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Is the internet making us Dumber?


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#1    Cassea

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:50 PM

I have been coming to message forums.  To try to improve my writing skills.  And critical thinking.  And I'm more than a little surprised when I realize how much we rely on "google searches" for evidence in a discussion.  It is especially egregious when you are talking to someone, who clearly had no idea what you were talking about.  You make a point.  They don't understand.  Then you back it up with a googled source.  Then the other person comes back with their own as a debate.  And you think (or I do) hang on,  you didn't even know what I was talking about a few minutes ago.  Now you want to engage in a discussion?  And the funny thing is.  They think they can?  I've also seen people want to discuss something after just reading it once or twice.  Maybe I'm stupid.  But if I wanted to discuss something with someone who was knowledgeable I would not feel adequately prepared.  

I found this article that states that "Google is Making us Dumber"

http://www.theatlant...us-stupid/6868/


And this article that is saying that "The Internet is Making us Smarter"
http://www.huffingto..._b_1225187.html


Which is it?  Sometimes I think that the diversity is making us smarter in a different way.  Then other times I think the worst part is that it makes people think they are smarter than they really are?  So confusing.

Edited by Cassea, 03 February 2012 - 07:51 PM.

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#2    Goodnite

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:54 PM

I for one know I'm getting lazy. It is just too easy for me to do a search than to have to research for the answer in a book or article. Human nature always follows the path of least resistance.

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#3    TheBoar

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:02 PM

it all depends on how you use it i spend most my time on here or watching documentaries or looking stuff up so i for one think it can make you more intelligent but also if all your doing is looking at porn and playing games its going to dumb you down a bit


#4    JGirl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:08 PM

i disagree that the internet makes people unintelligent ('dumb' is an inability to speak)
google is a great search engine and so much information can be accessed through it - nonsense as well as viable factual info.
so it comes down to, what do you google? what actual sites do you choose once you get the results? are they scientific or professional sites? are they forums like this? are they fringe?

it's not the internet. it's the people themselves.


#5    Cassea

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:21 PM

Quote

dumb  (dm)
adj. dumb·er, dumb·est
1.
a. Lacking the power of speech. Used of animals and inanimate objects.
b. Often Offensive Incapable of using speech; mute. Used of humans. See Usage Note at mute.
2. Temporarily speechless, as with shock or fear: I was dumb with disbelief.
3. Unwilling to speak; taciturn.
4. Not expressed or articulated in sounds or words: dumb resentment.
5. Nautical Not self-propelling.
6. Conspicuously unintelligent; stupid: dumb officials; a dumb decision.
7. Unintentional; haphazard: dumb luck.

The title is lifted from the article. I think it goes without saying.  That he didn't mean lack of being able to speak.  I do think people think if they find it on the internet and it is sourced, that means it is a good source.  I usually use wiki in discussions because of the simplicity.  And also because it is normally looked at with a bit of suspicion.

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#6    Rlyeh

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:33 PM

It definitely allows people to broadcast their dumb ideas.


#7    Funky Poacher

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:40 PM

View PostTheBoar, on 03 February 2012 - 08:02 PM, said:

it all depends on how you use it i spend most my time on here or watching documentaries or looking stuff up so i for one think it can make you more intelligent but also if all your doing is looking at porn and playing games its going to dumb you down a bit

Have you considered watching any documentaries on grammar, by chance?

Edited by Funky Poacher, 03 February 2012 - 08:48 PM.

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#8    Lilly

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

Right now I'm reading a book entitled "The Social Animal" by David Brooks. Now, if I wanted to refer to it on these forums I could cite chapter and page number (such is allowed). However, if any portions of the text could be found online I'd most likely provide a source link to it. Why? because it would then be readily available for even the casual reader. Not everyone is willing to make a trip to the library to check out an information source.

I seriously doubt that the internet is making us dumber (some people were always dumb). I'm old enough to remember the world long before the internet, before computers, before cell phones, before DVDs or even VHS tapes. Information is now available right in my own home that I'd have had to travel to probably more than one library in order to access. IMO if people are dumber, they're choosing to be dumber...the internet isn't at fault.

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#9    JGirl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

View PostCassea, on 03 February 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

Quote

dumb (dm)
adj. dumb·er, dumb·est
1.
a. Lacking the power of speech. Used of animals and inanimate objects.
b. Often Offensive Incapable of using speech; mute. Used of humans. See Usage Note at mute.
2. Temporarily speechless, as with shock or fear: I was dumb with disbelief.
3. Unwilling to speak; taciturn.
4. Not expressed or articulated in sounds or words: dumb resentment.
5. Nautical Not self-propelling.
6. Conspicuously unintelligent; stupid: dumb officials; a dumb decision.
7. Unintentional; haphazard: dumb luck.



The title is lifted from the article. I think it goes without saying.  That he didn't mean lack of being able to speak.  I do think people think if they find it on the internet and it is sourced, that means it is a good source.  I usually use wiki in discussions because of the simplicity.  And also because it is normally looked at with a bit of suspicion.
you actually needed to post that?
forget the point of my post or any relevent content in it, you had to make a point to post about that?
consider this a classic example of why i didn't want you on my friend list.

Edited by JGirl, 03 February 2012 - 09:22 PM.


#10    Cassea

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:20 PM

? :sleepy:  Yes because you pointed it out.   So I made it clearer.  ETA  Just so you know. I accidentally clicked on the friend. Instead of private message before. I did not mean to friend you.  Sorry to have bothered you that way.  Have a great day.

Edited by Cassea, 03 February 2012 - 09:29 PM.

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#11    aquatus1

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:18 PM

JGirl and Cassea, tone it down, the both of you.

As far as the internet goes, it is not making us dumber.  "Dumber" implies a sort of biological or physical impairment.  It is making us a bit more intellectually lazy.  This is not so much a reflection on intelligence as it is on practice.  The advent of the word processor also made our penmanship lazier.  The abilities are still there, but are not exercised to their full potentional.


#12    JGirl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:46 PM

View Postaquatus1, on 03 February 2012 - 10:18 PM, said:

JGirl and Cassea, tone it down, the both of you.

As far as the internet goes, it is not making us dumber. "Dumber" implies a sort of biological or physical impairment. It is making us a bit more intellectually lazy.  This is not so much a reflection on intelligence as it is on practice.  The advent of the word processor also made our penmanship lazier.  The abilities are still there, but are not exercised to their full potentional.
this is what i said.


#13    Cassea

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:47 PM

View Postaquatus1, on 03 February 2012 - 10:18 PM, said:

JGirl and Cassea, tone it down, the both of you.

As far as the internet goes, it is not making us dumber.  "Dumber" implies a sort of biological or physical impairment.  It is making us a bit more intellectually lazy.  This is not so much a reflection on intelligence as it is on practice.  The advent of the word processor also made our penmanship lazier.  The abilities are still there, but are not exercised to their full potentional.


This is more what I am thinking.  That it seems to me, people think they are smart.  Because they can research things.  And find out quotes. And read things quickly. One thing I noticed.  Is someone who knows nothing about a topic that comes up in conversation.  In person.  The person would have to look it up.  Do a bit of research. And so they'd listen.  To what the people with them were saying.  They would try to learn first.  Then do research.  Online.  People will want to discredit something.  So they run off to google.  Then come back with a bunch of links.   Then they post those.  I've seen this happen.  In the evolution threads.  Someone doesn't understand.  A poster explains.  The person still doesn't understand.  But then comes back with a some quotes.  Thinks he's right again.  Or a woman (to be fair to the gents) who has no idea what the topic is about.  And debating someone who clearly has spent years.  Researching the topic.

This is to me.  Very stupid behavior.

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#14    aquatus1

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:53 PM

It is the difference between arguing to support a belief and arguing to win.


#15    Cassea

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

Yes,  but at the same time. It seems like. The internet is giving people.  A lot more things to have. Beliefs about.  And a lot less things to learn.  The information is so jumbled together.  Blogs don't need to source their information. There is no academic integrity. Yet if the site looks. Interesting.  People think it is official.

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