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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

An article in the current Atlantic has the same title as this post.

The author muses about that question, and his musings deserve to be widely read. He suspects, for one thing, that using Google is actually changing the way we think.

The article says that the founders of Google are trying to supplement the human brain with a search engine that is artificially intelligent, that gets us the information we want as quickly as, well, Googling someone, only better that how that works today -- it should, they think, get us exactly what we want. But would that be a good thing? Maybe, maybe not. Contemplation, reflection, messing around with stuff we weren't planning to think about, seem to be at the bottom of a lot of important discoveries.

Well worth reading, and thinking about.

2 comments:

Keetha said...

Hmmmmm - - - not sure its making us less intelligent, I mean we've ALWAYS (for centuries anyway) had dictionaries and other reference materials. I like the SPEED with which I can find information when I google - - - - well, sometimes its speedy.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Keetha.

The author's point was that the dictionaries, etc., allowed us to be sloppy and a little unfocused. There were other, unrelated words on the same page of the dictionary, and other articles in the reference books, and we often learned something we didn't plan to think about when we looked in them.