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Re: Google Making Us Stupid

February 4, 2013

I find it curious that the author of this article so easily claims that the internet’s collective users have the attention spans of goldfish while writing such a long article. Did he actually want people to read it? Are those of us who did read the entire article supposed to think of ourselves as outliers positioned to comment on this “problem”? Regardless of the author’s intention, I read the article. Thoroughly. I read a similar article some time ago. It concerned a similar effect as this author describes with Google regarding family members. As I recall the article detailed how a person with a large families would not remember pieces of information that at least one other family member knew. Assuming my memory has not failed me, much like Google has in my search for this article, this concept demonstrates an early form of networking.

Our minds strive to be efficient both consciously and subconsciously. As dementia and other such age related neurological problems indicate, the brain atrophies over time. If we do not actively think, then we lessen or lose our ability to do so. So it could be expected for people to lessen the burden of their own memories by sharing seldomly used bits of knowledge with accessible relatives to safely allow themselves to forget it. In this sense Google only serves to expand the family-information networking niche that is ingrained in our DNA. Perhaps our supposedly shortened attention spans are the result of this shifting niche as well, since instead of memorizing pieces of information it has become more efficient for our minds to archive their locations.

There is nothing particularly beneficial in being limited to a human mind. Any step closer to putting a chip in my head that connects it to the internet is a step in the right direction.

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