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(Washington Post)   "If I could, I would repeal the Internet. It is the technological marvel of the age, but it is not - as most people imagine - a symbol of progress. Just the opposite. We would be better off without it"   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 147
    More: Silly, internet, repeal, social impact, symbols, Defense Science Board, chief security officer  
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6816 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Jul 2013 at 3:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-01 04:22:27 PM

Joelogon: Of course a newspaper columnist would say that. Newspaper readership and classified ad revenue would go back up.


I have a feeling it has less to do with that, and more to do with, "I'm a crotchety old man who is scared of my own kitchen!!!!!"
 
2013-07-01 04:24:17 PM

Magorn: I heard a fascinating Ted Talk recently about how the entire educational system has been basically rendered obsolete by the Internet.  The premise was that the educational system, as it exists today, was essentially created to churn out cogs in the "human computer" necessary to run and maintian the British Empire,  As such it focused on memorization of large quantitites of facts, the ability to do basic arithmentic in your head quickly, and to be able to write legibly and efficently.

Now that the collective human computer that ran the empire has been replaced with actual computers, and to a large extent the network of computers we call the internet, what real utilityis there to memorizing large quantities of facts, when you can almost always retrieve those same facts at a moment's notice? Isn't it now more important to learn HOW to retrieve information, and discriminate the quality of information you are recieving  than it is to simply memorize it?


Knowing how to retrieve AND critically sort authoritative information from the sea of garbage.  Many folks don't refine the second part, we should be teaching more of that at an earlier level.  Still, does being good at these skills really replace the need to 'know' a large set of operational data?

I disagree with the idea that we have turned our schooling system obsolete.  Even if one grants the idea that the system was designed to turn out little human cogs, the most important thing being taught is how to socialize in groups.  We can already see attention to managing ones' online presence happening.  Ultimately though we are social creatures that in the foreseeable future will have a primary need to learn how to interact with others face to face and in groups.

Are we really smarter because of the net?  Doing math without a calculator used to be much more common, now even those who learned to do high school math without calculators forget from disuse.  Making intuitive leaps is dependent on having a ready set of data memorized.  In some ways I would argue that there is more derivative work that comes from this technology than original, and that IS a big loss.  I agree that there is too much focus on the benefits of the net as a replacement for traditional forms of scholastics, but 'I would repeal the interwebs if I could' isn't helping the discussion and the author comes across as alarmist and misinformed.  He probably spends too much time online.
 
2013-07-01 04:24:29 PM

hitlersbrain: Yes, what would the world be like if we had not dropped some crap on the moon and a few other planets? Would the sky still be blue?


You anti-technology caveman Luddite! Don't you see? We wouldn't have computers if it wasn't for NASA!

There were no scientists or engineers prior to 1957!

After Yuri Gagarin stole the Promethean fire from the skies and brought wisdom to the planet, we finally started our technological progress!

blatz514: Movie night at this idiot's house...

[www.hrrc.org image 412x250]


profile-b.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2013-07-01 04:24:30 PM

hitlersbrain: sno man: Quantum Apostrophe: exick: But the Internet's benefits are relatively modest compared with previous transformative technologies

Of which I would provide examples, but I'm pressed for time. Deadlines and such.

Electrification. Indoor plumbing. The Industrial Revolution. Internal combustion. Quantum physics. The transistor. Germ theory. Genetics.

Space Travel

Yes, what would the world be like if we had not dropped some crap on the moon and a few other planets? Would the sky still be blue?


I suppose you could make an argument for the space race defusing the arms race and being the pressure valve for the cold war.  Or I could just have been poking Q A with a stick.
 
2013-07-01 04:25:47 PM

sno man: Quantum Apostrophe:
sno man: Quantum Apostrophe: exick: But the Internet's benefits are relatively modest compared with previous transformative technologies

Of which I would provide examples, but I'm pressed for time. Deadlines and such.

Electrification. Indoor plumbing. The Industrial Revolution. Internal combustion. Quantum physics. The transistor. Germ theory. Genetics.

Space Travel

LOL.

What did that transform, and for who?

my god man... TANG!!!


Every once in a while I take people off of "ignore" to see if perhaps they've finally come up with something new or intelligent to contribute.

Nearly as often I am gravely disappointed.
 
2013-07-01 04:26:47 PM

Madbassist1: considering I cannot remember my wife's phone number nor anyone elses, he may have a point.


Do you search the internet for her phone number each time?
 
2013-07-01 04:27:24 PM

Tillmaster: What has GPS got to do with the Internet?


It, too, cannot be determined using an IBM Selectric.
 
2013-07-01 04:28:53 PM
Did anyone click through to read the bio on this guy? He appears to be a college dropout who has written an "economics" column.

But he saw a router once, so he's an expert on the internet apparently.
 
2013-07-01 04:30:47 PM

Magorn: I heard a fascinating Ted Talk recently about how the entire educational system has been basically rendered obsolete by the Internet.  The premise was that the educational system, as it exists today, was essentially created to churn out cogs in the "human computer" necessary to run and maintian the British Empire,  As such it focused on memorization of large quantitites of facts, the ability to do basic arithmentic in your head quickly, and to be able to write legibly and efficently.

Now that the collective human computer that ran the empire has been replaced with actual computers, and to a large extent the network of computers we call the internet, what real utilityis there to memorizing large quantities of facts, when you can almost always retrieve those same facts at a moment's notice? Isn't it now more important to learn HOW to retrieve information, and discriminate the quality of information you are recieving  than it is to simply memorize it?


Ability to make connections between disparate facts in your head.  That is why it is important to actually know facts.
 
2013-07-01 04:30:49 PM

sno man: I suppose you could make an argument for the space race defusing the arms race and being the pressure valve for the cold war. Or I could just have been poking Q A with a stick.


I wish you'd refrain; he leaks when you do that and "ignore" isn't up to the task.
 
2013-07-01 04:37:15 PM
Poor Robert J. Samuelsonwww.washingtonpost.com Opinion Writer, this whole thread hates you. Don't worry though - the old man will still be your friend. t.qkme.me
 
2013-07-01 04:40:12 PM
It's amusing that the asshole is biatching about the internet, but the only reason any of us can read his stupid ramblings is because of the internet.

/insert series of tubes comment here.
//insert "Definition of Luddite" comment here.
 
2013-07-01 04:42:40 PM
Technology, everything from the pointy stick to the supercomputer, is morally neutral - it's what people choose to do technology that matters.

Clearly the problem in the world today is not one of too much or too little technology - it's that people suck.  We just need to get better people.
 
2013-07-01 04:52:08 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: The internet allows the ownership class to extract wealth from the serfs faster.


I'd say serfs existing has always allowed for that.
 
2013-07-01 04:52:33 PM
Video killed the radio star.
 
2013-07-01 04:53:33 PM

robbiex0r: This guy does not comprehend 1/100th of what the internet does, and that's a fairly conservative estimate.


So he comprehends 99% of what the internet does, right?
 
2013-07-01 04:53:48 PM

Phinn: Only a columnist Harvard graduate could think reality can be changed instantly with some well-placed authoritative words.  Just repeal the authority for it, and POOF!  Reality changes!


FTFY.

/Harvard graduates, irreversibly farking up the country since the 18th Century.
 
2013-07-01 04:54:36 PM
Nostalgia aside, there's not much point in reliving the 80s and early 90s - The world without the net/
 
2013-07-01 04:56:22 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: Phinn: Only a columnist Harvard graduate could think reality can be changed instantly with some well-placed authoritative words.  Just repeal the authority for it, and POOF!  Reality changes!

FTFY.

/Harvard graduates, irreversibly farking up the country since the 18th Century.


Stereotype much?
 
2013-07-01 04:56:32 PM
Arguing against the Internet is like arguing against gravity.  The quicker dissemination of information was going to happen.  It used to be libraries.  Now it's electronic.  The hardest thing to figure out is where this takes us next and whether we mature enough to use the connectivity, information and decision making aids in a coherent enough fashion to get there in one piece.  Flip a coin.  Can we still communicate well with each other? Text AND drive?
 
2013-07-01 04:56:48 PM

Nana's Vibrator: Magorn: I heard a fascinating Ted Talk recently about how the entire educational system has been basically rendered obsolete by the Internet.  The premise was that the educational system, as it exists today, was essentially created to churn out cogs in the "human computer" necessary to run and maintian the British Empire,  As such it focused on memorization of large quantitites of facts, the ability to do basic arithmentic in your head quickly, and to be able to write legibly and efficently.

Now that the collective human computer that ran the empire has been replaced with actual computers, and to a large extent the network of computers we call the internet, what real utilityis there to memorizing large quantities of facts, when you can almost always retrieve those same facts at a moment's notice? Isn't it now more important to learn HOW to retrieve information, and discriminate the quality of information you are recieving  than it is to simply memorize it?

I haven't been to a doctor's visit in about 5 years without a doctor referring to their computers for diagnosis.  The memorization portion of Med School is going to be redundant.  The practical /physical application of care unto patients will remain.  Until the robots take over.



Well played you two. These are the exact concepts that have driven me to radically change education in my classrooms. Turning the teacher position into a facilitator of information and discourse is critical to creating a better future. Problem is, no one in their right mind would EVER go into education when the personal education required to facilitate large group discussions is the same as the training and mindset required to run a multinational corporation. Hmmm, take pay that is less than a sanitation worker, or run a mulit-million dollar company.

You get what you pay for. If the states offered $100,000 a year entry level for teachers, they would have the best and the brightest in the world applying and would render the teachers union obsolete over night. In one year you could radically change the entire concept of public education.

Or just keep farking that chicken, whatever.
 
2013-07-01 05:27:17 PM

AeAe: Idiot writes an opinion piece.  The Washington Post publishes it.


See how bad the internet is?! They'll let just anyone type something up and throw it out there!
 
2013-07-01 05:28:21 PM
Dear Robert J. Samuelson,

How about you stop pretending that you understand the Internet and I won't pretend to be an oped writer. Deal?

RevMark

PS: You sound old.
 
2013-07-01 05:28:38 PM

Magorn: I heard a fascinating Ted Talk recently about how the entire educational system has been basically rendered obsolete by the Internet. The premise was that the educational system, as it exists today, was essentially created to churn out cogs in the "human computer" necessary to run and maintian the British Empire, As such it focused on memorization of large quantitites of facts, the ability to do basic arithmentic in your head quickly, and to be able to write legibly and efficently.

Now that the collective human computer that ran the empire has been replaced with actual computers, and to a large extent the network of computers we call the internet, what real utilityis there to memorizing large quantities of facts, when you can almost always retrieve those same facts at a moment's notice? Isn't it now more important to learn HOW to retrieve information, and discriminate the quality of information you are recieving than it is to simply memorize it?


the first paragraph are all things that needd to be learned before age 11
The last paragraph contains all the things that need to be learned after age 14.
Ages 12 and 13 are junior high school - all those kids need to be sent to an island ...

Seriously, are you not aware that - still - most of the human endeavour does not take place in cyberspace? Most of it takes place inside buman beings, and they need both sets of those facts.
 
2013-07-01 05:45:08 PM

Carioca: robbiex0r: This guy does not comprehend 1/100th of what the internet does, and that's a fairly conservative estimate.

So he comprehends 99% of what the internet does, right?


dangit.
 
2013-07-01 05:51:49 PM

probesport: If I could turn back time, If I could find a way.


Well, I have been putting time in a bottle for a while now.  But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them.
 
2013-07-01 05:52:57 PM

PanicMan: Madbassist1: considering I cannot remember my wife's phone number nor anyone elses, he may have a point.

Do you search the internet for her phone number each time?


If you are unable to comprehend my point from the information already given, I'm not wasting any more time with you. Good day, sir.
 
2013-07-01 06:04:47 PM
hey guys, he's right.
 
2013-07-01 06:04:48 PM

elchupacabra: sno man: Quantum Apostrophe: exick: But the Internet's benefits are relatively modest compared with previous transformative technologies

Of which I would provide examples, but I'm pressed for time. Deadlines and such.

Electrification. Indoor plumbing. The Industrial Revolution. Internal combustion. Quantum physics. The transistor. Germ theory. Genetics.

Space Travel

GREAT.  Now we're gonna have THAT argument here.


And 15 minutes later, BOOM! there he is.
 
2013-07-01 06:07:31 PM

Stephen_Falken: Dear cloud-yelling article writer person:
OK look bud, these guys said the same thing 40 years ago and they were one HELL of a lot more entertaining than you.
So just. shut. up.
[www.themusicslut.com image 850x637]


That's because if a problem came along, they knew that they must whip it.
 
2013-07-01 06:11:17 PM
Greylight:Are we really smarter because of the net?

No.
imgs.xkcd.com
It just seems that way.
 
2013-07-01 06:17:57 PM
You can't. F*ck off.

-Sincerely, The Internet
 
2013-07-01 06:29:32 PM
FTFA "but probably Chinese "

FARK you, from me and my friends around me in China.
 
2013-07-01 06:31:03 PM

Greylight: Doing math without a calculator used to be much more common, now even those who learned to do high school math without calculators forget from disuse.


Writing without a ballpoint pen used to be much more common, now even those who learned to fill (or earlier, cut) nibs in school forget from disuse.

Technology changes the way we do things, and even the things we do. If you see some detriment in the new system feel free to point it out. But simply noting that things have changed and the skills we consider important have changed not evidence that we need to continue teaching those old skills.
 
2013-07-01 06:40:58 PM

dk47: Ability to make connections between disparate facts in your head.  That is why it is important to actually know facts.


Clearly knowing "things" is important if you want to understand them deeply.

But I'd argue that access to a near-line information system (things you don't know internally but can quickly find and use, like looking up a formula with Google) changes the nature of the things you need to memorize in order to do the same work, and that access to a wider range of data provides the ability to make connections that are not possible when you need to have all the information memorized (as it's simply not possible to memorize all of it).

Which is not so say there aren't downsides, just that there are also advantages, and the same old measurements and ways of thinking might not apply properly to the new techniques available with near-line data. For example, the amount of wheat most people produce in a year is near 0, and by old-timey standards we'd all be worthless citizens. But the world has changed and the way in which we contribute can no longer be accurately measured by our agricultural output alone.
 
2013-07-01 06:55:53 PM

Carioca: robbiex0r: This guy does not comprehend 1/100th of what the internet does, and that's a fairly conservative estimate.

So he comprehends 99% of what the internet does, right?


www.broodingdetective.com
English does not work that way.
 
2013-07-01 07:37:25 PM
I saw the name and the paper and said "ah, ha" nevermind.
 
2013-07-01 07:43:37 PM

Astorix: I saw the name and the paper and said "ah, ha" nevermind.


Pretty much. Old man yells at clouds - only, in this case, the clouds store a significant percentage of man's collected knowledge, in a format that rendered the old man's format largely obsolete (hence his irrationality.)

Adapt or die, mustache boy. Adapt or die.
 
2013-07-01 08:57:39 PM
Ooh yes, let's go back to the days of job hunting where you copy addresses out of a five-year-old guide to companies, type up a resume and cover letter on a typewriter, mail it out and hope the bimbo HRs or secretaries don't lose or misplace it, then follow up with a phone number no longer valid.
 
2013-07-01 09:04:24 PM

Tillmaster: What has GPS got to do with the Internet?


they both run on some sort of electricity
 
2013-07-01 09:12:34 PM

Magorn: Isn't it now more important to learn HOW to retrieve information, and discriminate the quality of information you are recieving than it is to simply memorize it?


Counterpoint:  True evolution of thought doesn't come from access to facts, but an inherent knowledge and application of those facts. Scientific discovery centers around folks who have encyclopedic knowledge of minutae, and their ability to decipher the interactions between them.  Such intimacy with a subject does not occur by perusing a wikipedia entry,
 
2013-07-01 09:24:43 PM
Hey Samuelson, your blog sucks!
 
2013-07-01 10:56:06 PM

LarryDan43: The internet provides information to people for free that they should pay for. One day universities are going to be as sorry as the newspapers.


Information is free. Degrees and qualifications are not. This is what people always forget. When looking for employment, the issue is not what you know, but what you can prove you know, and that takes paperwork. Corporations are not going to take every single applicant who says "I know that" and run them through a bunch of tests to see if they actually do. Way too expensive, time consuming, and stupid. The internets are never going to be your teacher unless those lessons and that information can be certified, codified and on par with a formal course of study as recognized by educators and the state.

Would you trust a surgeon who had only read a "Surgery for Dummies" book, or worse, website (ugh) or are you going to look them up (med school, undergrad, residency, experience) along with the names on the fancy diplomas they always have prominently displayed on the wall? Hint: they have them on the wall for a reason.

I can see right now where some dumbass is citing freerepublic, FoxNews and "American Thinker" as thesis footnotes and sources... ugh x2.
 
2013-07-01 11:08:56 PM
Time for your meds grandpa
 
2013-07-02 12:14:25 AM
I thought Andy Rooney had died.
 
2013-07-02 09:11:04 AM
Without the internet, 85% of Farkers would lose their entire life and group of "friends"
 
2013-07-02 10:22:34 AM

Magorn: Now that the collective human computer that ran the empire has been replaced with actual computers, and to a large extent the network of computers we call the internet, what real utilityis there to memorizing large quantities of facts, when you can almost always retrieve those same facts at a moment's notice? Isn't it now more important to learn HOW to retrieve information, and discriminate the quality of information you are recieving  than it is to simply memorize it?


For the masses, yes. For all those scientists, engineers, physicians, &c, no. They need to have a huge amount of working knowledge and be able to find minute details quickly. If you want to add to society in a creative way, "I'll just look it up on wikipedia" will not do.
 
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