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Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
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kalakagatha
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kalakagatha,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2013 | 9:35:11 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
In Caesar's account of his campaigns in Gaul, there is a brief anthropological digression into the culture, and specifically the Druidic religion, of the Celtic tribes. For reasons, I'll get into in a moment, this is really the only literary source we have for the Druids. Among the many things Caesar describes, one thing is particularly relevant relevant to this discussion: the Druids consciously rejected literacy. Why? Because they felt that it ruined the memory. If you can just write stuff down, what incentive do you have to train your mind to retain knowledge and keep it readily accessible? Now as it turns out, this strategy has some downsides, namely once your mind is gone, i.e. you die, everything contained within it is gone as well, hence the fact that we know very very little about the Druids aside from what Caesar, who is hardly an impartial source, and some scattered archaeological evidence tell us. On the other hand, the Druids may well have been on to something, since from all accounts, the bards of the Homeric tradition, who, although from a different culture, were also operating without the benefit of literacy. The result? Homeric bards were able to perform poems nearly 16,000 lines in length, from memory (not all at once of course!). That's a LOT of knowledge to have in one's head, and utterly unthinkable in an age of Google and Wikipedia, in which we've outsourced knowledge to our machines. This isn't necessarily bad -- wikipedia doesn't forget while we do -- but it does suggest that we are losing SOMETHING, perhaps even something very important, in the process.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
5/1/2013 | 6:41:26 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
I think I understand where you are coming from, but those are poor examples. Being good at keywords is hardly a critical thinking skill and the automated car will take little to no thinking skills at all.
However, to your point, forum and article discussions could be a way to practice and hone your critical thinking skills.
Chuck005
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Chuck005,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2013 | 2:49:38 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
I entered "is Google bad for your brain" into Google. It said no. End of discussion.

Kidding, of course. :-) Great article, very thought provoking.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
4/30/2013 | 11:28:34 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
Great commentary by Tom Claburn.
The navies of the world still put their midshipman on sail boats to give them a dose of reality, the power of the wind and sea, as opposed to the power of steel propellers and diesel engines. On some larger scale, we need to keep our youth anchored to the real world and not let them slip into an artificial, digital envelope from which they peer out on the world with fear and loathing. I'm not sure we know how to do this yet. Our love of consumer technology will make the sheltering envelope ubiquitous. It both contains elements of reality and competes with it. That is, it poses a new, alternative reality that may overwhelm some needed elements of the physical world. Understanding human relationships and face to face, human reactions on the street can't be learned on Facebook. Five years from now, will 14-year-olds know how to tell which direction they're facing, or will they need Google Maps? Charlie Babcock, senior writer, InformationWeek
slave2liberty
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slave2liberty,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2013 | 4:52:35 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
Is spinach bad for your health? Sure, if you over indulge. But hey, I'm no genius so I'll just wait for Google to answer this question for me.
Dw@ll
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Dw@ll,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2013 | 3:49:30 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
Great post.. Got me thinking!! Thanks
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2013 | 12:46:07 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
I agree with the questions raised by this author and also by those who left comments, but I think there are ways for technology like Google and automated cars to coexist with critical thinking.

Surely one does need to think carefully about the phrases and keywords he or she needs to enter into Google to get the appropriate results and even more, one needs to weed through results to find valid and reputable sources to obtain knowledge. While simple, it is still an exercise for the brain. One will need to learn how to use the technology of the automated car and will need to constantly keep up with other changing technologies. I think if anything, our brains are learning differently and retaining different types of knowledge than that of the past.
elcaab
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elcaab,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2013 | 6:33:23 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
Pay phones are of even less use, since most of the ones in public places have been taken out of service.
pmug
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pmug,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2013 | 6:11:21 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
The only number I know is my cell number and 911. I have to look in my phone for all friends and family, my home phone, and fax numbers. If my phone dies I have to wait till I have access to an online source to check my gmail contacts, to retrieve this data.
David Goessling
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David Goessling,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2013 | 6:10:03 PM
re: Is Google Bad For Your Brain?
You can't Google playing the guitar. I can look up how to hold the pick, or what a scale is or how to play a D6/9 chord, but that doesn't help me in the moment in "meat space". Actions like this will always take practice and a different kind of intelligence, knowledge and learning.
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