Is Google Making Us Stupid?
By Nicholas G. Carr Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.“ A Presentation by Craig Betts
Nicholas G. Carr http://www.nicholasgcarr.com/ http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-
videos/185695/september-25-2008/nicholas-carr Digital Enterprise : How to Reshape Your Business for a Connected World (2001) Does IT Matter? (2004) The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (2008) Nick wrote the much-discussed article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?," which appeared as the cover story of the Atlantic Monthly's Ideas issue in the summer of 2008. He has also written for the New York Times, Wired, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Strategy & Business, Advertising Age, and many other periodicals. He has written a personal blog, Rough Type, since 2005. In 2008, he was named to the Encyclopaedia Britannica's editorial board of advisors.
Marshall McLuhan- The medium is
the message Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar — a professor of English literature, a literary critic, a rhetorician, and a communication theorist. McLuhan's work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory. McLuhan is known for the expressions "the medium is the message" and "global village". McLuhan was a fixture in media discourse from the late 1960s to his death and he continues to be an influential and controversial figure. More than ten years after his death he was named the "patron saint" of Wired magazine. ........As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.
Rough Type Banished JUNE 24,
2009 Do not ask for whom the Google tolls. It tolls for me. I woke up this morning to discover that I no longer exist. The entire contents of this blog has been erased from Google's index. Every post. Every last bon mot. Gone. Without a trace. Here, by way of illustration, is what you'll get if you google the word "google" and restrict the search to the roughtype.com domain: Now I know how Adam and Eve felt after God kicked their sorry asses out of Eden. I'm on my knees. Please, Google, I beg of you, let me back into the promised land. I swear I'll never use Bing again. UPDATE: I'm unbanished. See comments for details. Posted by nick at June
The main thrust of the
Article The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”
What is the “google generation”?
The `Google generation’ is a popular phrase that refers to a generation of young people, born after 1993, that is growing up in a world dominated by the internet. Most students entering our colleges and universities today are younger than the microcomputer, are more comfortable working on a keyboard than writing in a spiral notebook, and are happier reading from a computer screen than from paper in hand. Constant connectivity – being in touch with friends and family at any time and from any place – is of utmost importance 1 According to Wikipedia, the phrase has entered popular usage as “a shorthand way of referring to a generation whose first port of call for knowledge is the internet and a search engine, Google being the most popular”. This is offered in contrast to earlier generations who “gained their knowledge through books and conventional libraries”.
Our verdict: A qualified yes,
but text is still important. As technologies improve and costs fall, we expect to see video links beginning to replace text in the social networking context. However, for library interfaces, there is evidence that multimedia can quickly lose its appeal, providing short-term novelty. They have zero tolerance for delay and their information needs must be fulfilled immediately? Our verdict: No. We feel that this is a truism of our time and there is no hard evidence to suggest that young people are more impatient in this regard. All we can do is repeat the obvious: that older age groups have memories that pre-date digital media experiences: the younger generation does not. They prefer visual information over text?
Our verdict: On balance, we
think this is a myth. Research in the specific context of the information resources that children prefer and value in a secondary school setting shows that teachers, relatives and textbooks are consistently valued above the internet. We feel this statement has more to do with social networking sub-culture and teenagers’ naturally rebellious tendencies. Its specific application to the world of education and libraries is pretty questionable. They need to feel constantly connected to the web* Our verdict: We do not believe that this is a specific Google generation trait. Recent research by Ofcom21 shows that the over-65s spend four hours a week longer online than 18-24s. We suspect that factors specific to the individual, personality and background, are much more significant than generation. They find their peers more credible as information sources than authority figures?
Our verdict: This is a
myth. CYBER deep log studies show that, from undergraduates to professors, people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal, `flicking’ behaviour in digital libraries. Power browsing and viewing appear to be the norm for all. The popularity of abstracts among older researchers rather gives the game away. Society is dumbing down. http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf They prefer quick information in the form of easy digested chunks, rather than full text?