From Patricia Marx at The New Yorker: Do I seem smarter than I did a few weeks ago? Since then, I’ve spent many hours in front of my computer, chal­lenged by crucially impor­tant ques­tions, like which two butter­flies of the five that flick­ered onscreen for seventy-nine millisec­onds were the matching pair, whether the ripples that rippled across the little magenta square went this way or that way, and how many more drills I must complete before I’m smart enough to date Harold Bloom. Remember when we called these sorts of activity video games and yelled at our kids for playing them? Now we refer to them as brain exer­cises, and we hope and trust that our digital exer­tions will make us as mentally agile as teen-agers wielding M27 assault rifles in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. · Go to Work­outs at the brain gym →