Article: "Is Google Making Us Stoopid?" from The Atlantic.com

15 Jul 2008 - 12:19pm
6 years ago
17 replies
2239 reads
Gloria Petron
2007

Interesting food for thought.
Best,
Gloria

Comments

15 Jul 2008 - 12:30pm
Shaun Bergmann
2007

There's something humorous hidden here. Either in the fact that there was
no link attached, or in how easy it was to google the referenced article.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 11:19 AM, Gloria Petron <gpetron at gmail.com> wrote:

> Interesting food for thought.
> Best,
> Gloria
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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15 Jul 2008 - 12:47pm
Gloria Petron
2007

LOL - sorry about that. :-)

15 Jul 2008 - 1:06pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

The factual intelligence benefits from briefness -- most ideas can be
expressed in few sentences (see Strunk, for example).

The emotional intelligence (as well as closely related BS) is not going to
be influenced by the efficiency of Google.

Incidentally, I found the article too wordy for the ideas it described, but
emotionally satisfying (just like I found 'War and Peace' too wordy, when I
have read it long time ago).

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 1:30 PM, Shaun Bergmann <shaunbergmann at gmail.com>
wrote:

> There's something humorous hidden here. Either in the fact that there was
> no link attached, or in how easy it was to google the referenced article.
> http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 11:19 AM, Gloria Petron <gpetron at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Interesting food for thought.
> > Best,
> > Gloria
>

15 Jul 2008 - 1:16pm
Christine Boese
2006

LOL! I thought it was on purpose, to reinforce the point of the article!

Chris

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 2:47 PM, Gloria Petron <gpetron at gmail.com> wrote:

> LOL - sorry about that. :-)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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>

15 Jul 2008 - 2:29pm
Kelly Baker
2008

Regardless of the article's inappropriate title, the author seems to
be missing the nature of how most people read on the internet. IMO,
skimming the internet is much more akin to reading a newspaper than
reading a novel, or an article in a journal - we scan the headlines
looking for something that peaks our interest, and if we find
something, we continue to read. The rest is discarded. It feels like
the author is looking at the issue kind of backwards. Instead of a
short attention span, this method seems to be an efficient way of
sorting through tons of material.

I'll agree that this article is way too long. It easily could have
been edited to one quarter of the length without losing any actual
content. I'm guessing that was on purpose!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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15 Jul 2008 - 4:38pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

> I'll agree that this article is way too long. It easily could have
> been edited to one quarter of the length without losing any actual
> content. I'm guessing that was on purpose!

Short articles typically aim at PROVIDING INFORMATION; long articles
often try to MAKE THE READER THINK. Atlantic is well-known for it's
thought-provoking publications. If the article didn't deliver the
thinking part, there is a slight chance that the author is right :-)

Lada

16 Jul 2008 - 9:16am
Jeremy White
2008

Maybe the author and her friends are just getting old and senile.
;-)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Jul 2008 - 11:24am
Benjamin Ho
2007

I just read the article - albeit all online, I did have to
concentrate. ;) It's actually pretty well done and not that wordy -
reading something from Bucky Fuller is more wordy.

Instead of the catchy title naming Google, the author should have
called it, "Is the Internet making us stupid?"

I find it's an interesting discussion about how our brains are being
repurposed by the type of media being read and mechanics used to
create the medium. It seems like there's some light research done
to it - if it were any heavier, it wouldn't be readable and make my
mind check-out.

The premise seems to be based around the idea of "chunking" which
is familiar to us in usability. Chunking also means scanning instead
of reading. And for the Industrial Revolution, the idea of chunking
means systems can be built into something manageable and in
sequences.

As for Google's ambitions, I don't there could ever come to a point
where there will be a perfect search engine. While Google is quite
good, it still takes quite a bit of work to do a proper search,
especially when new content is being formed all the time and if
you're looking for something particularly obscure and new, it will
indeed take longer to find it.

I think the human mind is faster than the Internet. Humans created
it - not the other way around.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Jul 2008 - 1:27pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 12:24 PM, Benjamin Ho <benoh2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I think the human mind is faster than the Internet. Humans created
> it - not the other way around.

This reasoning contradicts both theory (systems), and facts (you do use
Google to find that site you saw a few weeks ago, don't you?), therefore it
is most probably false.

> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is design of time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>

16 Jul 2008 - 2:13pm
Benjamin Ho
2007

Oleh,

Think of it this way - it's the human doing the searching, not the
Internet. ;)

Search results are only as good as what's pertinent to the human.
The Internet can give you poor results, especially if the algorithm
isn't correct. It's the human mind that becomes adaptive and
thinks faster to modify certain keywords to perform the search.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Jul 2008 - 1:42pm
Jeff Parks
2008

My two thoughts on the article...
http://www.iaconsultants.ca/index.php/2008/07/07/is-google-making-us-stoopid/

Cheers!
Jeff

Oleh Kovalchuke wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 12:24 PM, Benjamin Ho <benoh2 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>> I think the human mind is faster than the Internet. Humans created
>> it - not the other way around.
>>
>
>
> This reasoning contradicts both theory (systems), and facts (you do use
> Google to find that site you saw a few weeks ago, don't you?), therefore it
> is most probably false.
>
>
>
>> --
>> Oleh Kovalchuke
>> Interaction Design is design of time
>> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>

16 Jul 2008 - 1:46pm
Jeff Parks
2008

"two cents", not "two thoughts"... perhaps Google is impacting my
ability to type? :-)

Jeff Parks wrote:
> My two thoughts on the article...
> http://www.iaconsultants.ca/index.php/2008/07/07/is-google-making-us-stoopid/
>
>
> Cheers!
> Jeff
>
> Oleh Kovalchuke wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 12:24 PM, Benjamin Ho <benoh2 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> I think the human mind is faster than the Internet. Humans created
>>> it - not the other way around.
>>>
>>
>>
>> This reasoning contradicts both theory (systems), and facts (you do use
>> Google to find that site you saw a few weeks ago, don't you?),
>> therefore it
>> is most probably false.
>>
>>
>>
>>> --
>>> Oleh Kovalchuke
>>> Interaction Design is design of time
>>> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>>>
>>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>>
>
>

17 Jul 2008 - 10:18pm
jet
2008

Benjamin Ho wrote:

> Instead of the catchy title naming Google, the author should have
> called it, "Is the Internet making us stupid?"

I've been taking some classes at CMU with people half my age. It's
amazing how few of them are familiar with the research tools I grew up
on, say, the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature.

We did some research projects on clothing in one class, and out of ~20
of us, there were only 3-4 of us pulling history/art books off the shelf
in the library, scanning images on the massive (and free!) scanner, then
putting them into our projects. Pretty much everyone else had the same
stock images from "teh interwebs".

Looking at the results, I'm not sure if it's much different from people
copying each other's work in the 80s instead of doing library research.
Maybe the Internet doesn't make it easier to do research, it just makes
it easier to copy off of someone else's research?

--
jet / KG6ZVQ
http://www.flatline.net
pgp: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

21 Jul 2008 - 7:37am
Valeska OLeary
2008

Benjamin Ho wrote:

> Instead of the catchy title naming Google, the author should have
> called it, "Is the Internet making us stupid?"

If we are how we read, what is the internet doing to our brains? Along these lines and extending the conversation, I came across a couple of interesting blogs about online reading experience and how to write effectively for the web.

http://www.slate.com/id/2193552/
http://www.internetnews.com/webcontent/article.php/3754506

~valeska o'leary

________________________________________________________________
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21 Jul 2008 - 6:56pm
Gloria Petron
2007

I should probably point out that I read this article in the print magazine.
I was in an airport and I had to choose something quickly. It was either *The
Atlantic* or *Monster Trucks.
*
I found the article interesting and relevant to our industry, which is why I
thought I'd share it.

-G

27 Jul 2008 - 7:09am
SemanticWill
2007

As if we thought this little horse had been adequately flogged, the NY
Times this morning has an article titled, "Literacy Debate: Online, R
U Really Reading?" http://tinyurl.com/66wp8t

"As teenagers%u2019 scores on standardized reading tests have
declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the
Internet are the enemy of reading %u2014 diminishing literacy,
wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture
that exists only through the reading of books."

And goes further with, "At least since the invention of television,
critics have warned that electronic media would destroy reading. What
is different now, some literacy experts say, is that spending time on
the Web, whether it is looking up something on Google or even
britneyspears.org, entails some engagement with text."

Which I think comes back to the point Christine Boese made,
referencing Marshal McCluhan. The new engagement does involve reading
and interaction with text, but as opposed to interaction with a
linear, broadcast, sovereign posture of a tree-book, the new
interaction is marked by tribal conversations within a shared
memespace, simultaneously engaging in dialogue while building
Burrough's like cut-n-paste collages of meaning.

Again - the article is here: http://tinyurl.com/66wp8t

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Jul 2008 - 1:59am
AJ Kock
2007

Ironically that this intelligent debate started on the Internet.

Information on the Internet is beyond what traditional means used to
offer. Traditional reading methods is inadequate for the amount of
information that needs to be assimilated. Instead of complaining that
we don't read like we used to, how about providing methods that people
can use to sensibly move through large amount of data, because reading
word for word aren't one of them.

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