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Amy Chua Is a Wimp

Is Amy Chua a tiger mother, for forcing her daughters to practice music four hours a day, and denying them sleepovers?  David Brooks thinks not: “Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls.” Chua is applying to her own kids the lessons she learned from her parents, and she is preparing her kids to…

Thoreau's Cellphone Experiment

When I teach “Intro to Literary Study,” I ask students to review their media consumption, and propose their own “media fast.” It’s not as simple as simply asking them to sign off of Facebook. For instance, I pointed out that I spend far more time on email than Facebook, so giving up Facebook would be trivial and not really all that challenging for me — especially because it’s possible to…