Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stupid Is As Stupid Does, My Mama Says

Researchers are now positing that internet technology and, specifically, Google, is making us more stupid (stupider?). The theory is, of course, that we no longer have to remember anything...we can look it up immediately on our smart phones, iPads and other tech gizmos. Think about many phone numbers do you know off the top of your head? Seriously, I would wager that if all of our cell phones dies at the same time, we simply could not communicate...unless, of course, it was a social media source. How many times do you have to write down any new password changes or something as simple as your library card number, vehicle license plate number or any small piece of information we use daily?  Before you pooh pooh the idea, let me say that it is not a new one...decrying technology as a hindrance to man's intelligence goes at least as far back as Socrates who opined that the invention and widespread use of the written word would destroy man's ability to learn/retain knowledge. Remember that this is the scholar who taught by lecture methods with NO note taking allowed...students were expected to hear, understand, respond and store knowledge as a matter of course.
The pillorying of technology didn't end there, either. Susan Sontag, in her book On Photography, made the same claim against the use of cameras. She felt that suing devices to record memories merely left us bereft of the mental capability to store memories: we simply didn't have to.
It's ironic that most of the things we try to get senior citizens to do involve recreating their ability to recall things! Memory games are said to be critical if one hopes to retain some sense of sanity. Why, then, do we continue to develop techniques that rob us of our memory capability? Sure, there's all the new information that we could not possibly discover on our own: it's said that Ben FRanklin was the last person who knew the entire sum of human that's impossible, and the worldwide web has certainly furthered our ability to do research, to connect with others around the world so as not to "reinvent the wheel" and share marvelous advances. Is the price too high?
It seems that a word such as "google" used as a verb has taken over the world.


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