “the constant arrival of information packets can be distracting or addictive, especially to people with attention deficit disorder.” However, even people with ADHD can benefit from the rapid advancement of technologies. Fenstermacher, Olympia, and Sheridan describe a variety of computer-mediated programs for children with Attention Deficits Hyperactivity Disorder (200).

The researchers claim that the benefits of integrating computer technologies with instructional models for children with ADHD are numerous. First, computer-based programs and video content can imitate actual social interactions and improve children’s social skills (Fenstermacher, Olympia & Sheridan 201).

Second, computer simulations can be easily suspended at any point, if children do not understand their meaning (Fenstermacher, Olympia & Sheridan 201). Technologies exemplify an essential factor of progress in all fields of human performance. Technologies are not dangerous by nature, and the adverse effects are entirely the products of unreasonable technology use.

Pinker is reasonable in his discussion of technologies. The author realizes that technologies can be particularly damaging when misused. Pinker believes that the solution is not to reject technologies but to develop instruments of self-control. Technologies help people to manage their intellectual output (Pinker). They improve basic human skills and contribute to the development of relevant solutions to various problems. As a result, society should not panic about new electronic media.


Pinker is confident that digital media are the only factors that keep us smart. Nothing is perfect, and only effective strategies of self-control can protect us from the harmful effects of new electronic media. I agree with Pinker in that media are an essential factor of personal and organizational progress.

I believe that humans are responsible for turning technologies and electronic media into a destructive force. Technologies are not dangerous by nature but require a reasonable, balanced approach. The main task is to develop strategies that help to reduce the negative influence of electronic media on human cognition. Future research must focus on the analysis and creation of self-control mechanisms and strategies to retrieve our intellectual potential to the fullest.

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas G. “Why IT Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” Harvard Business School, 2003. Web.

Fenstermacher, Kevin, Daniel Olympia, and Susan M. Sheridan. “Effectiveness of a Computer-Facilitated, Interactive Social Skills Training Program for Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” School Psychology Quarterly, 21.2 (2006): 197-224. Print.

MacArthur, Charles A. “The Effects of New Technologies on Writing and Writing Process.” In Charles A. MacArthur, Steve Graham and Jill Fitzgerald, Handbook of Writing Research, New York: Guilford Press, 2006, pp.248-60. Print.

Pinker, Steven. “Mind Over Mass Media.” The New York Times, 2010. Web.

Small, Gary W., Teena D. Moody, Prabha Siddarth, and Susan Y. Bookheimer. “Your Brain on Google: Patterns of Cerebral Activation during Internet Searching.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17.2 (2009): 116-126. Print.

“In favour of ethics in business The linkage between ethical behaviour and performance” by Upadhyay and Singh Critical Essay- by EduBirdie

Upadhyay & Singh’s (2010) article entitled “In Favour of Ethics in Business: The Linkage between Ethical Behaviour and Performance”, is a refreshing article that inspires people to bring back integrity to businesses that are faltering in ethics.

Article on “In favour of ethics in business: The linkage between ethical behaviour and performance” by Upadhyay and Singh

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Stakeholders of this article include people involved in business – managers, employees, staff, customers and beneficiaries of corporate social responsibility EduBirdie Reviews projects. Generally, everybody can relate to the issues raised by the article.

The article mentions Lamb et al.’s (2004) definition of ethics as the ‘moral principles or values that generally govern the conduct of an individual or a group’. (Upadhyay & Singh, 2010, p.10). Presumably, such principles include not only the welfare of the management and staff of corporations but of the general public as well.

The authors believe that ethical principles of corporations are based on their choices of the laws they follow, the economic and social issues they choose to deal with and the balance between the self-interests of the managerial staff and the interests of the whole company and its stakeholders (Upadhyay & Singh, 2010).

The article discussed how businesses can practice their high principles and perform altruistic projects while staying on track with the production of profits. For some, it can be a dilemma because of the main reason why they established their business in the first place, which is to reap profits. Still, what is more important is ensuring that in pursuing profits, no wrong is done against anyone or anything.

This includes maintaining transparency in their books, paying the right taxes, rendering high quality service with the aim of customer satisfaction, keeping employees motivated and treated with fairness and contributing to worthy causes, among others. However, the reality is that most businesses are guilty of some ‘short-cuts’ that they take from their ethical principles and add to their profits.

Basically, under the guise of security, it is greed that dictates them to break their integrity. Unethical behaviour most likely brings more damage to the company by losing the trust of their customers.

Business Ethics ?

For example, the article mentioned Shell Gas Company’s loss of its market share in Germany in 1995 when consumers found out about its intention to dispose Brent Spar oil in the North Sea, an act that would harm the environment (Cogman and Oppenheim, 2002).

On the other hand, Starbucks Coffee, stays true to its commitment to the environment by reducing deforestation and thus, preserving wildlife (Starbucks Coffee Company, 2005). This has gained them more patronage from their environment-conscious customers.

Applying the learning I have derived from the article, I believe that keeping my own integrity and faithfulness to my ethical principles will guide me in becoming successful in both my personal and professional life. That means I would choose to work in a company that prioritizes ethics over profits.

A company with high principles because it is capable of generating confidence in their workers and customers, attract high calibre people and establish more productive and profitable relationships (Upadhyay & Singh, 2010). If I will be given the chance to run my own business, my leadership would be committed to upholding ethical principles that will not only spread goodness to others, but make profit through honest means.

As a leader, I can anticipate challenges to sustaining this vision, but being steadfast in my commitment and having the right people who share the same values with me to work with, I am sure I will overcome them with success.


Cogman, D. and Oppenheim, J.M. (2002) Controversy Incorporated, The Mckinsey Quarterly , 4,57–65.

Lamb, C.W. Jr., Hair, J.F. Hair and McDaniel, C. (2004) Marketing , Cincinnati: South- Western College Publishing.

Starbucks Coffee Company (2005) Starbucks corporate social responsibility, Retrieved from

Upadhyay, Y. & Singh, S.K. (2010) In favour of ethics in business: The linkage between go to these guys ethical behaviour and performance, Journal of Human Values, 16 (9).