Homeland Security researcher laments 'PlayStation generation'

WASHINGTON - Jay Cohen, who heads science and technology research at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has an $850 million research budget this year for developing what he sometimes calls "wow" technology. But his enthusiasm for the possibilities of science is tempered by his worry about whether the U.S. is producing the talent needed to further the research necessary for national security.

There's "a crisis in this country," said Cohen, which he described as a "PlayStation generation" of students who want immediate gratification and avoid math and science because it's too hard.

That was just one of the points that Cohen, a former U.S. Navy admiral who is now undersecretary for the science and technology directorate at DHS, made at a conference today held by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. The event was attended by many of the technology firms that develop systems used in homeland security.

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bluebrad19744275d ago

I don't want anything about my generation to be associated with a company as crooked as Sony. "Gaming Generation" is acceptable, but screw the playstation.

Hayabusa 1174275d ago

That's what they get for being for the most popular brand in a market. Honestly though, it's no big deal, all it means is that people who know nothing about gaming simply say "Playstation" because that's the little they know about video games.

I'm sorry Jay, but I'd rather play Gears of War than develope real bombs Gordon Brown will use to kill with.

Silver3604275d ago

Fund the schools right so a free eduacation is available through college and then see what kind of students you get. Afterschool programs, summer jobs you know things to teach people skills and be part of the workforce. Moaning never solve anything.

eclipsegryph4275d ago (Edited 4275d ago )

If you want a free education through college, it is most certainly not going to be "free". We will pay with either increased taxes, mandatory civil service for a couple of years, or in some other fashion. (For example, I believe that Norway has free college, but you're also required to put in two years of military service or civil service once you hit a certain age.) Besides, if you give something to people for free, it tends to mean less to them, and thus, they won't have much of a sense of ownership to it - this stands for physical items as well as an education.

That and this sort of "give it to them for free" attitude is exactly what Admiral Cohen is being critical about. People need to obtain less things for free and begin to actually earn them. No, what is really needed is a revamp of the education system that we have right now, and instead of emphasizing the entertainment part of our culture (sports, movies, etc.) focus should be shifted to education and intelligence. Quit with the enabling PC bullshit and help people to WANT to learn and get a government that people WANT to help.

Armyless4275d ago

Eclipse, that was so "right" it made my heart skip. Wow.

Watapata4275d ago

The public schools in this country are ridiculously under-funded and because of that tuition climbs higher and higher each year, prohibitively so. I go to far and away one of the best engineering schools in the country, a public school at that, and the fact that its upwards of $35,000 or more for an out of state student is simply ridiculous. There are only so many scholarships to go around and not everyone can afford that sort of price. Its a bad sign when a PUBLIC school's budget consists mostly of the tuition and fees coming in from students as opposed to government funding. Frankly, some money should be taken away from the military and redirected towards education. Many of my friends from back in high school a few years ago would have preferred to do science, engineering, math and the like except that going to a school where it was worth while was prohibitively expensive for them.

Maddens Raiders4275d ago (Edited 4275d ago )

There is a serious paradigm shift in this country which has taken over since the late eighties in emphasizing the MTV, ESPN, JACKASS, Pam Anderson, Hiltonized, Stock Market bubbled, Fashion Policed, Glamour shot producing nature of our wonderful culture here in America. I don't agree with waht this guy says btw, but I do agree with you guys in that if we're going to get serious about education, then it needs to start from the top down, not the other way around. It's not like everything is perfectly in place to take care of this little problem either. Vouchers are good, but further insulate wealthy families from poorer families further reinforcing separation of classes and division amongst our American people. Here in TEXAS they are having an unprecedented glutton of kids that are applying to all of the state colleges but of course, not all of them will be allowed and talk of repealing the top 10% rule is now underway. What that means is that the top 10% of graduates who were basically guranteed acceptance to the college of their choice are about to be lumped in with everyone else and will have to fight and claw to get in. At the same time, the minority students in those ranks will be receiving a double whammy for trying to get into college. It's like hey - you were poor, and disadvantaged to a certain degree, but you went to school, studied hard, got top grades. But sorry, you're not guaranteed top choice still for your efforts.

I just say that to say we are not making it easier as a country for our young people to take advantage of the oppoertunitys before them. If this is a "Playstation Generation" or w/e the hell you wanna call it, maybe creating a curriculum around a video game based center wouldn't be a bad idea huh? Bet that would keep kids and adolescents interested huh Mr. Director. We can do it. We can do it better.