MOST YOUNG people spend many hours every day looking at television, computer monitors and the screens of their mobile phones.
Sometimes they use two or even three of all these devices simultaneously.
They are growing up in the age of skimming – cursory reading, glancing at words and pictures on screens.
They do their ‘thinking’ with the TV on and perform quick Google searches whilst texting their friends.
In fact, people of all ages are reading fewer newspapers, magazines and books yet rarely does anyone question the media revolution that is playing out all around us.
The more our eyes flit from screen to screen and we receive information instantly and in bite-size pieces, the less accustomed we become to thinking deeply. We are losing our capacity for deep thought.
Thankfully, this trend is reversible. We can re-wire our brains back to where they should be, if our desire is strong enough.
One way to do this is to set aside some time each day for study and quiet reflection.
Indeed, turning off the TV and silencing the phone may enable us to delve into such volumes as Great Thoughts from Master Minds and many other wonderful books compiled for our enrichment.
AI Stubbs, Bridlington
Make better use of the £250m
IS THERE a Plan B for the trolleybus saga?
I hope that if it is (rightly) turned down, we don’t then simply hand back the £250m and accept our city’s paralysis and strangulation, while other cities solicit a second round of investment, to upgrade or replace their systems installed when we couldn’t be bothered.
Another good reason for opposing the trolleybus (as if we needed one) is precisely that we would then miss out on the modern version, the progressive thinking and the radical options now available.
It would consign us to long-term inferiority in the field of transport.
The very idea of a six-month inquiry into a failed concept is an admission of bankruptcy, a waste of time and resources and an exercise in procrastination – in fact, all the hallmarks of its subject matter.
Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood
Prison life is not one of comfort
Malcolm Shedlow seems to hold prison life in very high regard (YEP, September 25). I wonder why he thinks being deprived of one’s freedom is so alluring? As for a warm bed, who on earth does the warming?
While they might have a roof over their heads, never forget that they can’t walk out the door.
Jennifer Bookbinder, Beeston
Don’t imprison homeless man
I feel I have to answer Dave MacFadyen (YEP, September 27).
I am not one of the better-offs that seems to be suggested by Dave, that begrudge a homeless man the luxury of going to prison for eight months.
I have every sympathy with anyone that has no home and are sleeping rough.
I begrudged the homeless man who tried to stab a supermarket security guard a stay in prison, where he will be well-fed and have a warm bed.
His punishment for his crime should have been to release him back on the streets with a community order to show him that just because you are down on your luck you can’t turn to crime.
Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown
A fairway off the right course
WITH REFERENCE to your This Life feature (YEP, September 24) I was surprised to find that Duncan Wood, a journalist, keen golfer and ex-golf assistant and county champion thinks that Augusta Golf Club, home of the Masters, is in California.
It would take most of his dream weekend to travel almost 3,000 miles from California to Georgia where Augusta is situated.
D Milroy, Gipton
Tories have not acted on tax
So the Conservative Party Chairman, Grant Shapps, says defector Mark Reckless lied, and lied, and lied again.
He sounds to me like your average politician.
Perhaps Mr Shapps should read the 2010 Conservative Party manifesto wherein David Cameron promised to clamp down on extremely rich individuals and companies involved in tax evasion and avoidance.
Using Mr Shapps’ own words: ‘We have been betrayed!’
Anyone with an iota of common sense knew the Conservatives would never implement these promises; they’re not going to ‘bite the hand that feeds them’.
Martin Phillips, Cookridge
Self-destructive Victorian values
George Osborne seems to think that the best way to endear the electorate to his party is to tell them that if the ConDems get to form the next government, he intends to go the whole hog in returning this country’s social values back to those of the Victorian era, by denying benefits to unemployed 16 to 20-year-olds and forcing them to do community work.
A society where there will be little distinction between being poor, unemployed, chronically ill or disabled, or being a convicted criminal.
If that isn’t the icing on the ConDem self-destruction cake, I dont know what is.
Derek Barker, Moortown
Still waiting for the council men
YOU ARE by no means alone, F Lennon, with regard to problems with Leeds City Council’s housing department (YEP, September 23).
My sorry tale started in February 2013, when part of the wooden floor of my bathroom was replaced.
Since then the rotting remains of the old floor boards have been sat, in two plastic sacks, under my kitchen window.
At least three requests to Leeds City Council have been made to have them taken away, but all have fallen on deaf ears.
Since Connaught ceased operating, the repairs service has gone downhill, appointments are not kept with no advance phone call or text message to give a reason.
There is nothing more annoying than waiting in for workmen who fail to turn up.
Most of us are up to date with our rent, so please LCC, give us a little something in return.
A Shipman, Swinnow
Further light on family history
K Evans of Macclesfield requested help with her family tree (YEP, September 25).
The most likely death of her grandmother Hannah Ellen Shaw was in Leeds in the June quarter of 1956 when Hannah was 82 (General Register Office reference Leeds, volume 2c, page 355).
Hannah was born in Halifax in 1875 and baptised with her sister Mary Edith Petch on October 26, 1878 at Clarkeston, County Yorks.
Mary was entry number 1204 and Hannah was 1205 in the register.
Their parents were Joseph Petch, born Farndale, and Harriett Petch, born in Leicester circa 1843.
In the March quarter of 1898, Hannah Ellen Petch married Joseph Shaw (General Register Office reference Helmsley, volume 9d, page 597).
For many years they resided at Ness in the parish of Nunnington and they had at least 12 children. All survived except Joseph who died shortly after birth in 1922.
Ray Whincup, Rothwell