Eminent tech scholar Nicholas Carr in a cover story for the Atlantic Monthly magazine in the summer of 20081 asked “Is Google Making us Stupid?”
His main argument was that the ease of online searching and distractions of browsing through the web were limiting his capacity to concentrate. “I’m not thinking the way I used to,” he wrote, in part because he was becoming a skimming, browsing reader, rather than a deep and engaged reader.
Hang on – I have a ad that just popped up. Do I want to enlarge my what????
Well, I think that Mr. Carr has a point – wait a minute Carr – wasn’t there a band in the 80s called the Carrs – is he related to them – must make a note to goggle that.
Hmm – I wonder how many napkins a McDonalds goes through in a day? Have you noticed that many fast food places do not let you have all the napkins you want. They dole them out, but at McDonalds you can grab as many as you want. That is great if you are hosting a dinner party that night – free napkins. Hmm – must google napkins and McDonalds – must do that.
Anyway Mr. Carr’s argument is that the ease of online searching and the distractions of browsing through the web make is making us dumber.
I think I am becoming dumber because the Pew Research Center conducted a survey on “Is The Internet Making Us Stupid” and I am afraid I had NO idea what the survey was talking about. I was kinda hoping for a Yes or No answer, as that is all my little brain can handle, after goggling all day..
But . The Pew Research Center conducted a survey based on –
“Respondents to the fourth “Future of the Internet” survey, conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, were asked to consider the future of the internet-connected world between now and 2020 and the likely innovation that will occur. The survey required them to assess 10 different “tension pairs” – each pair offering two different 2020 scenarios with the same overall theme and opposite outcomes – and to select the one most likely choice of two statements.”
Again., maybe the Internet is making me stupid because I have zero idea what that survey is about. And as I said, I was kinda hoping for a Yes or No answer. You know ask a bunch of experts and they say either Yes or No.. I can handle that.
One expert , Peter Norvig, Google Research Director, answered the Pew Survey this way –
“Skimming and concentrating can and should coexist. I would also like to say that Carr has it mostly backwards when he says that Google is built on the principles of Taylorism [the institution of time-management and worker-activity standards in industrial settings]. Taylorism shifts responsibility from worker to management, institutes a standard method for each job, and selects workers with skills unique for a specific job.”
Hmm, I think that Peter does not get out of his office a lot, doesn’t talk to many people and probably should stop drinking heavily before he answers any question. You see Peter, the question was Does Google ,make us Stupid and we were really looking for a Yes ( that would be a Y) or a No ( That would be a N).
Anyway, my brain is tired and I never did get a Yes or No answer about Does the Internet make us Stupid.
I admit the Pew Research Survey might have answered the question eventually , but it was very obtuse and I had to find out about McDonalds and napkins. I am a busy man.