MDST 3703 F10 Seminar 14


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  • IQ tests measure current academic abilities -- not any sort of fixed, innate intelligence. More specifically, the best-known IQ battery, "Stanford-Binet 5," measures Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory -- skills known collectively as "symbolic logic." IQ tests do not measure creativity;[i] they do not measure "practical intelligence" (otherwise known as "street smarts");[ii] and they do not measure what some psychologists call "emotional intelligence."
  • What is Carr’s argument?
  • Individuals get dumber, Google gets smarter
  • So, it appears that our brains are changing again ...GRAPHESIS
  • MDST 3703 F10 Seminar 14

    1. 1. Seminar 14 Scholarship vs. Stupidity<br />Introduction to the Digital Liberal Arts<br />MDST 3703 / 7703Fall 2010<br />
    2. 2. Business<br />Last studio coming up<br />Lightening talks next Tuesday <br />
    3. 3. Review<br />Database as Symbolic form<br />A symbolic form is associated with a mode of thinking<br />The database is associated with lists and network structures <br />The database mode is in conflict with narrative<br />Vertov’s film is an example of “database” narrative<br />An attempt to resolve the conflict <br />Projects the conditions of its own production—its implicit world—onto the plane of narrative<br />
    4. 4. Overview<br />Today we entertainthe question of stupidity<br />A theme raised by Tufte and Carr<br />Goes back to Socrates in the Phaedrus<br />Does the form of the database make us stupid?<br />In particular, Google <br />In particular, with respect to scholarship<br />
    5. 5. What is intelligence?<br />What are the attributes of scholarly intelligence?<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7.
    8. 8. Scholarly Intelligence<br />Knowledge of many facts and ideas<br />i.e. well read<br />Ability to perceive patterns<br />Ability to draw analogies and connections<br />Ability to develop explanatory models<br />Ability to develop extended arguments<br />Ability to revise and critique received arguments<br />
    9. 9. How are these abilities developed?<br />What factors contribute?<br />
    10. 10. Locus of Memory(Where is memory?)<br />Intelligence requires the integration of human memory with media<br />
    11. 11.<br />
    12. 12.
    13. 13.
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Most mentioned people and organizations in NYTimes from 1984-2009<br /><br />
    16. 16.
    17. 17. Carr’s Argument<br />Can be read as an effect of the database on cognition<br />The Internet is an expression of database logic<br />The form of internet, epitomized by Google, encourages fragmented, unconnected thinking<br />Information is produced and consumed in small pieces<br />And: Google itself – as the Master Database of the Internet – is becoming more connected and less fragmented<br />Google itself is becoming the locus of memory<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20. Google’s algorithm<br />
    21. 21. What is Shirky’s response?<br />
    22. 22. Shirky<br />Shifts focus from consumption to production<br />Carr focuses on reading<br />Shirky focuses on writing, media production<br />Also, Shirky focuses on TV ...<br />Notes trend: lowered thresholds of production mean greater production of collection knowledge, e.g.<br />PatientsLikeMe<br />Open Source software (Linux, Apache, etc.)<br />
    23. 23. Shirky<br />Also shifts our attention to the social<br />Social organization as a solution to the negative effects of new media<br />Open source and Internet culture are forms of social organization that make society smarter<br />Whereas Carr sees a shift in intelligence from the individual to Google, Shirky envisions a massive division of knowledge labor<br />Are both right?<br />
    24. 24. What premises do Carr and Shirky share?<br />
    25. 25. Shared Premises<br />Neuroplasticity<br />Writing is cultural, rewires the brain<br />The internet is rewiring too<br />Externalization of knowledge<br />Locus of memory shifts from individual minds to the collective<br />This externalization is having an effect on brains<br />They differ in their evaluation of this process<br />
    26. 26. Neuroplasticity<br />
    27. 27. Maryanne Wolf<br />“We were never born to read”<br />Reading is a relatively recent cultural invention, on the order of 5000 years old.<br />The brain appears to learn to read by borrowing networks that evolved for other purposes. Visual object-processing systems [designed for other purposes] are called on to link the lines and squiggles of the letters in front of you right now to the phonological aspects of spoken language. <br />Our brains evolved for aural–oral language but not for extracting meaning from print.<br />Our aural–oral language networks interact with these visual processing networks to instantiate skilled reading. Our executive function networks interact with language and visual processing networks to facilitate the transition to automatic reading. Only when reading becomes automatic does reader have time to fully process the information in the text.<br />From a review of Proust and the Squid by Bradley Schlaggar, N Engl J Med 2008; 358:538-539January 31, 2008<br /><br />
    28. 28.
    29. 29. Is all “rewiring” equal?<br />
    30. 30. Externalization<br />
    31. 31. Internal vs External Memory<br />
    32. 32. What kind of knowledge does each system produce?<br />
    33. 33. What new forms of narratives (selves) shall we create?<br />Can we learn from Vertov, Borges, and Picasso?<br />