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(Spiegel)   Are the internet really making us dumber?   (spiegel.de ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Winnie-the-Pooh, Mensa, national capitals  
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6938 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Sep 2012 at 4:51 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-24 05:48:30 PM  

kukukupo: Yes. The internet makes you stupid.

It exposes you to more things, but makes you think less because anything you can think of is instantly available to you.


Pierce Brosnan, circa 1985, naked on a Porsche 911, holding a strategically placed silver tray of dark chocolate covered strawberries.

I'm still waiting.
 
2012-09-24 05:53:06 PM  

ProfessorOhki: That's the thing about corporations though, the parties working on a given thing can be geographically distributed in any manner. If I say, "at Google, engineers enjoy free food," which office do you assume I'm talking about? The grammar surrounding virtual entities is odd.


This problem is only caused by insisting that the word "at" needs to refer to a specific geographical location.
Saying "at Google" I generally consider to mean something more like, "under the employ of Google".
 
2012-09-24 05:53:56 PM  

LaraAmber: kukukupo: Yes. The internet makes you stupid.

It exposes you to more things, but makes you think less because anything you can think of is instantly available to you.

Pierce Brosnan, circa 1985, naked on a Porsche 911, holding a strategically placed silver tray of dark chocolate covered strawberries.

I'm still waiting.


Maybe he read your profile and doesn't approve of your lousy taste in James Bonds.
 
2012-09-24 05:54:46 PM  
While young test subjects are particularly good at solving visual and logical tasks quickly, their vocabulary is increasing only minimally -- unlike that of their parents.

Because producers of media are now meeting the broadest range of consumers in terms of sentence complexity and length and vocabulary. While the internet helps to disseminate this, I blame all manner of media foremost. Newspapers, books, films, and music have isolated the lowest quality of language to permit the biggest audience rather than gradually bringing the audience up linguistically. One needs to seek out those challenging and broadening materials because we are awash in mediocrity of media, but few folks want to seek, which is where the internet fills this void.
 
2012-09-24 05:55:29 PM  

Gawdzila: ProfessorOhki: That's the thing about corporations though, the parties working on a given thing can be geographically distributed in any manner. If I say, "at Google, engineers enjoy free food," which office do you assume I'm talking about? The grammar surrounding virtual entities is odd.

This problem is only caused by insisting that the word "at" needs to refer to a specific geographical location.
Saying "at Google" I generally consider to mean something more like, "under the employ of Google".


If you turn it around, saying "Google engineers enjoy free food" can mean some or all of them munch gratis. Saying "at Google" implies uniformity.
 
2012-09-24 05:56:46 PM  

ProfessorOhki: LaraAmber: kukukupo: Yes. The internet makes you stupid.

It exposes you to more things, but makes you think less because anything you can think of is instantly available to you.

Pierce Brosnan, circa 1985, naked on a Porsche 911, holding a strategically placed silver tray of dark chocolate covered strawberries.

I'm still waiting.

Maybe he read your profile and doesn't approve of your lousy taste in James Bonds.


He should blame the people who wrote and directed his James Bond movies, I sure as hell do.
 
2012-09-24 05:58:19 PM  

kukukupo: It exposes you to more things, but makes you think less because anything you can think of is instantly available to you.


I don't buy this at all. I see where you're going with it, but I think having endless knowledge at your fingertips is more likely to increase your intelligence. People will (and do) use it if they have it available to them. If a person is wondering about something they don't just say "Well, I can look it up at any time, I'll get to it later" and then just forget about it, they'll look it up right then because they can.

LaraAmber: I can usually tell the "English is my second language" crowd


I didn't mention it in my last comment, but I'm generally fairly forgiving of grammar mistakes no matter what. Partly because of this point right here, the sites I spend time on (Fark is certainly one of the main ones) tend to be multinational so English is definitely a second language for a lot of people. Add into that the fact that English grammar can be a PITA even if it's your first language and I end up finding it difficult to fault people as long as their message is getting across. But when you have a machine that can fix your spelling errors for you and you don't take advantage of it, that's just being lazy.

/I also like the fact that people tend to type like they talk, so while the grammar may be technically incorrect, the 'errors' add some interesting flavor to the conversation.
 
2012-09-24 05:59:12 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Maybe he read your profile and doesn't approve of your lousy taste in James Bonds.


James' Bond personalities are inconsistent due to a wide variation of actors. (
 
2012-09-24 05:59:51 PM  
Dammit. F'ing HTML.....
 
2012-09-24 06:00:03 PM  
TFA's parents of the four-year-old are motherfarking morons and completely deserve their doctor to let them know exactly, in no uncertain terms, what sort of problems medicating a misdiagnosed child can do. He's farking four. Of course he's misbehaving and acting out--you put a hyperactive squirrel on acid in a tiny box with a thousand other squirrels! What did you expect?
 
2012-09-24 06:00:35 PM  
If we were smarter, we would have demanded the Republican Party be shut down for good, so yeah. Dumber. A lot dumber.
 
2012-09-24 06:02:10 PM  
I am tired of parents saying that because their kid cannot pay attention in school it means he is a bored genius. Isn't sitting still and learning without acting like an ass also a form of intelligence?
 
2012-09-24 06:03:34 PM  
I'm sitting here making entries into a major database and tabbing over to check news items and make comments while Daria plays on the Roku. Considering my field of deep expertise is derived from knowledge created BY the internet I gotta say no, the internet is not making me dumber.

The modern world is oriented to analytic thinking and not so much knowledge retention. I don't know what normal people are thinking, but a knowledge of a list of capitals and politicians doens't mean anything compared to knowing WHY something happened.
 
2012-09-24 06:03:45 PM  

LaraAmber: ProfessorOhki: LaraAmber: kukukupo: Yes. The internet makes you stupid.

It exposes you to more things, but makes you think less because anything you can think of is instantly available to you.

Pierce Brosnan, circa 1985, naked on a Porsche 911, holding a strategically placed silver tray of dark chocolate covered strawberries.

I'm still waiting.

Maybe he read your profile and doesn't approve of your lousy taste in James Bonds.

He should blame the people who wrote and directed his James Bond movies, I sure as hell do.


Well, that's more than fair.
 
2012-09-24 06:04:59 PM  
Are the internet really making us dumber?

captionsearch.com
 
2012-09-24 06:05:58 PM  

namatad: On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100.


I'm not sure what other number you would expect it to be?
 
2012-09-24 06:06:54 PM  

doyner: If you turn it around, saying "Google engineers enjoy free food" can mean some or all of them munch gratis. Saying "at Google" implies uniformity.


That's true, probably because of what I said -- most people understand "at" it to mean being under the employ of Google, and that it is therefore standard for those who work for Google. Since Google is a sort of an amorphous virtual entity that is not bound to a particular location, the word "at" in reference to Google must also be amorphous to make any sense. The most straightforward way to interpret that is that it simply means to be employed by the company or to otherwise be under their corporate umbrella.
 
2012-09-24 06:07:03 PM  

PsiChick: TFA's parents of the four-year-old are motherfarking morons and completely deserve their doctor to let them know exactly, in no uncertain terms, what sort of problems medicating a misdiagnosed child can do. He's farking four. Of course he's misbehaving and acting out--you put a hyperactive squirrel on acid in a tiny box with a thousand other squirrels! What did you expect?


What article did you read? I read the part about Vincent three times and reread the whole article thinking I had missed some reference to medicating, but there appears to be nothing. Vincent was not acting the same way as other children his age, and he was examined and found to be gifted. Who are you railing against?
 
2012-09-24 06:07:28 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: namatad: On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100.

I'm not sure what other number you would expect it to be?


I was thinking potato. Or maybe ham. Not carrot, I know that much.
 
2012-09-24 06:08:42 PM  

namatad: downstairs: Its making us have to remember less, which to me isn't the most important component of "intellegence".


Now that I have a cell phone I no longer need to remember phone numbers. I can remember a time when I had a dozen or so memorized. Now I know TWO.


But that is only partially true. By giving us access to more information, we also "know" more things.
I learned today the Dewey was ahead of Truman by a huge amount at this point in the 1948 election. I will never remember the EXACT amount, but dewey had a gigantic lead, and still lost.

I will remember this factoid for a very long time and can get the exact number whenever I need it.
So we might be remembering more things at a surface level, which is a huge improvement in "intelligence."

On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100. What percentage are still birthers? still think obama is a muslim? still think 9/11 was a jewish conspiracy??

No amount of knowledge can make up for low IQ. shudder


Smart people can still be deluded. They just come up with more sophisticated rationalizations for their delusions.

Thanks for the TF sponsorship, btw. What did I do to deserve the honor?
 
2012-09-24 06:08:57 PM  

namatad: On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100.


It's defined that way.
 
2012-09-24 06:10:01 PM  

Ed Finnerty: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: namatad: On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100.

I'm not sure what other number you would expect it to be?

I was thinking potato. Or maybe ham. Not carrot, I know that much.


You forgot to adjust for inflation and divide by BMI.
 
2012-09-24 06:11:29 PM  

Gawdzila: doyner: If you turn it around, saying "Google engineers enjoy free food" can mean some or all of them munch gratis. Saying "at Google" implies uniformity.

That's true, probably because of what I said -- most people understand "at" it to mean being under the employ of Google, and that it is therefore standard for those who work for Google. Since Google is a sort of an amorphous virtual entity that is not bound to a particular location, the word "at" in reference to Google must also be amorphous to make any sense. The most straightforward way to interpret that is that it simply means to be employed by the company or to otherwise be under their corporate umbrella.


I generally agree with both of you actually. It is that area where your points of view overlap where we find the clearest language.
 
2012-09-24 06:12:18 PM  

Gawdzila: namatad: On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100.

It's defined that way.


like college girls, always the same age.
 
2012-09-24 06:12:43 PM  

fusillade762: namatad: downstairs: Its making us have to remember less, which to me isn't the most important component of "intellegence".

Now that I have a cell phone I no longer need to remember phone numbers. I can remember a time when I had a dozen or so memorized. Now I know TWO.


But that is only partially true. By giving us access to more information, we also "know" more things.
I learned today the Dewey was ahead of Truman by a huge amount at this point in the 1948 election. I will never remember the EXACT amount, but dewey had a gigantic lead, and still lost.

I will remember this factoid for a very long time and can get the exact number whenever I need it.
So we might be remembering more things at a surface level, which is a huge improvement in "intelligence."

On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100. What percentage are still birthers? still think obama is a muslim? still think 9/11 was a jewish conspiracy??

No amount of knowledge can make up for low IQ. shudder

Smart people can still be deluded. They just come up with more sophisticated rationalizations for their delusions.

Thanks for the TF sponsorship, btw. What did I do to deserve the honor?


You use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore, I would guess.
 
2012-09-24 06:14:59 PM  

fusillade762: namatad: downstairs: Its making us have to remember less, which to me isn't the most important component of "intellegence".

Now that I have a cell phone I no longer need to remember phone numbers. I can remember a time when I had a dozen or so memorized. Now I know TWO.


But that is only partially true. By giving us access to more information, we also "know" more things.
I learned today the Dewey was ahead of Truman by a huge amount at this point in the 1948 election. I will never remember the EXACT amount, but dewey had a gigantic lead, and still lost.

I will remember this factoid for a very long time and can get the exact number whenever I need it.
So we might be remembering more things at a surface level, which is a huge improvement in "intelligence."

On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100. What percentage are still birthers? still think obama is a muslim? still think 9/11 was a jewish conspiracy??

No amount of knowledge can make up for low IQ. shudder

Smart people can still be deluded. They just come up with more sophisticated rationalizations for their delusions.

Thanks for the TF sponsorship, btw. What did I do to deserve the honor?


A new hire from colleges asked how it was possible for a company to run before there was email.

I said it was similar to how you shared information with friends prior to Facebook.

He went away very confused.
 
2012-09-24 06:15:27 PM  

doyner: It is that area where your points of view overlap where we find the clearest language.


Isn't this the purpose of language, to have an agreed upon means of communication of experiences, symbols, and ideas in a practical form?
 
2012-09-24 06:18:19 PM  
It must of been making us dumber because are grammer is all messed up.
 
2012-09-24 06:18:54 PM  
It isn't making us stupid - but it is making us autistic.
 
2012-09-24 06:23:18 PM  

Vangor: PsiChick: TFA's parents of the four-year-old are motherfarking morons and completely deserve their doctor to let them know exactly, in no uncertain terms, what sort of problems medicating a misdiagnosed child can do. He's farking four. Of course he's misbehaving and acting out--you put a hyperactive squirrel on acid in a tiny box with a thousand other squirrels! What did you expect?

What article did you read? I read the part about Vincent three times and reread the whole article thinking I had missed some reference to medicating, but there appears to be nothing. Vincent was not acting the same way as other children his age, and he was examined and found to be gifted. Who are you railing against?


Vincent, actually--no, he was not acting the same way as other children his age, but that's less 'gifted' and more 'the exact same pattern I've seen in every single homeschooled boy yanked out of day care'. It's not his IQ score making him act up, because quite frankly if it were homeschooling would be the territory of farking MENSA. It's that he's a four-year-old boy.

/The most common reason parents have, besides RELIGION, for yanking boys is that said boys were getting misdiagnosed and\or having 'behavioral problems'. It turns out nearly every time that they just aren't developmentally ready to sit still. My brother was the same way, although he wasn't asking about Mars.
 
2012-09-24 06:33:59 PM  

PsiChick: It turns out nearly every time that they just aren't developmentally ready to sit still.


Because that is what time has prepared the human for - sitting in one place for long periods of time, right? Getting used to sitting still isn't 'developing' it's just a question of how long it takes to 'break' the kid.
 
2012-09-24 06:34:51 PM  
Vincent T. is 4 years old. Two years ago, he was having problems at his day care center, where he was throwing sand and hitting other children. Was he disturbed? Did he suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or perhaps even Asperger's syndrome?

No, maybe he's just a NORMAL FOUR-YEAR OLD YOU F*CKING IMBECILES!!!!
 
2012-09-24 06:35:31 PM  
cdn-www.cracked.com

"No I'm...doesn't!"
 
2012-09-24 06:37:25 PM  

ProfessorOhki: PsiChick: It turns out nearly every time that they just aren't developmentally ready to sit still.

Because that is what time has prepared the human for - sitting in one place for long periods of time, right? Getting used to sitting still isn't 'developing' it's just a question of how long it takes to 'break' the kid.


Actually, there is an age--around four or so for girls, seven or eight for boys--when they can sit still for a long time. It's right around when the 'I should listen to Mommy and Daddy' thing kicks into a higher gear, too. But four-year-old boys? Uh, ha, you're funny. And probably never babysat one.

/But yeah, in general you're right.
 
2012-09-24 06:46:18 PM  

Sticky Hands: Ed Finnerty: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: namatad: On the other hand, the median IQ is still 100.

I'm not sure what other number you would expect it to be?

I was thinking potato. Or maybe ham. Not carrot, I know that much.

You forgot to adjust for inflation and divide by BMI.


I'm a professional brainlifter and clearly a genius, but by BMI standards my IQ is only 60. Therefore, the entire scale is wrong for everyone.
 
2012-09-24 06:47:58 PM  

ProfessorOhki:
Knowledge - data
Intelligence - data processing
Wisdom - knowing which process needs to be used

Though, I do think the Internet is reducing the depth in which we remember things.


1) thanks - nice way to explain the 3 things

2) yes and no - I now have a greater depth of thyroid function than I could have ever gotten before the internet. I would have had to bought an expensive medical book and waded through massive amounts of information. Now, I have both wikipedia for summary, multiple support groups for massive amounts of anecdotal actual patient evidence. (when does that massive information become the wisdom of the masses?)

3) on the other hand, it is possible to learn a tiny bit about a TON of subjects and create placeholders/links to access the information online when you need depth.
example: I dont use Q programming language every month, but whenever I need to I can go this great source and get everything that I need quickly. Without filling my shelves with yet another reference book.
 
2012-09-24 06:50:24 PM  
Well, the internet is the future and has helped to usher in a new era for humanity and transform or even demolish older industries. The big one is the decentralization of information. No longer can information be as easily controlled or hidden by interests such as the government, and we've seen that enough people recognize this fact that they are able to rally together and petition online in significant enough numbers to shut down any attempts to regulate or control the internet.

Entertainment industries are being demolished by the internet, more people are buying stuff of online stores and vendors everyday, and fewer people are getting their news from the established media outlets. Not to mention that it makes it easier for people to assemble and protest peacefully today than they were able to in the past. The biggest opportunity that the internet has given is for smart people with some foresight to use the internet to become very rich. Hell, it'd done this even for porn.

Hell, we haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg as far as what the internet can do for us. Articles saying "is the internet making us dumber" are stupid because clearly they aren't paying attention to what the internet is bringing to us as a whole today. Barriers demolished with people from different parts of the world talking and learning from each other and even becoming friends, people being able to get college degrees off of internet college courses that are vastly cheaper and more efficient and sensible than traditional institutional college learning, and providing a means of archiving and reviving information and media that would have otherwise been lost to time. And that's just a few things.

And of course the "Old Guard" hates this. Old politicians who built their careers and political power up over the old way of doing things are getting might nervous as this "internet" comes along and destroys all that. And they lash out at it. Or the old industries that get destroyed lash out at it. We're seeing it everyday as people become more educated about matters that they would have been ignorant of if not for the internet. The overall net value of knowledge and human understanding has only grown thanks to the internet, and with it dictatorships collapse, political machines are dismantled, and new friendships are forged when they would have been impossible before.

Has humanity become dumberer because of the internet? Look at how much politicians are squirming and reluctantly acquiescing to the demands of their constituency who is learning and more thanks to the internet, and you'll have your answer. Despite what idiots who like to constantly engage in political and/or religious flamewars would like to think, the answer is that the human race and the world are better off because of the internet, without a doubt.
 
2012-09-24 06:52:05 PM  
Actually, let's just nip this one in the bud in the first sentence:

Many scholars and critics warn that TV and the Internet are dumbing us down.


Citations needed.
 
2012-09-24 06:52:19 PM  

Vangor: doyner: It is that area where your points of view overlap where we find the clearest language.

Isn't this the purpose of language, to have an agreed upon means of communication of experiences, symbols, and ideas in a practical form?


No, you're thinking about political parties.
 
2012-09-24 06:53:04 PM  

orezona:  

YES.


f.kulfoto.com

Definertly
 
2012-09-24 07:00:28 PM  
The Internet has hd a profound effect on my knowledge and opinions.
I'm probably about as smart now as when I started, though I'm not sure how to gauge 'smart'.

One thing I've really come to love about the 'net is debate.
In the past, someone could easily bs you if they were a good enough talker or even a loud enough shouter. Since the introduction of mass communication, bs'ing is harder because with so many people out there, someone is bound to know better than the bs'er and will call them out on it.

Another thing about debate is, let's say you're undecided on an issue. You can read a forum where those pro and con will trot out every argument they can find to support their cause, and not just hear the opinions of one or two people.

One learns about logical fallacies and one can improve one's critical thinking.
It's amazing how many derptastic opinions I hear in real life that I can easily destroy thanks to my now augmented knowledgebase. Also it's kinda sad to know how dumb so many people are.
 
2012-09-24 07:04:02 PM  

downstairs: Its making us have to remember less, which to me isn't the most important component of "intellegence".
 
I don't have to know the dates of the Iran/Iraq war.  But I still have to use my own brain and experiences to give a (hopefully) intellegent opinion of how it may be affecting current events.
 
For those that use the internet to form their opinions, they were dumb to begin with.


If you study computer science, you run into "abstraction"; which lets us forget all of the complex details of what the computer is doing on the base level, and simply work with the abstract tools on the surface. Programs would never get written if you needed to input each individual machine instruction (of which in a 2.0GHz processor there are 2 billion possible per second) you can just write surface language.

it's the same in all aspects of modern life, we simply do not have time to intimately understand all of the things we use everyday. Synthetic clothes we can not make ourselves, smartphones, cars, GM food, use services of others without understanding the details of their professions, yadda yadda. Abstraction has allowed us to evolve and progress to the point at which we find ourselves.

I would argue memory has little to do with intelligence, it's the ability to use a wide variety of tools in creative ways that makes people intelligent.
 
2012-09-24 07:05:07 PM  

whidbey: Actually, let's just nip this one in the bud in the first sentence:

Many scholars and critics warn that TV and the Internet are dumbing us down.


Citations needed.


I take offense to the two even being regarded as similar. One you are completely passive, staring slack jawed at a screen. The other needs you to navigate it, and puts every piece of information mankind has ever known at your fingertips, which just happens to include the silliest.

The internet is a tool. If you are a stupid person you will do nothing but stupid things with it.
 
2012-09-24 07:06:14 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: whidbey: Actually, let's just nip this one in the bud in the first sentence:

Many scholars and critics warn that TV and the Internet are dumbing us down.


Citations needed.

I take offense to the two even being regarded as similar. One you are completely passive, staring slack jawed at a screen. The other needs you to navigate it, and puts every piece of information mankind has ever known at your fingertips, which just happens to include the silliest.

The internet is a tool. If you are a stupid person you will do nothing but stupid things with it.


It's even possible to actively watch TV, but it takes skill and practice.
 
2012-09-24 07:14:16 PM  
No, but the insanity wood is causing madness.

themavesite.com
 
2012-09-24 07:14:49 PM  

PsiChick: but that's less 'gifted' and more 'the exact same pattern I've seen in every single homeschooled boy yanked out of day care'.


His behaviors are rather common in gifted children placed with noncognitive peers. He was not homeschooled, nor do I see anywhere suggesting he was removed. His intelligence is not making him act out, but his environment does as a response from his childishness as a result of his intellect .

But, this does not talk about the seeming random assailing of the parents you were throwing out. The parents did the right thing here when the child was throwing sand and hitting rather than what the vast majority of children do which is cry, push, fail to share, etc., and have to learn to do.
 
2012-09-24 07:16:40 PM  

Gyrfalcon: It's even possible to actively watch TV, but it takes skill and practice.


Consider me intrigued.
 
2012-09-24 07:17:09 PM  
The internet doesn't make you "stupider." It just allows stupid people to congregate.
 
2012-09-24 07:17:38 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: The internet is a tool. If you are a stupid person you will do nothing but stupid things with it.


Yes. Back in the 90s, when I was in college, if I needed the GDP of some sh*thole country I had to actually put on pants and go to the library. These days I just click a few times until I arrive at what appears to be a legit source. Do I need to know these figures? No, but it's out there and you never know when that sort of thing will come in handy.

When browsing Fark threads, I often fact-check people's claims not to bring them down, but because I'm genuinely curious. I learn something new every day. Yeah, I still read books and - gasp - newspapers, but there is no substitute for the internetz when it comes to raw and updated knowledge. That some people use it to laugh at cat videos is just part of the deal. It's the single most important information tool in the history of humankind. Sure, I also laugh at cat videos, download music, and enjoy porn. But when I need knowledge, oceans of it are there for me.

Lots of people choose not to access that knowledge, that's all. Maybe I should be alarmed at how nonchalantly we treat such a revolutionary advancement, but I'm also not the thought police. You want to use this nearly divine creation to seek out tentacle rape and Miley Cyrus videos? Go for it.
 
2012-09-24 07:26:01 PM  
The internet was created by aliens with the sole purpose of getting valuable knowledge from the mankind. Al Gore is one of them. I know it for a fact, I'm from the Internet.

/poor aliens
 
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