Is Google Making Us Stupid? Blog Response

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The two articles we read for Tuesday touch on the impact that instant access of information is having on American intelligence. Carr argues that our attention spans have decreased to the point where we know longer are willing to sit down and read a book or article. Shirky argues that this decreasing attention span is nothing new and this social panic goes as far back as Socrates criticizing written language for hurting our ability to remember stories and information. For this particular technology, the internet, I seem to side against Carr.
I've heard several arguments that language and writing today are not as intelligent or beautiful as they used to be. I would argue that today's language is not less intelligent but just different than in the past. We have thousands more words today than during the Elizabethan era when Shakespeare was writing it eloquent sonnets and plays. Literacy in America is nearly 100%, a number that would have been ridiculous even a few hundred years ago. Similarly, Carr argues that we lack the skills today that were so basic before the internet came around, "research that once required days...can now be done in minutes (156)". The skills that may have been necessary even thirty or forty years ago, memorization, rapid writing, and extensive research, are merely giving way to new skills that rely on understanding technology and making it work for us. We have the ability to navigate vast internet databases, organize thousands of pages of research into an easily accessible catalog, all while relying on a language of zeros and ones. I believe what we're experiencing is an evolution of a different kind of knowledge, but not a lack of knowledge.

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This page contains a single entry by foot0064 published on February 4, 2013 5:50 PM.

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