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. I can feel it, too. I think I know what’s going on. 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. I’m not the only one. Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. Anecdotes alone don’t prove much. Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise.
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