Good post from Techdirt Will Always-On Gadgets Change The Way We Think About Knowledge? in response to Nick Carr’s Atlantic Monthly article: Is Google Making Us Stupid?. Nick Carr writes:
I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
Techdirt, for me, nailed it with these couple of thoughts:
Carr’s piece was sort of the modern equivalent of parents from a generation ago worrying about kids using calculators in school and forgetting how to do math. Of course, that didn’t happen. It just allowed individuals to better use the tools at their disposal to do even more interesting and complicated mathematics.
This becomes even more interesting when you connect it to studies that have shown the real determinant of intelligence isn’t necessarily how much you remember, but what your brain decides to forget
So don’t feel so bad about forgeting all that stuff – forgetting actually makes you smarter 🙂