Analysis and Summary Essay
William Pangilinan Professor Zuidervaart English 100, CRN: 10654 October 14, 2011 Is Google is Making Us Stupid or is it just making us more demanding? In the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Stanley Kubrick writes, “As we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence. ” In the essay “IS Google Making Us Stupid? ” by Nicholas Carr, M. A. a writer and blogger, talks about the Internet and specifically search engine Google as an example.
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He points out that beside the fact these technological advancements making life much as easy through easy access of information. However, the Internet does not have all the information even though most of it is found there. In addition people should not base the truth that is used in most of the situations on such sources. The Internet has led to people ignoring the pre-existing information along that would be found manually just because it can be found on the Internet.
One of the main arguments that have been depicted by Carr in this essay it that information has slowly been systemized through such inventions and this has dehumanized it. This implies that unlike the older days when humans had manually look for information then transfer it to others, things have changes in which these systemized search engines provide everything one needs through a single click. This information will be eventually applied in other situations without any further attempts to try to find out if the information that has been given is actually genuine or one’s fabrication.
Hence Google has been able to give one all the information that one may require except the truth. Truth in the older days was self created after a laboured effort of trying to find out how it came about through work that is done by the human mind and decisions made that are based on this effort. Today all this can be done by Google and in the process reducing the effort that one’s mind performs (534). According to Carr (534), the Internet through Google is slowly lowering the capacity of one’s brain and this has come about as a result of lowered brain involvement.
Unlike in the older days when one required long hours of concentration and contemplation in order to acquire the required information, today this can be done within a few minutes and will include hyperlinks that will propel one towards works that are related hence getting all the information that one needs. In addition, the mind is now become used to this that it will take the information as it has been acquired from the internet and in the process removing the natural inquisitiveness of the mind that helped the human kind is able to come up with numerous inventions in the past centuries.
The ability to concentrate has also been severely affected. The more one spends on the Internet the less able one will become in trying to read through long articles and essays as they try to acquire information. This portrays a growing laziness that is creeping on all those who use the Internet. In the older days people would spend hours going through stacks of papers with the hope of getting some specific information. This process would end up taking hours on end and eventually the task would get done especially in the case of writers (537).
Most of the people who write blogs and articles online are the ones who are becoming severely affected. Most of them are confessing that it is getting harder to pick up a book with the purpose of reading it. This can be reflected as a sign that despite all the information we get from Google it is also taking something away from us. This is the ability to try to learn and find the truth while becoming lazy. In the process this can be summarized as making as stupid because most of the people grew up and learned most of the information they know today through reading of books and not the internet.
Most of these people when asked about this will state that it has come about due to convenience. In the real sense this as arisen due the change in functioning of the mind (539). Hence the mental alteration of people’s minds by the Internet is a serious issue. Most people have been affected in the case of becoming unable to concentrate for long periods. This has been brought about by the shortened versions of sending messages on the Internet that leaves them preferring a shortened and summarized version to everything.
This is reflected when many people skim through articles from one to the next one while looking for certain information. In most of these cases, they will only read about two paragraphs and proceed without even coming back to such articles for more information. This implies that users of the Internet don’t do the traditional reading process but more power browsing where people will go through titles and content page as they try to locate the information needed.
In most cases due to the availability of abstracts it gives one the summarized brief of what to expect from the article. This is unlike the traditional sense that would involve manually going through books page-by-page looking for information and in the process people would learn the whole truth (539). Considering aspects like reading are not etched in our minds it is a learned trait hence if we do not use it then it will end up fading. Hence people need to practice this craft of reading if the neural circuits in our brains are going to maintain such functionality at capacity.
However with the Internet, these patterns are slowly being transformed from those of reading books and printed works to basing it on the Internet. This can be said to be a backward step in the intellectual development of the human brain. This is a result of the malleable nature of the human brain in which it tends to adapt to situations and currently the Internet users are changing their brains to rely on intellectual technologies in order to acquire the needed information (536).
Carr (539) states that putting into consideration the dream of Google founders of eventually making the search engine into some sort of artificial intelligence that can be connected to our brains implies that it will mean over time the functions of the human brain especially for internet users will be lowered and in the process making our brains more lazy and in other words people shall become significantly stupid as will shall rely on artificial intelligence for most issues instead of the natural inborn that humans have always used.
However, this can also be referred as the ideology of a doomsayers because in the 15th century when the printing press was invented, an Italian humanist Hieronimo Squarficiaco, thought the creation of books would make the humans lazy but as we know it this changed the intake of knowledge by humans hence improving their intellectual capability. In conclusion despite Carr’s impression of humans becoming more stupid due to the fact that they now do not have to go through many books to get information, the notion maybe wrong but from all the points depicted it may be true.
Maybe the humans are just shaping their brains for the future without any written materials. Google may be making people lazy, for instance when it comes carrying out research but it is also helping to a large extent in terms of easier access to information. Works Cited Carr, Nicholas. Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Atlantic Magazine, July/August 2008. Web. 5th October 2011 <http://www. theatlantic. com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/>