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Is Google making us stupid?

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posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:13 PM
I think the point is being lost here. There is no question that Google has the capability to make you smarter. What I want to know is whether or not using the internet in general over a sustained period of time affects your brain mechanisms involving thought and concentration.

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:15 PM
So I have read this thread to see the coralation of GOOGLE and how it effects our brain but nobody is talking about GOOGLE............they are talking about internet use.
Since when has the word GOOGLE stepped up to become a verb meaning 'use the internet?'
To me using GOOGLE means I am using a SPECIFIC search engine that is widely known and often seek out certain bits of information.

I am wondering WHAT this specific search engine has to do with anybodys lack of reading or ongoing battle with ADD.

I do not get the title of this thread
as noone is discussing what the title of the thread is implying.......
I dont get it.

What I DO that the EMP coming out of the computer certainly COULD be effecting how our brain works. Just like the enregies emmited from the TV set.........
LOTS of talk about cell phones frying your brain and proof behind that....can you imagine just how TERRIBLE WIFI may end up being?
Maybe 100 years from now people will be shocked at how we all sat at a computer for hours without wearing some kind of protective suit, along the lines of a space suit to protect us from all the harmful radiations emmitted by this tech.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:31 PM
The absolute Worst thing about Google can be summed up in two words.

Subjective Information.

It does not yet have the broad spectrum that books have. It catalogs alot of sites that have excerpts, poor references, and whole lot of opinion. If its not completely false at times, its out of context and subject to mass myth. This runs the whole gamut of history, science, politics, people, news, infinity and beyond.

Yeah I can tell people how to spell something, look up a definition, get a stock report, and check the weather but I still can't tell you if Barack Obama for sure practiced Islam as a child, why exactly NASA likes to color Mars' sky pink, or if Global warming is hype or crap. There's lots of conjecture.

Which brings me back to my point of subjective information.

So I don't know if its making us stupid, but it is causing people to lack individual opinions and ideas. I think a good term would be Drones.

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:39 PM
OOOOOOOO good answer MikeBoyd!! a shiny star for you!!
That was well spoken and smart.

Your right that if everybody relys on what GOOGLE says then we are stuck with whatever limited answer google spills out and there COULD be many many more they just don't have on they're list.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:53 PM
I have often thought that the internet has me all over the place at times.

I believe it has all the makings of a disorganised form of mind control with many countries being connected to it and how frustrated some people can get if they lose their connection for even a minute.

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:09 PM
reply to post by MikeboydUS

This goes both ways, the internet is allowing people to realise just how many falacies are present in written media, just how much of our books are full of it too.

The way I see it we're going through a gnostic crysis, where we realise that we don't really know what we thought we knew. The Internet does two things, it shows us this, because statistically some of what you're getting has to be true and it contradicts the official accepted paradigms in so many areas something just can't be right, and it gives us the global communication and distribution tool to set things straight and build a worldview that actually views the world.

We have been deeducated by traditional methods, now we are suddenly set loose on a whole world of knowledge. If we, as a species, can stay grounded, well, to use a cliche: The truth is out there.

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:22 PM
reply to post by Yossarian

I havn't seen this myself, i still read an awful lot. I have noticed one thing though, i read a lot more online books now then i used to. I'm now building up quite a library of pdf books, it takes up less space. Books however will always havea special place i think, nothing like physically turning pages.

I think maybe some people have just become lazy, it's not because of the internet it's because they were already lazy but didn't have a way of being lazy.

posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:40 PM
reply to post by Yossarian

I think you have asked a legitimate and very worthwhile question.

I certainly don't think it has made us more "intelligent", as somebody said - unless you equate readily available information with "intelligence". (Which would amount to equating someone's calculator-using skills with improved personal computing skills.)

The problem is... the information on the internet is often predigested - even more so than in books - and very very often FAR from reliable.
(Wikipedia is a notorious example: I see that many people, even schools, actually cite it as a reliable and more or less "complete" source.
Well... it isn't. Not by a long shot!)

Don't get me wrong: the internet (and, by association, Google) is my favourite invention of all times. I can't praise it enough.
But the sad fact is that it is yet to live up to its potential.
And knowing the human psyche... it may never do so.
(See what happened to television?)

I'll end this on a lighter (?!) note: I have actually found myself mentally looking for hyperlinks to click on when reading a book - ALL THE TIME!

Only those who know me personally would know how ominous a symptom that really is...

[edit on 14-6-2008 by Vanitas]

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 01:23 AM
when people say web information isn't reliable, THEY'RE RIGHT, imo.

check out an encyclopedia from the 1950's sometime. TONS of stuff that is COMPLETELY WRONG being published as hard fact.
except, there was no competing source of counter-information to round things out, and allow the user to come to her/his own conclusion using their own critical thinking skills.
go back even further, and you have the original "PROPAGANDA", a word (and idea) originally created in the hallowed halls of the vatican.

the television reduced our ability to concentrate on one thing for an extended period, and the internet reduces it even further. however, we MAY have an 'advantage' over the students of 1950's book learning, or 1970's television learning in that now, we can have a better bird's eye view of the whole cognizance patterning of input media/mind.

the very fact that this article from the OP exists says that we are more aware of the effects of media on our outlook than the people from the 20th century were, and PROVES to me that we are not going to get 'less intelligent' and that we will just use our brains differently.

the human mind can do WAY MORE than a computer, now, but it is WAYYYY slower(what's the square root of 132498.7977251? to a computer, it is not harder to answer than the square root of 4). so, these speey idiot savante slaves that we are INTEGRATING with, are affecting the way we think. it is not a matter of 'stupid'. it is a matter of order of operations, and what is relevant to keep in your head.

i could say, using the same logic as the OP, that books made us stupid a long, long time ago.

read mcluhan. the extensions of man are extensions of his senses.

man builds tool to extend sense. (say, a gun, to extend touch)
and, consequently, man is shaped by his extended sense. (for guns, increased POWER, and a necessity to equal the POWER of other users of the new POWER, hence, escalation of security/insecurity, as one example)

my address book(the physical one) caused me to stop remembering people's phone numbers. it didn't make me more stupid, it just relieved my brain from the task of holding tens of sequences of seven numbers.
it did make me less independent, though.

we are addicted to machines, because we are already a cyborg organism.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by billybob]

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 08:22 AM

Originally posted by theRiverGoddess

Since when has the word GOOGLE stepped up to become a verb meaning 'use the internet?'
To me using GOOGLE means I am using a SPECIFIC search engine that is widely known and often seek out certain bits of information.

I am wondering WHAT this specific search engine has to do with anybodys lack of reading or ongoing battle with ADD.

I do not get the title of this thread
as noone is discussing what the title of the thread is implying.......
I dont get it.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by theRiverGoddess]

The title of the thread comes directly from the article I linked to in my first post. The use of Google in the question, in my opinion, is because it is a symbolic starting point for a session of internet use. The author is not talking specifically about but the internet in general. Everything that radiates from that point....

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 09:23 AM
reply to post by Yossarian

O.K. I think whats happening here is that people are becoming to demanding for 'convienience'. With a book you have to get up and find it, open it up to the page you want, perhaps turn on a light. With the internet it's all right there for you. You can sit on your tush and find what you want in seconds, all with no physical labor to you. Thus, things which require any more than three seconds to acomplish cause you to lose attention.

Try medditation. It will cleans your mind of tension.

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 11:24 AM
What about future generations? Will they ever know what it's like to sit and read a book to educate themselves? We already know that people "eduate" themselves in college using Wikipedia and things they find online. Will books be considered a legitimate form of education in the future?

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 11:51 AM
While I was reading this thread, the first thing that popped into my mind was Cliff Notes. It's really not that far fetched a notion if you think about it. Why go to the library and check out an indepth book on a subject, when you can go online, and get a condensed crash course.

Personally, I'm pretty old-school when it comes to literature. I find it to be a simple and indulgent experience. I've never considered reading a book to be a chore, so I'm fairly disciplined when it comes to finishing one cover to cover.

However, I am finding that I'm reading fewer books than I used to. Perhaps, this is the result of increased online use.

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 11:58 AM
reply to post by maria_stardust

Well if you had increased online use that takes up time, that time would have been used to read books in the past. So it's not us becoming stupid just having the same amount of time spread about.

I'll never give up the old fashioned book, although i read a lot online and although i have a .pdf library, i like my old fashioned book. The great thing abot it is that unless my house burns down it'll survive and be there all the time, you never know when a computer might fail and leave you bookless. Books have a certain quality about them, the smell, the feel, it's all important and i've often found that information from a book tends to sink in more than information from an internet page.

I think it's to do with the tactile nature of books that our brains have learnt to associate with learning.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by ImaginaryReality1984]

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 12:16 PM
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

I must admit that I do lose a few brain cells after reading certain threads and posts on ATS! (Not this one, mind you!)

I think that people have grown soft when it comes to the subject of indepth reading. It doesn't matter if it's a sci-fi book or medical journal. I think some people who may have once been avid book readers, are now accustomed to reading small snippets of information online.

Indepth reading is the key issue here.

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 12:20 PM
I'm going to point out one thing [Infoseek use to work better than Google remember the relevance meter, ever wonder with G doesn't have one. They pump you with what they want you to see. I've not determined the method other than sheer profit driven. I've not been able to get any search to stick to the relevant issue since Go(ABC) to over Infoseek.

"Google is a Tabloid"

posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 12:25 PM
Well it is probably doing both, making us stupid, yet making us more aware of the information that is out there.

On the first hand, yes, Google, and other search engine websties and other pages that offer rapid information finding may reduce the time needed to get the information necessary.

Yet, it is a part of our evolution that we have invented a way to get lightning fast access to information. In fact, the lightning fast access to information will allow us to read less, but know more. That it efficiency, therefore evolution of the way that we get information. Also, of course, there is the benefit of using less time to get the info; but we cannot let our minds drift from reading. The internet is a great information spreading device, but that does not mean that we may stop reading when we feel that it is no longer necessary. It is necessary in the fact that books are great insights for philosophy that can't be explained in a few words. Also, they give a more in depth look into the past.

It is important that we have fast access to information, but keep our palette suitable for long reads.

EDIT: Better sentence structure

[edit on 15-6-2008 by TechnoFan21]

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 06:15 PM
I'm noticing that one of the reasons I can't finish articles or books is because I read something and then immediately want to know more about it. For example, I was reading an article in Time magazine today about the troops being prescribed drugs for depression, there was a mention of unmanned drones in the article and immediately I decided I wanted to read more about that instead so I put the magazine down and logged on. I really don't like this habit I've picked up and I'm not sure how to stop it.

posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 01:06 PM
reply to post by Yossarian

If the person in question can engage in critical thinking (and essentially put anything they read online through a sanity filter), then Google is a great tool. If, though, the person believes anything they read without any evidence (chemtrails, chi, UFOs, ghosts, demons, David Icke), then they are likely to fill their heads with nonsense.

Of course that would happen without Google, it would just take a lot longer.

posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 01:36 PM
Google is just a popularity contest of Keywords.... thats all.
its a tool,

Tools are normaly used to eliminate some form of manual aspect about it, thats why they come about into being, just like a bed or a ar an how some use their cars to check the mail rather then walk to the mailbox, or eat dinner an watch tv in bed rather a living room,

Its all about HOW you use these tools thats going to be the factor of how you are effect by that tool.

Just how cars changed the way the world works so has google an the internet, but google really meaning Any search engine thats the most popular, seein how most things in this world is a popularity context....

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