Is The Internet Killing "Big Ideas?"

Is information overload via the internet and social media killing our thirst for new "big ideas?" Some say we no longer have great thinkers like Freud and Einstein since we are all so distracted by the hoard of information at our fingertips that is less qualitative and more quantitative. I was struck by the grand profunditiy of this idea, but then remembered I had a few more posts to do. Do you think the web is a distraction from thinking about big ideas?
It is certainly no accident that the post-idea world has sprung up alongside the social networking world. Even though there are sites and blogs dedicated to ideas, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, etc., the most popular sites on the Web, are basically information exchanges, designed to feed the insatiable information hunger, though this is hardly the kind of information that generates ideas. It is largely useless except insofar as it makes the possessor of the information feel, well, informed. Of course, one could argue that these sites are no different than conversation was for previous generations, and that conversation seldom generated big ideas either, and one would be right.

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When I read old writings, they have a different tone, a different language, demeanor, and are 100,000 times more brilliant than most of what is printed today.
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It is not that there are no more einsteins or freuds, there are, and there are lots of them. There are great scientists and artists and thinkers around. The problem is that there is also a huge mass of "regular" people who are indeed becoming less and less real thinkers.

Big ideas and creativity need that we learn how to think and how and when not to think at all, not that we get habituated to any kind of compulsive information comsumption which is what all the social networking phenomena encourages.

It's not just social networking, it is in fact a feature of the internet itself, or even computers. We just NEED to learn to turn things off, once in a while. Tools are tools, and they are extremely powerful companions when we are their masters. Nowadays, however, we people seem to be technology's tools instead. We've gotta observe ourselves a little bit better.
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