The book is interesting, but I don't agree with all the conclusions that the author makes in the book. I don't think the entire generation is dumb (although many are heading in that direction). And I don't think that the generation necessarily is doomed to have less intellectuals than the previous generations. In my college career (in a different generation), the intellectuals were few and far between. We found each other and stuck together, but I don't think that really ever changes. Granted, the Generation Y intellectuals are probably more likely to do a lot of talking rather than a lot of reading deep into the past, but I know Generation Ys who do seek deeper knowledge.
The author of The Dumbest Generation says that, among Generation Ys, standardized test scores are going down and that fewer people read books (beyond the Harry Potter series). But the numbers just don't seem that significant to me. And I think, too, that there will come a time when these Generation Ys wake up and look beyond themselves and their peers, wanting to learn more about the world around them. One thing I think is that you rarely ever have an Awakening until there is a need for one. It's easy to live in your me-me-me world of self-centered and social networking FaceBook profiles when there's nothing serious going on in the world.
I think, though, that it's the job of educators to notice these things and to teach skills that the Generation Ys don't have because of their media lifestyle. For example, I think that teachers should specifically teach students to pay attention to details and think in specifics rather than generalities. Also, I think that teachers should find a way to show students how reading is relevant to their lives as well as how current events and history are relevant to their lives. Also imperative is that teachers make it very clear to students how to determine if sources for their academic papers (and even for their blogs) are valid sources or not. Once again, it's an issue related to paying attention to detail and being willing to double check your sources.
In conclusion, I don't think Generation Ys are dumb (as the title suggests); I just think that they think differently. And I think it's very important for everyone else to learn to understand them and have dialogues with them so that we can mesh our "cultures" for a positive end result. We have to be willing to meet each other half way and learn from each other.