Is google making us stupid?

In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Nicholas Carr expounds on the effect the internet has on our brains.  He begins by quoting a scene from a movie in which a “supercomputer” is begging a human to stop disconnecting the memory circuits.  He then goes on to explain that the same thing that is happening to the artificial intelligence is happening to everyone today.  He explains that he has found a correlation between the amount of time he spends on the internet and the amount of time he can focus and intently read a longer work.  There are also many other examples and articles by people explaining the had this same experience.  Carr goes on to prove that the way we read is being morphed by the internet.  The internet is causing us to want more efficient and expedient information which is causing us to become impatient when any reading is less than expedient. This results in less interpretation and deep thought.  Carr then expounds on an example proving that the brain is infinitely changing and the technologies we introduce into life are in fact changing society and more importantly our minds.  He demonstrates this by including Joseph Weizenbaum’s analysis on the impact clocks have had on the way our minds process.  Lastly, he explains the method by Fredrick Taylor that has catapulted this technological boom and need for faster and more efficient processing.  All in all this leads to the ultimate goal of creation of an artificial intelligence that is smarter than our own brains.  Although Carr creates a compelling argument, he concludes by encouraging the readers to  be skeptical about the skepticism.  Although there is great concern for all the technological advancements, there is possible good in it as well.

For me this article was very eye opening.  It made me think deeply and get concerned about the direction our society is going.  Not only did it point out themes in society during this time but it also got me thinking about my own habits and tendencies as I was reading the article itself.  For example although I found it extremely interesting and I wanted to read more, I found myself getting distracted at my various surroundings or technology quite often.  Even when I was aware I was doing it my mind just couldn’t stay focused on the page when there was something more immediately exciting going on around me.  It also made me think about the trend I have noticed in personalities as I have aged.  When I was younger, my peers were very open to socializing, talking about deeper issues, or just engaging with each other.  Now when I am in class I look around and all I see are heads down, looking at the newest most exciting news instead of forming deeper connections.  It makes me wonder if this trend can truly get any worse.  As history has proven it most likely will which makes me deeply concerned for the future of our society.  I am almost compelled to agree with Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s statement that if we had an “artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off”.  At least in that situation we would retain more important issues and facts other than which celebrity just divorced who.  Then again, who am I to talk.  I just checked my instagram again.


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