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Google: Is It Making Us Dumb?

Thanks to the advancements in technology, we can now access information with much ease. Don’t know the meaning of a word? Just type in the word and you have your answers in less than five seconds. Need references for your research? Just type in the keywords of your desired topic and you now have thousands of sources. But at what cost do we pay for such advancements? It seems that we lose as we get immersed in the Web, we lose a part of ourselves. But what is it?

...Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

More about this topic over at The Atlantic.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: geralt/ Pixabay)


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I don't know if I'd use the word "dumb." However, instant access to what amounts to information overload has allowed the spread of plenty of completely stupid notions. Plenty of whack-job "theories" have risen in the internet age. Flat earthers, 911 conspiracy theorists, anti vaccine crusaders, moon landing hoax exposers (and many more) abound. When I was in high school and college back before the internet, research consisted of finding and evaluating primary and secondary sources of information. Observation, experimentation, testing hypotheses and rechecking for validation were nomal activities of research. Nowdays, Someone will claim the "ball earth" is some giant lie presented by NASA, because he did his own "research" consisting of watching YouTube videos or Googling "Flat Earth" and reading only the results that fit his preconceived notions.
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Every time a new thing comes along, they always do this. "Is it making us dumb?" Life is self-evident. Determinism plays a much larger role in life than most want to admit. It's fun to believe you can "free will" your way out of anything. That being said, everyone is dumb about something. They always talk about how intelligent Einstein was. But notice it's very specific subjects. For all we know, he was not good at most things. If I spend 50 years perfecting the art of solving the rubix cube as fast as possible, some number of people will be amazed. But most people might say I wasted 50 precious years I can't get back. And that's not very "intelligent".
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