“Filled with the Conceit of Wisdom Instead of Real Wisdom”

by ricard | March 26th, 2012

“Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
At the risk of the opinion that I did not read the other readings, I would like to dedicate this entire blog post to that article, because it raised a lot of thought provoking questions for me and was the most interesting piece to me. I did however do the other readings and will be ready to talk about them tomorrow in class. But back to the first question, is google making us stupid?

This article caught my attention right off the bat. He mentioned the loss of his ability to read books, and frankly I thought it was just me. I used to read a Harry Potter book in one sitting on a lazy summer day. Now I can barely make myself start a lengthy book, for fear I’ll never finish reading it. I couldn’t figure out why Vanity Fair couldn’t hold my attention anymore. Now I understand, they way I read has changed. Even reading his article I stopped to check my email, look at the course blog, and start this post. The idea that people’s reading styles as well as writing styles change with the Internet is very interesting.

The article also made me think of the eventuality of the rule of the Net, where information is delivered so quick we as humans forget that we ever had to sit down and read a newspaper for world events. I was reminded of a short story I once read called “Stupid, Perfect World,” by Scott Westerfeld, where the main characters existed in such a universe. The protangonist Kieran’s brain was connected to the web and not only could he receive messages from friends in his head, he could look up information, watch TV, etc. In the story he is made to experience something from the past as an assignment for a history class. He chooses to experiance sleep, as in his world everyone simply plugs in. And then he dreams. And it changes him, to know that such things are possible without the Internet providing the images.

That in the end is what I’m afriad of, that people will lose their creativity, their dreams, their knowledge of the world around them simply because of how fast they could look it up. People now dont’ spell because spellcheck and dictionary.com do it for them. I’m worried in the future no one will learn when it’s not required. And this has a profound effect on me because I love learning and sharing knowledge. I want to work in museums where the whole experiance is about learning and taking the time to contemplate information. What happens in a limitless information world? Museums, books, things that I love become obsolete. And so after this post, I am putting down the computer for the night. I am going to check my email only once before I go to bed. I am going to eat dinner and read the next book in my spy series. I am not going to be filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.

2 Responses to ““Filled with the Conceit of Wisdom Instead of Real Wisdom””

  1. Cammy Carroll says:

    I’m not sure any self-respecting college student reads an online article all the way through without distractions, so you’re not along. I believe I had around five tabs open at the same time. And congratulations on your resolution to put the computer away. You are a stronger person than I. The computer is my dear, dear friend. To redeem myself, I’ll say I am still an avid reader and usually have to stop myself from reading fiction, rather than force myself to finish.

  2. Michelle says:

    I agree that my reading has changed as well. It seems depressing doesn’t it? But, I think that also being aware is a good start. After I finished my thesis last semester, I made a pact with myself to read books for pleasure instead of for research. ANd, I have to say I have kept that promise. The key for me to read thoroughly is to have a book in my hand. I can never keep focus if the text is on a screen.