Is Google Making Us Stupid? (2023)

Technology

What the Internet is doing to our brains

By Nicholas Carr
Is Google Making Us Stupid? (1)

(Video) Is Google Making Us Stupid?

"Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?” So the supercomputer HAL pleads with the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial “ brain. “Dave, my mind is going,” HAL says, forlornly. “I can feel it. I can feel it.”

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets—reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link. (Unlike footnotes, to which they’re sometimes likened, hyperlinks don’t merely point to related works; they propel you toward them.)

For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded. “The perfect recall of silicon memory,” Wired’s Clive Thompson has written, “can be an enormous boon to thinking.” But that boon comes at a price. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”

Anecdotes alone don’t prove much. And we still await the long-term neurological and psychological experiments that will provide a definitive picture of how Internet use affects cognition. But a recently published study of online research habits, conducted by scholars from University College London, suggests that we may well be in the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think. As part of the five-year research program, the scholars examined computer logs documenting the behavior of visitors to two popular research sites, one operated by the British Library and one by a U.K. educational consortium, that provide access to journal articles, e-books, and other sources of written information. They found that people using the sites exhibited “a form of skimming activity,” hopping from one source to another and rarely returning to any source they’d already visited. They typically read no more than one or two pages of an article or book before they would “bounce” out to another site. Sometimes they’d save a long article, but there’s no evidence that they ever went back and actually read it. The authors of the study report:

It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.

Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self. “We are not only what we read,” says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. “We are how we read.” Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace. When we read online, she says, we tend to become “mere decoders of information.” Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.

Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. It’s not etched into our genes the way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Experiments demonstrate that readers of ideograms, such as the Chinese, develop a mental circuitry for reading that is very different from the circuitry found in those of us whose written language employs an alphabet. The variations extend across many regions of the brain, including those that govern such essential cognitive functions as memory and the interpretation of visual and auditory stimuli. We can expect as well that the circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works.

Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page.

(Video) Is Google Making Us Stupid? By Nicholas Carr

But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”

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“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler , Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”

The human brain is almost infinitely malleable. People used to think that our mental meshwork, the dense connections formed among the 100 billion or so neurons inside our skulls, was largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. But brain researchers have discovered that that’s not the case. James Olds, a professor of neuroscience who directs the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, says that even the adult mind “is very plastic.” Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. “The brain,” according to Olds, “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.”

(Video) Is Google Making Us Stupid? by Nicholas Carr Summary and Analysis

As we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our “intellectual technologies”—the tools that extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies. The mechanical clock, which came into common use in the 14th century, provides a compelling example. In Technics and Civilization, the historian and cultural critic Lewis Mumford described how the clock “disassociated time from human events and helped create the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences.” The “abstract framework of divided time” became “the point of reference for both action and thought.”

The clock’s methodical ticking helped bring into being the scientific mind and the scientific man. But it also took something away. As the late MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum observed in his 1976 book, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, the conception of the world that emerged from the widespread use of timekeeping instruments “remains an impoverished version of the older one, for it rests on a rejection of those direct experiences that formed the basis for, and indeed constituted, the old reality.” In deciding when to eat, to work, to sleep, to rise, we stopped listening to our senses and started obeying the clock.

The process of adapting to new intellectual technologies is reflected in the changing metaphors we use to explain ourselves to ourselves. When the mechanical clock arrived, people began thinking of their brains as operating “like clockwork.” Today, in the age of software, we have come to think of them as operating “like computers.” But the changes, neuroscience tells us, go much deeper than metaphor. Thanks to our brain’s plasticity, the adaptation occurs also at a biological level.

The Internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition. In a paper published in 1936, the British mathematician Alan Turing proved that a digital computer, which at the time existed only as a theoretical machine, could be programmed to perform the function of any other information-processing device. And that’s what we’re seeing today. The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV.

When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image. It injects the medium’s content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.

The Net’s influence doesn’t end at the edges of a computer screen, either. As people’s minds become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience’s new expectations. Television programs add text crawls and pop-up ads, and magazines and newspapers shorten their articles, introduce capsule summaries, and crowd their pages with easy-to-browse info-snippets. When, in March of this year, TheNew York Times decided to devote the second and third pages of every edition to article abstracts , its design director, Tom Bodkin, explained that the “shortcuts” would give harried readers a quick “taste” of the day’s news, sparing them the “less efficient” method of actually turning the pages and reading the articles. Old media have little choice but to play by the new-media rules.

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the Internet does today. Yet, for all that’s been written about the Net, there’s been little consideration of how, exactly, it’s reprogramming us. The Net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure.

About the same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant’s machinists. With the approval of Midvale’s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an “algorithm,” we might say today—for how each worker should work. Midvale’s employees grumbled about the strict new regime, claiming that it turned them into little more than automatons, but the factory’s productivity soared.

More than a hundred years after the invention of the steam engine, the Industrial Revolution had at last found its philosophy and its philosopher. Taylor’s tight industrial choreography—his “system,” as he liked to call it—was embraced by manufacturers throughout the country and, in time, around the world. Seeking maximum speed, maximum efficiency, and maximum output, factory owners used time-and-motion studies to organize their work and configure the jobs of their workers. The goal, as Taylor defined it in his celebrated 1911 treatise, The Principles of Scientific Management, was to identify and adopt, for every job, the “one best method” of work and thereby to effect “the gradual substitution of science for rule of thumb throughout the mechanic arts.” Once his system was applied to all acts of manual labor, Taylor assured his followers, it would bring about a restructuring not only of industry but of society, creating a utopia of perfect efficiency. “In the past the man has been first,” he declared; “in the future the system must be first.”

Taylor’s system is still very much with us; it remains the ethic of industrial manufacturing. And now, thanks to the growing power that computer engineers and software coders wield over our intellectual lives, Taylor’s ethic is beginning to govern the realm of the mind as well. The Internet is a machine designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information, and its legions of programmers are intent on finding the “one best method”—the perfect algorithm—to carry out every mental movement of what we’ve come to describe as “knowledge work.”

Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, California—the Googleplex—is the Internet’s high church, and the religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism. Google, says its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, is “a company that’s founded around the science of measurement,” and it is striving to “systematize everything” it does. Drawing on the terabytes of behavioral data it collects through its search engine and other sites, it carries out thousands of experiments a day, according to the Harvard Business Review, and it uses the results to refine the algorithms that increasingly control how people find information and extract meaning from it. What Taylor did for the work of the hand, Google is doing for the work of the mind.

(Video) Nicholas Carr: Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?

The company has declared that its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It seeks to develop “the perfect search engine,” which it defines as something that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” In Google’s view, information is a kind of commodity, a utilitarian resource that can be mined and processed with industrial efficiency. The more pieces of information we can “access” and the faster we can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.

Where does it end? Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the gifted young men who founded Google while pursuing doctoral degrees in computer science at Stanford, speak frequently of their desire to turn their search engine into an artificial intelligence, a HAL-like machine that might be connected directly to our brains. “The ultimate search engine is something as smart as people—or smarter,” Page said in a speech a few years back. “For us, working on search is a way to work on artificial intelligence.” In a 2004 interview with Newsweek, Brin said, “Certainly if you had all the world’s information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off.” Last year, Page told a convention of scientists that Google is “really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale.”

Such an ambition is a natural one, even an admirable one, for a pair of math whizzes with vast quantities of cash at their disposal and a small army of computer scientists in their employ. A fundamentally scientific enterprise, Google is motivated by a desire to use technology, in Eric Schmidt’s words, “to solve problems that have never been solved before,” and artificial intelligence is the hardest problem out there. Why wouldn’t Brin and Page want to be the ones to crack it?

Still, their easy assumption that we’d all “be better off” if our brains were supplemented, or even replaced, by an artificial intelligence is unsettling. It suggests a belief that intelligence is the output of a mechanical process, a series of discrete steps that can be isolated, measured, and optimized. In Google’s world, the world we enter when we go online, there’s little place for the fuzziness of contemplation. Ambiguity is not an opening for insight but a bug to be fixed. The human brain is just an outdated computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive.

The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

Maybe I’m just a worrywart. Just as there’s a tendency to glorify technological progress, there’s a countertendency to expect the worst of every new tool or machine. In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the dialogue’s characters, “cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.” And because they would be able to “receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,” they would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.” They would be “filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.” Socrates wasn’t wrong—the new technology did often have the effects he feared—but he was shortsighted. He couldn’t foresee the many ways that writing and reading would serve to spread information, spur fresh ideas, and expand human knowledge (if not wisdom).

The arrival of Gutenberg’s printing press, in the 15th century, set off another round of teeth gnashing. The Italian humanist Hieronimo Squarciafico worried that the easy availability of books would lead to intellectual laziness, making men “less studious” and weakening their minds. Others argued that cheaply printed books and broadsheets would undermine religious authority, demean the work of scholars and scribes, and spread sedition and debauchery. As New York University professor Clay Shirky notes, “Most of the arguments made against the printing press were correct, even prescient.” But, again, the doomsayers were unable to imagine the myriad blessings that the printed word would deliver.

So, yes, you should be skeptical of my skepticism. Perhaps those who dismiss critics of the Internet as Luddites or nostalgists will be proved correct, and from our hyperactive, data-stoked minds will spring a golden age of intellectual discovery and universal wisdom. Then again, the Net isn’t the alphabet, and although it may replace the printing press, it produces something altogether different. The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author’s words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas. Deep reading, as Maryanne Wolf argues, is indistinguishable from deep thinking.

If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with “content,” we will sacrifice something important not only in our selves but in our culture. In a recent essay, the playwright Richard Foreman eloquently described what’s at stake:

I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense and “cathedral-like” structure of the highly educated and articulate personality—a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West. [But now] I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self—evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available.”

As we are drained of our “inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,” Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”

(Video) Nicholas Carr | What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

I’m haunted by that scene in 2001. What makes it so poignant, and so weird, is the computer’s emotional response to the disassembly of its mind: its despair as one circuit after another goes dark, its childlike pleading with the astronaut—“I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m afraid”—and its final reversion to what can only be called a state of innocence. HAL’s outpouring of feeling contrasts with the emotionlessness that characterizes the human figures in the film, who go about their business with an almost robotic efficiency. Their thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they’re following the steps of an algorithm. In the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.

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FAQs

Is Google making us dumb summary? ›

In his article "Is Google Making us Stupid," Nicholas Carr argues overall that Google and the Internet are causing members of Western society to lose their attention span and their ability to think deeply about long pieces of text.

Is Google Making Us Stupid conclusion? ›

In Conclusion:

However, we feel as though his word choices are a bit skewed. His arguments are based off of laziness rather than stupidity; Google makes things easier for the user, but ultimately does not make them stupider.

Why did the author suggest that Google is making us stupid? ›

Eminent tech scholar and analyst Nicholas Carr wrote a provocative cover story for the Atlantic Monthly magazine in the summer of 2008 1 with the cover line: “Is Google Making us Stupid?” He argued that the ease of online searching and distractions of browsing through the web were possibly limiting his capacity to ...

Has Google made us smarter? ›

Google and other Internet sites aren't making us stupid: They're making us smarter, according to an overwhelming majority of 895 experts surveyed by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University.

Is technology making us dumber essay? ›

We let technologies dominate us, which make us lose some of skills and abilities to be used in real world. The more technology advances, the more it seems to control our lives. The impact of technology on our social, mental, physical health can be devastating if we do not keep our self monitored or in check.

How Google controls the life of an average person? ›

Undoubtedly Google has made everyone a smarter person but also has contributed in making us lethargic. Internet has altered our mental habits for sure. Most of the people have lost their ability to read and absorb anecdotes. The deep reading which used to be seen in every other person has now become a struggle.

Does the internet make you dumber Nicholas Carr? ›

In “ Does the Internet Make You Smarter or dumber?” by Nicholas Carr, Carr argues that not only is using the internet for education not necessary but that it is also harmful. Carr's thesis says that the internet is bad because it distracts us, affects our cognitive thinking, and can have long term effects.

Why does Carr begin and end by referring to HAL from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey? ›

Carr uses this allusion to assert that he, like HAL, has had a growing feeling that “someone, or something, has been tinkering with [his] brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory” (2). He feels that his brain has changed the way it processes information and thinks.

What is the author's purpose in alluding to the film 2001 A Space Odyssey? ›

Q. What is the author's purpose in alluding to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey ? To introduce the central idea of the article.

Are people smarter before the age of technology or after? ›

It is now clear that in many aspects, people of this generation are smarter than the past generations. We have modern technology that provides us a convenient way of living and access to information. With this technology, we are given the correct understanding of nature. We become much more reasonable and creative too.

Is Google Making Us Stupid rhetorical strategies? ›

Throughout the essay, Carr is dependent on different rhetorical devices such as pathos, logos, and ethos through which he communicates his ideas and attempts to convince the reader on the validity of his thesis. He uses ethos as a way of connecting to the readers as human beings in need of help.

Do you agree with Carr's central argument why or why not? ›

Carr's argument is ineffective because of his inability to successfully provide reliable sources in order to effectively support his claim that the Internet is altering the way one thinks. Carr uses a great deal of rhetorical appeals, though they are not used in a way that connects them all together.

Who is smarter human or Google? ›

But experts agree that humans still tower over computers in general intelligence, creativity, and a common-sense knowledge or understanding of the world.

What happens when you use Google instead of your brain? ›

The Google effect, also known as digital amnesia, is the tendency to forget information that is readily available through search engines like Google. We do not commit this information to our memory because we know that this information is easy to access online.

Does the Internet make us wiser? ›

Three out of four experts said our use of the Internet enhances and augments human intelligence, and two-thirds said use of the Internet has improved reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge,” said study co-author Janna Anderson, director of the Imagining the Internet Center.

Has technology made us lazy? ›

Overall, technology has undoubtedly become a large part of everyone's lives and our society. Although it offers plenty of advantages, it comes with drawbacks such as ruining our productivity, making us insanely lazy at times, and potentially even threatening our long-term health.

Is technology making us lazy or smarter? ›

Individually, we depend more on our technologies than ever before – but we can do more than ever before. Collectively, technology has made us smarter, more capable and more productive. What technology has not done is make us wiser.

Will technology make people smarter? ›

The usage of technology can make us smarter (augmented intelligence, where we use the internet as a tool). It enables us to develop ourselves as thinkers because we can access all knowledge. We can remember anything and draw lessons from it since it provides an immortal memory.

Does Google track your activity? ›

Google tracks your search history, for example, as well as your mobile device's location, the ads you view, the videos you watch, and more. If you prefer, you can configure Google to stop tracking you — at least, for the most part — though if you do, you'll lose the benefit of all of Google's personalization features.

Does Google control the world? ›

But Google can't truly rule the world if all it does is rule the online part of it. The self-driving car is a major step forward -- controlling the underlying technology of our transportation network gives Big G control of the flow of people goods from one place to another.

What are the advantages of using Google? ›

Advantages of Using Google Search
  • Most Accurate Results. ...
  • Exceptional Filtering Options. ...
  • Use Built-In Quick Tools. ...
  • Read Free Books on Google Books. ...
  • Do Academic and Legal Research on Google Scholar. ...
  • Book Flights on Google Flights. ...
  • Go Shopping on Google Shopping. ...
  • Read News and Get Updated Financial Information.
27 Jun 2022

What is the internet doing to our brains? ›

Furthermore as Academic Earth reports, “neuroimaging of frequent internet users shows twice as much activity in the short term memory as sporadic users during online tasks. Basically, our brain is learning to disregard information found online, and this connection becomes stronger every time we experience it.”

How is the internet affecting our intelligence? ›

Since using the internet often involves our ability to multi-task between different settings—and somehow trains our brains to quickly shift focus to the stream of pop-ups, prompts, and notifications—this may, in fact, interfere with our ability to maintain focus on a particular cognitive task for extended times.

What did the monolith in 2001 represent? ›

The Monolith in the movie seems to represent and even trigger epic transitions in the history of human evolution, evolution of humans from ape-like beings to civilised people, hence the odyssey of humankind.

What does the black monolith mean in 2001? ›

The plot was simple and stark. A black monolith, shaped like a domino, appears at the moment in prehistory when human ancestors discover how to use tools, and another is later found, in the year 2001, just below the lunar surface, where it reflects signals toward Jupiter's moons.

What is the black box in 2001: A Space Odyssey? ›

Monolith

Why did HAL 9000 malfunction? ›

Chandra discovers that HAL's crisis was caused by a programming contradiction: he was constructed for "the accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment", yet his orders, directly from Dr.

What did 2001: A Space Odyssey predict? ›

Not only did 2001: A Space Odyssey accurately depict several aspects of space travel as we understand it today — the lack of sound in space, the weightlessness of a low-gravity environment, and the delay in communications from spacecraft a long way from Earth — but also predicted things like video conferencing from ...

What is the message of 2001: A Space Odyssey? ›

2001: A Space Odyssey explores technological innovation, its possibilities and its perils. Two particular dangers of technology are explored in great detail. First, Hal presents the problems that can arise when man creates machines, whose inner workings he does not fully understand.

At what age is your brain the sharpest? ›

Scientists have long known that our ability to think quickly and recall information, also known as fluid intelligence, peaks around age 20 and then begins a slow decline.

At what age does IQ become stable? ›

The average child's IQ is not stable until around four years of age. It may be much later in children who were born early or who have significant health issues.

Can IQ change with age? ›

An individual's IQ does not change with age. In other words: if you did an IQ test now and then another one in 10 years' time, your IQ score will probably be very similar. This is because IQ is always measured relative to other people your age.

What is Carr saying about the effects of smartphone use on the human mind what evidence does he provide to support his view? ›

As the brain becomes dependent on the technology, the intellect weakens. Carr sites multiple studies showing that when our phone beeps, buzzes, or rings (do they ring anymore?) our attention to the job at hand wanders, we become distracted and work becomes sloppier whether we check the phone or not.

What does Carr mean when he says the Net is becoming a universal medium? ›

Carr wrote that "For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many."

When the author refers to the line I can feel it in the first paragraph what is he claiming based on his diction & tone choose the best answer? ›

Q. When the author refers to the line "I can feel it" in the first paragraph, what is he claiming based on his diction & tone? Choose the best answer. "By highlighting "feel", Carr is demonstrating how A.I. is able to process human emotions.

What is Siri's IQ? ›

A similar study conducted in 2014 found Google's AI had an IQ of 26.6, while Baidu's had 23.5, Sogous's 22, so all three have seen double-digit improvement despite falling short of a child's intelligence. Microsoft's Bing and Xiaobing scored 31.98 and 24.48 respectively, while Apple's Siri has an IQ of just 23.94.

What is Alexa's IQ? ›

Alexa's vocabulary is exceptional. On the Vocabulary subtest of the WAIS-IV she scored better than 996 out of 1,000 American adults, corresponding to a standard score (scaled like an IQ) of 140.

Does Siri have an IQ? ›

Siri's IQ fell well below at 23.9, which was also lower than Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Bing and Baidu, at 31.98 and 32.92, respectively.

Why can't I stop Googling things? ›

Googling often comes from a place of fear.

If you're like me, then most of the time, you search for something when you have a problem or concern. In turn, your results will probably make your worry more, validating every terrifying thought in the back of your head.

What do you call a person who googles everything? ›

A pantomath is a person who wants to know or knows everything. The word itself is not to be found in common online English dictionaries, the OED, dictionaries of obscure words, or dictionaries of neologisms.

How do I stop Googling? ›

Use a distraction. Another technique to keep you from self-diagnosing is distraction. When you feel like doing some Googling distract yourself by doing something else — going for a run, calling up a friend, watching some funny videos, whatever will get you out of your head.

Are smartphones making us smarter or dumber? ›

While there are drawbacks to smartphone use, like tech neck, sore digits, and disrupted sleep patterns, Chemero says making us dumb is not one. Professor Chemero also said there are consequences to using certain types of apps.

Has Google made us smarter? ›

Google and other Internet sites aren't making us stupid: They're making us smarter, according to an overwhelming majority of 895 experts surveyed by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University.

Is technology making us less human? ›

No, Technology is not making us less human:

Using technology, people are maintaining and improving relationships with their friends, family and relatives. Many people are also connecting with each other to help the needy and to inspire each other. So, now we have better tools to build human connections.

Do you agree with Carr's central argument why or why not? ›

Carr's argument is ineffective because of his inability to successfully provide reliable sources in order to effectively support his claim that the Internet is altering the way one thinks. Carr uses a great deal of rhetorical appeals, though they are not used in a way that connects them all together.

What does Carr mean when he claims that the Internet is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation? ›

Carr uses this allusion to assert that he, like HAL, has had a growing feeling that “someone, or something, has been tinkering with [his] brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory” (2). He feels that his brain has changed the way it processes information and thinks.

What is the author's purpose in alluding to the film 2001 A Space Odyssey? ›

Q. What is the author's purpose in alluding to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey ? To introduce the central idea of the article.

Are people smarter before the age of technology or after? ›

It is now clear that in many aspects, people of this generation are smarter than the past generations. We have modern technology that provides us a convenient way of living and access to information. With this technology, we are given the correct understanding of nature. We become much more reasonable and creative too.

What does Carr suggest about the effect the Internet is having on us? ›

Carr acknowledges that prolonged, solitary thought is not the natural human state, but rather "an aberration in the great sweep of intellectual history that really just emerged with [the] technology of the printed page." The Internet, Carr laments, simply returns us to our "natural state of distractedness."

What is Carr saying about the effects of smartphone use on the human mind what evidence does he provide to support his view? ›

As the brain becomes dependent on the technology, the intellect weakens. Carr sites multiple studies showing that when our phone beeps, buzzes, or rings (do they ring anymore?) our attention to the job at hand wanders, we become distracted and work becomes sloppier whether we check the phone or not.

What does Carr mean when he says the Net is becoming a universal medium? ›

Carr wrote that "For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many."

Does the Internet make us dumb? ›

Or as Carr puts it, “The redirection of our mental resources, from reading words to making judgments, may be imperceptible – our brains are quick – but it's been shown to impede comprehension and retention, particularly when repeated frequently.” Not surprisingly, Internet usage rewires our brain.

What is the Internet doing to our brains? ›

Furthermore as Academic Earth reports, “neuroimaging of frequent internet users shows twice as much activity in the short term memory as sporadic users during online tasks. Basically, our brain is learning to disregard information found online, and this connection becomes stronger every time we experience it.”

How does the Net train our brains? ›

The Net delivers the kind of sensory and cognitive stimuli – repetitive, intensive, interactive, addictive – that have been show to result in strong and rapid alternations in brain circuits and functions.

What is the black monolith in 2001? ›

The plot was simple and stark. A black monolith, shaped like a domino, appears at the moment in prehistory when human ancestors discover how to use tools, and another is later found, in the year 2001, just below the lunar surface, where it reflects signals toward Jupiter's moons.

What did the monolith in 2001 represent? ›

The Monolith in the movie seems to represent and even trigger epic transitions in the history of human evolution, evolution of humans from ape-like beings to civilised people, hence the odyssey of humankind.

What are the monoliths in 2001? ›

In the series of novels (and the films based on these), three Monoliths are discovered in the Solar System by australopithecines and their human descendants.
...
Monolith (Space Odyssey)
Monolith
First appearance2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Created byStanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke
GenreScience fiction
In-universe information
5 more rows

At what age is your brain the sharpest? ›

Scientists have long known that our ability to think quickly and recall information, also known as fluid intelligence, peaks around age 20 and then begins a slow decline.

At what age does IQ become stable? ›

The average child's IQ is not stable until around four years of age. It may be much later in children who were born early or who have significant health issues.

Can IQ change with age? ›

An individual's IQ does not change with age. In other words: if you did an IQ test now and then another one in 10 years' time, your IQ score will probably be very similar. This is because IQ is always measured relative to other people your age.

Videos

1. Is Google Making Us Stupid - Reading and Slideshow
(Jeremiah Henry)
2. Lesson "Is Google Making us Stupid?"
(Brian Leingang)
3. Is Google Making Us Stupid by Nicholas Carr
(Sergio O. Perez)
4. Is google making us stoopid? - Video Essay by GARCIA, G.
(Greame Garcia)
5. Is Google Making Us Stupid?
(Smarter Agent)
6. Does Google Make Us Stupid?
(Patrick Reed)
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