Monday, July 28, 2008

The Debate - Is Google Making us Stupid

Herb Simon, "a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention."

Is Google Making Us Stupid? by Nicholas Carr

Conversation continues on Britannica Blog, The Edge

For sense on the topic listen to this podcast on EconTalk with Hal Varian

1 comment:

Kaleberg said...

Clearly none of the writers has ever done research in a research library. Of course you skim. You've found 20,000+ pages to read in the card catalog, and you need two five digit numbers. If Google search were as tightly focused as Asimov's Multivac then you could just ask for those two numbers. Google isn't. It is actually even LESS focused than a good card catalog. That means that good old fashioned research library skimming is even MORE important than ever.

As for reading and savoring longer works. The web is perfect for that. I'm always reading novels and non-fiction online, usually from the 19th and early 20th century because it isn't under copyright. As for thinking, one does one's best thinking passively. The brain isn't a muscle. You can't make it push harder by thinking "push harder". If you want to understand an elephant your best bet is to try not to think about an elephant for a day or two.