For John, BLUF: If you can't read there is nothing to see here; just move along.
Over at the blog The Orthosphere is a post on people reading, titled "Post-Literacy and the Refusal to Read"
A colleague who teaches in the humanities at the state college where I work also teaches at a nearby private college. In the colleague’s description, the private college is perpetually in the grip of a panic over the prospect of a drop in enrollment. The college’s administration has therefore instituted an unwritten but implacable policy the upshot of which is that the student is always right, no matter how absurd his complaint, and the consequence of which is that instructors must never tax students beyond an infantile minimum of scholarly exertion. Among the consequences of the consequence are that students refuse to undertake out-of-class reading assignments, fail quizzes related to those assignments, and then lodge complaints with chairs and deans against the instructor.This raises the question of if a society that can't, or won't, read actually knows anything. How is information accurately transmitted from one person to another?
The colleague has responded by redistricting the semester’s reading to take place entirely in the classroom. The concession naturally and drastically reduces the amount of reading that the semester can accommodate, but it obviates the career-threatening complaints.
Of course there is also the question of why the private college isn't allowed to just go out of business. It appears to be bilking parents out of a lot of money with no return.
Hat tip to the Chicago Boyz.
Regards — Cliff