Friday, January 31, 2014

    As with many new technologies, the author of 'Is Google making us Stupid' has decided that since the internet is new technology that is allowing us to communicate and learn in a new way that it is evil and causing the decline in the mental health of the whole world. Carr makes the argument that the easy availability of information and reading material on the web has changed more than just where people read. In a similar vein to arguments that have been made about almost every new medium for language over the past thousand years. With slippery slope as his main argument against the web he makes a surprisingly weak argument considering how highly he views himself as a writer. He argues that even though people are reading more today than they have in the past that its not proper reading. That the informal reading that people do on the web is not as cognitively difficult or stimulating as the endless pages of prose the so happily reminisces about being so readily available in books that he no longer has the attention span to read anymore. Making it seem as if the reading people do today is somehow harmful because it is coming  from the wrong medium or is presented in the wrong way. Which is just wrong as today the web gives people easy and fast access to all the knowledge they need to learn anything that they are interested in learning just a click away and deisolating the academic world by making it easier, cheaper, and faster for everyone to access information of all kinds.
    The argument that being able to search for anything just demonstrates a closed minded view of intelligence and education. The assumption that intelligence is related to ones ability to read hundreds of pages of prose is an outdated view of intelligence, similar to how Socrates viewed the written word as the end of the spoken debate or how newspapers were seen by many as the end of the book and television the end of the newspaper. The rapid change in how people access information and collective knowledge is really an advantage for humanity, because this rapid browsing of knowledge that occurs more often now than in depth search of texts for knowledge is really making it easier for people to be intelligent. If you look at blooms taxonomy, the most widely cited text in american education it separates intelligence into four layers across seven categories with the base of the pyramid being recall of information. With the internet giving people the ability to recall anything that they can vaguely remember with extreme accuracy almost completely removing that level from the intelligence pyramid allowing people to advance more quickly to higher levels of cognition with the help of the internet and instant information recall.

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