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(Washington Post)   Fark is ruining your brain   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, cognitive neuroscientist, William James, Henry James, Emarketer, Marcel Proust  
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5597 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Apr 2014 at 10:10 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



76 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-04-07 08:12:58 AM  
I like to think it's a mutually detrimental arrangement.
 
2014-04-07 08:18:45 AM  
tl;dr
 
2014-04-07 08:28:51 AM  
Old news:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shallows-Internet-Changing-Remember/dp/1848 8 72275

It's no surprise, really. It takes a certain sort of discipline to sit down and read like in the old days before there was all of this digital entertainment and interaction available.

I seriously worry about this with regards to my own brain - being a professor/researcher and all. I can do it when I force myself to but it's harder than it used to be.

I really worry about this when it comes to the future of humanity. If people lose the ability to do deep contemplative uninterrupted thinking, I think it could have terrible consequences - no snark here.
 
2014-04-07 08:31:40 AM  

b0rscht: Old news:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shallows-Internet-Changing-Remember/dp/1848 8 72275

It's no surprise, really. It takes a certain sort of discipline to sit down and read like in the old days before there was all of this digital entertainment and interaction available.

I seriously worry about this with regards to my own brain - being a professor/researcher and all. I can do it when I force myself to but it's harder than it used to be.


Make it a habit.

I read books still.  I stopped reading fiction, for the most part, but I keep my brain active by doing things the hard way intentionally.  That's not to say I don't do mindless entertainment, of course, but my head isn't always stuck at an electronic screen.
 
2014-04-07 08:47:08 AM  
Even as a child I remember reading books then suddenly being conscious of the fact that for the last few paragraphs I've let my mind wander whilst my eyes continued moving forward, and had to go back and re-read parts. I don't think the internet is to blame for that.
 
2014-04-07 09:13:46 AM  
Me no thikn that true
 
2014-04-07 09:38:19 AM  

Slaxl: Even as a child I remember reading books then suddenly being conscious of the fact that for the last few paragraphs I've let my mind wander whilst my eyes continued moving forward, and had to go back and re-read parts. I don't think the internet is to blame for that.


Heh.  When I read when I'm sleepy, often times I'll sort of "snap back" and re-read what I had just read, and often I'm surprised to find that my mind "filled in the blanks" with something completely different than what is on the page.
 
2014-04-07 09:46:39 AM  
My job requires me to do 8, 12 hour spreadsheet and word doc sessions on a deadline.

Fark, and other news aggregators, are how I break from that.

When I get paid as much to read as turn out work, I'll read.
 
2014-04-07 10:14:13 AM  
Fark gave me syphilis.
 
2014-04-07 10:16:57 AM  
Just to clarify, subby meant fark like fark, not fark like fark.

/for unlawful carnal knowledge
//foxtrot uniform charlie kilo
///fun with filters
 
2014-04-07 10:17:58 AM  
That's it. I'm not worrying anymore about the Oxford comma.
 
2014-04-07 10:18:29 AM  

fruitloop: Just to clarify, subby meant fark like fark, not fark like fark.

/for unlawful carnal knowledge
//foxtrot uniform charlie kilo
///fun with filters


I'd tell you but farking has ruined my ability to figure your post out.
 
2014-04-07 10:18:38 AM  
I dunno subby, I was an amoralistic asshole before I joined Fark, don't think this place is gonna do any more damage to my brain than that's already there.
 
2014-04-07 10:19:32 AM  

TheShavingofOccam123: That's it. I'm not worrying anymore about the Oxford comma.


I'm sure your parents, Bozo the Clown and Liza Minnelli are okay with that.
 
2014-04-07 10:21:00 AM  
I don't think we need the focus on recall that we used to - technology has improved to the point that it is far, far more useful to know how to get information than it is to recall all of it.

It is analogous to memorizing multiplication or integrals tables - sure, you know it when you know it, but when it doesn't fit into the set of knowledge you have memorized, what then? OTOH, if you memorize a handful of rules or steps for figuring out the answer, you can handle complex problems beyond those anticipated by the creators of the tables.

So, in short, just use Google.
 
2014-04-07 10:21:36 AM  
Says a member of the print media whose sole purpose in life has been to rot the brains of whoever buys their rag.
 
2014-04-07 10:24:07 AM  

SpdrJay: Fark gave me syphilis.


We warned you about those Fark parties.
 
2014-04-07 10:24:26 AM  
Here's a thought. Write something worth reading.
 
2014-04-07 10:24:30 AM  

dittybopper: b0rscht: Old news:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shallows-Internet-Changing-Remember/dp/1848 8 72275

It's no surprise, really. It takes a certain sort of discipline to sit down and read like in the old days before there was all of this digital entertainment and interaction available.

I seriously worry about this with regards to my own brain - being a professor/researcher and all. I can do it when I force myself to but it's harder than it used to be.

Make it a habit.

I read books still.  I stopped reading fiction, for the most part, but I keep my brain active by doing things the hard way intentionally.  That's not to say I don't do mindless entertainment, of course, but my head isn't always stuck at an electronic screen.


This, also, visual reading (vs linear) I think is the future.  It should be taught to everyone in school as soon as they're able.  There's just so much more information to process now, you can't get it all line by line (and of course you don't need to process everything with the same degree of depth either).
 
2014-04-07 10:29:21 AM  

b0rscht: Old news:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shallows-Internet-Changing-Remember/dp/1848 8 72275

It's no surprise, really. It takes a certain sort of discipline to sit down and read like in the old days before there was all of this digital entertainment and interaction available.

I seriously worry about this with regards to my own brain - being a professor/researcher and all. I can do it when I force myself to but it's harder than it used to be.

I really worry about this when it comes to the future of humanity. If people lose the ability to do deep contemplative uninterrupted thinking, I think it could have terrible consequences - no snark here.


I dunno.  There's a lot of evidence that folks - esp. scholars - had better memories prior to the invention of the printing press.  I think the trade-off was worth it.

/My concern is that it is difficult to find a quiet space to engage in serious contemplation.  Even libraries are no longer quiet zones.
 
2014-04-07 10:31:35 AM  

b0rscht: I really worry about this when it comes to the future of humanity. If people lose the ability to do deep contemplative uninterrupted thinking, I think it could have terrible consequences - no snark here.


You do realize that for the great part of written human existence the overwhelming majority of people didn't read at all, right?  And that reading was still pretty rare 200 years ago.  Hell, it was only about a hundred years or so ago that you could start to make the assumption that anyone you met could read as a matter of course.  Yet we managed to not only not run around banging rocks together, but crank out both written culture and technological advancements.  And even then, most people read complete schlock.  The penniless bootblack in 1812 doing a close reading of Aristotle in the original Greek is a fable. The inner city child in 1956 reading Proust for fun is a fable.  And yet we built pretty much all of human society and technology with the great teeming masses either illiterate or consuming a steady diet of Doc Sampson pulp.  Researchers and bibliovores have always been the exception.

"Oh noes!  We will have the reading habits of 1950s Americans!" is hardly the beginning of humanity fading into mentally retarded barbarity.

Not to mention, most writers are long-winded thesaurus-jockeys.  Making them cut the crap and spit out what they mean in 100 pages is not always a bad thing.  A good copy editor could have winnowed down most 1800s non-fiction tomes by a good third just by cutting the useless frippery - and most 1600s stuff could have easily be reduced to a single double-spaced page without losing one iota of meaning.
 
2014-04-07 10:34:04 AM  
Just print all of the articles and comments and read the hard copy.

Comment on the article or other comments by writing in cursive on a sheet of paper. Snail mail or fax comments to Drew.

Your brain will thank you.
 
2014-04-07 10:34:56 AM  

AliceBToklasLives: I dunno. There's a lot of evidence that folks - esp. scholars - had better memories prior to the invention of the printing press. I think the trade-off was worth it.


And it was likely better than that back when most learning was oral. Really only Homer misses the oral tradition, and that's only if you actually believe he was blind.
 
2014-04-07 10:35:43 AM  

bearded clamorer: tl;dr


Bastard!
 
2014-04-07 10:40:32 AM  
Fark probably isn't helping by greening 100x the articles per day that it used to, either.  I can remember days when we would go hours without a new main page article.

/adjusts belt onion
 
2014-04-07 10:42:53 AM  
"This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia."

That's BS. If you go back 5 generations or more, I am sure most of our ancestors didn't know how to read or write. The ability to read has had negligible influence in our brain's evolution, it's a skill that we learned very recently.
 
Skr
2014-04-07 10:43:06 AM  
Ireallydontseehowawebsitecoulddamageapersonsmentalstability
 
2014-04-07 10:46:45 AM  
Well, Duhhh
 
2014-04-07 10:47:23 AM  

SpdrJay: Fark gave me syphilis.


Not the tractor story again...
 
2014-04-07 10:51:14 AM  
TL;DR
 
2014-04-07 10:51:16 AM  
No shiat.

But its like a drug - just can't help myself...
 
2014-04-07 10:55:16 AM  
Yeah, sitting down to read a book is something I haven't done in a LONG time now that I think about it. I was a regular bookworm camped out in the Library back in high school, 10 years later and I struggle to read even a single book a year.
 
2014-04-07 10:55:40 AM  
It's true, I feel myself getting dumber after reading Fark but I still love it.
 
2014-04-07 10:55:57 AM  
.....?
 
2014-04-07 11:00:09 AM  

ph0rk: I don't think we need the focus on recall that we used to - technology has improved to the point that it is far, far more useful to know how to get information than it is to recall all of it.

It is analogous to memorizing multiplication or integrals tables - sure, you know it when you know it, but when it doesn't fit into the set of knowledge you have memorized, what then? OTOH, if you memorize a handful of rules or steps for figuring out the answer, you can handle complex problems beyond those anticipated by the creators of the tables.

So, in short, just use Google.


^^This.  I have found for years that my brain doesn't function in a memorize/recall way.  However, I can compile a huge swath of small pieces of information into one logical conclusion.  Came in hella handy when I was putting together databases and trying to automate office processes.

My short-term memory is awesome and I'd say my cognitive function is a-ok.  My long-term memory sucks and I have virtually no ability to develop an idea deeply.  As a counter-point: most of the ideas I spout out after 3 seconds of thought most people think I've spent days thinking about.  However, it never gets any deeper.
 
2014-04-07 11:00:29 AM  
Hurr.

/durr
//hurr-durr
///herpa derp
 
2014-04-07 11:01:36 AM  

Generation_D: My job requires me to do 8, 12 hour spreadsheet and word doc sessions on a deadline.

Fark, and other news aggregators, are how I break from that.

When I get paid as much to read as turn out work, I'll read.


Are you leveraging VBA?
 
2014-04-07 11:09:23 AM  
I don't blame Fark, I blame the farkers.

You assholes.
 
2014-04-07 11:09:38 AM  
Wow
So fark.
Much confuse.
 
2014-04-07 11:11:52 AM  
DNRTFA Wut.
 
2014-04-07 11:12:04 AM  
It's not from the Internet, assholes. It's from being taught skimming in school for YEARS. I noticed this was an issue years before I used the internet with any real frequency. Schools focused on teaching you to skim so that you could get through a reading project faster well before Al Gore invented this internet thingy.
 
2014-04-07 11:19:29 AM  

Mikey1969: It's not from the Internet, assholes. It's from being taught skimming in school for YEARS. I noticed this was an issue years before I used the internet with any real frequency. Schools focused on teaching you to skim so that you could get through a reading project faster well before Al Gore invented this internet thingy.


Yeah, I mean, if you can get the information you need from a book or article from skimming it, what's the problem? Are you telling me I was *supposed* to read every book and academic article I used in my undergrad research from beginning to end? Aw, hell no.
 
2014-04-07 11:22:48 AM  

AliceBToklasLives: b0rscht: Old news:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Shallows-Internet-Changing-Remember/dp/1848 8 72275

It's no surprise, really. It takes a certain sort of discipline to sit down and read like in the old days before there was all of this digital entertainment and interaction available.

I seriously worry about this with regards to my own brain - being a professor/researcher and all. I can do it when I force myself to but it's harder than it used to be.

I really worry about this when it comes to the future of humanity. If people lose the ability to do deep contemplative uninterrupted thinking, I think it could have terrible consequences - no snark here.

I dunno.  There's a lot of evidence that folks - esp. scholars - had better memories prior to the invention of the printing press.  I think the trade-off was worth it.

/My concern is that it is difficult to find a quiet space to engage in serious contemplation.  Even libraries are no longer quiet zones.


The second floor of my public library is silent, which is glorious. I always feel bad practicing my mandocello up there, but it's the only place in town where I can hear it just right. And by just right, I mean with the background noise of six librarians trying to free their legs from being zip-tied to their chairs.

/That's my kink®
 
2014-04-07 11:23:06 AM  
Once got BIE from Fark. Wasn't worth to open the mail...
 
2014-04-07 11:27:47 AM  

mike_d85: ph0rk: I don't think we need the focus on recall that we used to - technology has improved to the point that it is far, far more useful to know how to get information than it is to recall all of it.

It is analogous to memorizing multiplication or integrals tables - sure, you know it when you know it, but when it doesn't fit into the set of knowledge you have memorized, what then? OTOH, if you memorize a handful of rules or steps for figuring out the answer, you can handle complex problems beyond those anticipated by the creators of the tables.

So, in short, just use Google.

^^This.  I have found for years that my brain doesn't function in a memorize/recall way.  However, I can compile a huge swath of small pieces of information into one logical conclusion.  Came in hella handy when I was putting together databases and trying to automate office processes.

My short-term memory is awesome and I'd say my cognitive function is a-ok.  My long-term memory sucks and I have virtually no ability to develop an idea deeply.  As a counter-point: most of the ideas I spout out after 3 seconds of thought most people think I've spent days thinking about.  However, it never gets any deeper.


So your brain works just like a politicians'.
 
2014-04-07 11:28:07 AM  
I skimmed over the photo with that article and thought, hmm, she has a healthy rack but that goofy smile is a bit off-putting.
 
2014-04-07 11:28:53 AM  
I can attest to that.
 
2014-04-07 11:29:20 AM  
I saw "brain" in the article.
 
2014-04-07 11:29:51 AM  

Needlessly Complicated: Mikey1969: It's not from the Internet, assholes. It's from being taught skimming in school for YEARS. I noticed this was an issue years before I used the internet with any real frequency. Schools focused on teaching you to skim so that you could get through a reading project faster well before Al Gore invented this internet thingy.

Yeah, I mean, if you can get the information you need from a book or article from skimming it, what's the problem? Are you telling me I was *supposed* to read every book and academic article I used in my undergrad research from beginning to end? Aw, hell no.


Well, it is the reason for the issue pointed out in TFA.

When reading a fiction book, though, you miss a lot. The problem is that they are addressing the wrong source. I think the internet does nothing more than enhance what you've already learned.

/Make ONE mistake on Fark though, and EVERYONE reads it   ;-)
 
2014-04-07 11:30:28 AM  

Fritriac: Once got BIE from Fark. Wasn't worth to open the mail...


Clearly you're asking the wrong Farkettes, 'cause I've received some seriously nice BIE.
Nope, can't share.
 
2014-04-07 11:30:41 AM  
Uh,...

All of it,

or just the politics tab?
 
2014-04-07 11:31:25 AM  
That's fine. Wasn't really using it.
 
2014-04-07 11:36:53 AM  
There was a book I read as a kid about a group of students that created some computer to do their homework.  It wasn't until the very end they realized that in order for it to work and be accurate, they had to do the actual programming and understand the concepts they were trying to get the machine to perform.

Since then, I understand why so many people believe bullshiat.  They honestly don't have the basic building blocks and thus can't see the errors presented to them.  It's easier for them to focus on Kardashian level crap than balance a checkbook or read an abstract.

Once you learn to read and do basic math, it's up to you to improve or atrophy.
 
2014-04-07 11:39:39 AM  

Get some Bran, Moran!

 
2014-04-07 11:44:45 AM  
Contemporary authors do not know how to get to the point.

Tell me the point first thing ..  thenbackfill.

Not the other way around.
 
2014-04-07 11:47:22 AM  
blah blah blah   yada yada yada   you're doing it wrong

I get it
 
2014-04-07 11:48:45 AM  

phalamir: Yet we managed to not only not run around banging rocks together, but crank out both written culture and technological advancements.


Actually, banging rocks together was the basis of our first major technological advancements.

img.fark.net
 
2014-04-07 11:57:04 AM  
This quote from a David Cross stand-up seems applicable here:

"Ah, it's weird. I'm not knocking porn, I love porn... but when I go to the airport I don't have to buy those magazines, because I have this thing called will power. And I utilize it so that I don't have to whip my dick out in public. I can wait five hours. At least until I'm in the cab on my way home."

The same problem exists today with mobile devices.  Most people lack the self discipline to not glance at their portable entertainment device every 90 seconds.  It's no surprise that some of the most popular sites (e.g. Buzzfeed - a Fark Preferred Partner) are so shallow and devoid of original content.  This was a problem before mobile devices but it's definitely exacerbated.

Also, never borrow another person's mobile device, unless you're cool with touching their fecal matter as well.  Because you know they've used it every time while sitting on the crapper.
 
2014-04-07 12:00:11 PM  

dittybopper: phalamir: Yet we managed to not only not run around banging rocks together, but crank out both written culture and technological advancements.

Actually, banging rocks together was the basis of our first major technological advancements.

[img.fark.net image 640x480]


Blech. Flints and such are so boring I may need a knap now.
 
2014-04-07 12:00:50 PM  

valkore: This quote from a David Cross stand-up seems applicable here:

"Ah, it's weird. I'm not knocking porn, I love porn... but when I go to the airport I don't have to buy those magazines, because I have this thing called will power. And I utilize it so that I don't have to whip my dick out in public. I can wait five hours. At least until I'm in the cab on my way home."

The same problem exists today with mobile devices.  Most people lack the self discipline to not glance at their portable entertainment device every 90 seconds.  It's no surprise that some of the most popular sites (e.g. Buzzfeed - a Fark Preferred Partner) are so shallow and devoid of original content.  This was a problem before mobile devices but it's definitely exacerbated.

Also, never borrow another person's mobile device, unless you're cool with touching their fecal matter as well.  Because you know they've used it every time while sitting on the crapper.


Maybe it's because I'm young, but I don't see what self discipline has to do with not looking at a phone when there's no pressing reason not to. Why not do something when you could do something? I mean, I can see why you wouldn't want anyone to read BuzzFeed as such, but if I'm emailing a business associate or reading an article from an actual news source, or responding to a post on one of the Facebook pages I manage... why should I wait as long as I'm not driving or in a conversation or something?
 
2014-04-07 12:05:06 PM  
I don't really see the trade-off.  I don't have the patience to enjoy the actual reading of a book anymore, but I'm still plenty capable of doing so*.  Where's the either-or?  Scanning was necessary even before the internet, as 90% of stuff really is crap.  If you've ever needed to read a reference or technical document, you either learned to scan or you read through each word on thousands of pages.  Even newspapers require it.. and I doubt that that's a new thing.

And since youtube came out I've actually gotten decent at scanning through videos looking for visual cues so I can find the only 5 seconds of actual content in a 5 minute video.  Yet I still enjoy movies perfectly well because I don't sit there skipping through them.

Which kinda worries me about these people.  There's a person who claims that they can only scan now.  Well congratulations for somehow forgetting to read.   Scanning isn't something you do in place of reading, it's what you do to narrow down what you have to read.  It'd be like saying that I'm so paranoid about what time it is that I got really good at noticing the location of clocks.. but now I can't read the time on them anymore, even though that was the whole reason I was looking at clocks.  It doesn't make sense.  If someone can't read anymore because they scan so much, than they were only ever scanning and were never actually reading.  Which actually helps explain the 30% of stackexchange users who never actually read the questions they respond to.  Seriously, the answers share some of the same keywords as the questions but it's clear that they never actually read the question.  It's bizarre.

Also, this kind of change means that I won't have to sit and wait 5 minutes for an older person just to parse a damn screen's worth of data.  Seriously, it's painful.  Like when someone insists on showing a youtube video and has you wait for minutes while they incompetently try and find it.


*I've got crap attention.  If I'm not super interested, the paragraphs fall apart into sentences, then into words, and then (if really boring) into letters.  So I pretty much end up with a nonsensical string of syllables, much like the Peanuts-style "wah-wah-wah" when someone is talking and boring.  This is a separate issue from what is being described in the article and its effect is proportional to the relevance of what I am reading.
 
2014-04-07 12:08:41 PM  
Lots of things ruin your brain. At least Fark adds some mild entertainment.
 
2014-04-07 12:28:25 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: dittybopper: phalamir: Yet we managed to not only not run around banging rocks together, but crank out both written culture and technological advancements.

Actually, banging rocks together was the basis of our first major technological advancements.

[img.fark.net image 640x480]

Blech. Flints and such are so boring I may need a knap now.


files.sharenator.com
 
2014-04-07 12:57:15 PM  
Fark ruining my brain?  Unpossible.
 
2014-04-07 01:13:23 PM  

The water was cold: Fark ruining my brain?  Unpossible.


sounds prefectly cromulent
 
2014-04-07 01:13:59 PM  

Slaxl: Even as a child I remember reading books then suddenly being conscious of the fact that for the last few paragraphs I've let my mind wander whilst my eyes continued moving forward, and had to go back and re-read parts. I don't think the internet is to blame for that.


Me too.  My family has had plenty of discussions about how different our educations would be now, even 13 years removed from my sister's high school experience (she's the youngest).  We'd all be labeled ADD or ADHD, and my dad would've needed a second job to cover my brother's Ritalin tab.

Personally, I still read on a daily basis, though it's usually in bed before I go to sleep.   Don't have nearly enough focus still; there's at least three or four very terse books I've given up on in the past few years.  (Just seems like it's hard for certain writers to learn how to tell stories, even if it is nonfiction.)
 
2014-04-07 01:28:38 PM  

valkore: It's no surprise that some of the most popular sites (e.g. Buzzfeed - a Fark Preferred Partner) are so shallow and devoid of original content.


Oddly enough, BuzzFeed really does have some OK long-form articles without inane clickbait headlines. ...They don't get shared nearly as often, though.
 
gja
2014-04-07 01:42:55 PM  
Fark is ruining my brain?
 
2014-04-07 01:43:27 PM  
I still love to read, sometimes even actual books with paper pages. I do find though that while once upon a time I could read crap and be relatively into it, a book now has to be much better to hold my attention enough for deep reading. Otherwise I skim until something sounds interesting enough for a closer read.

It kinda sucks, because I'm having a much harder time finding books that I like.
 
2014-04-07 02:02:15 PM  
I'm unimpressed with modern fiction, so I decided to write a book. That's how Tolkien and C.S. Lewis got started, so it's obviously going to be the greatest book in history, ever. Right?  I'll link to it in Fark Us when it's ready because I love you all so much.

Anyway, I adore non-fiction because learning facts about the universe and how to do things seems to benefit me more than "learning" how fictitious people feel about fictitious events.
 
2014-04-07 02:17:17 PM  

phalamir: b0rscht: I really worry about this when it comes to the future of humanity. If people lose the ability to do deep contemplative uninterrupted thinking, I think it could have terrible consequences - no snark here.

You do realize that for the great part of written human existence the overwhelming majority of people didn't read at all, right?  And that reading was still pretty rare 200 years ago.  Hell, it was only about a hundred years or so ago that you could start to make the assumption that anyone you met could read as a matter of course.  Yet we managed to not only not run around banging rocks together, but crank out both written culture and technological advancements.  And even then, most people read complete schlock.  The penniless bootblack in 1812 doing a close reading of Aristotle in the original Greek is a fable. The inner city child in 1956 reading Proust for fun is a fable.  And yet we built pretty much all of human society and technology with the great teeming masses either illiterate or consuming a steady diet of Doc Sampson pulp.  Researchers and bibliovores have always been the exception.

"Oh noes!  We will have the reading habits of 1950s Americans!" is hardly the beginning of humanity fading into mentally retarded barbarity.

Not to mention, most writers are long-winded thesaurus-jockeys.  Making them cut the crap and spit out what they mean in 100 pages is not always a bad thing.  A good copy editor could have winnowed down most 1800s non-fiction tomes by a good third just by cutting the useless frippery - and most 1600s stuff could have easily be reduced to a single double-spaced page without losing one iota of meaning.


Way back when people couldn't read or write, people needed to remember things. Things as trivial as a shopping list to reciting long stories we're all done from memory. Then came reading and writing and people lost the drive to develop a memory that would retain a (near) perfect "copy" of even a short story. They could always look things up. Now people aren't even bothering to look things up properly while not remembering what they read either.

I once came across someone making the claim that individual conscience was relatively new because the old stories hardly dealt with individuals and their motivations

I always assumed that remembering a 10,000 word story was hard enough without keeping track of who did what for which emotional reason. Imagine learning SoIaF by heart and needing to get all the persons, dialogue, mental states and internal dialog correct. Writing killed the oral tradition, but.it also gave us increasingly complex stories.
 
2014-04-07 05:23:29 PM  
The hell, you say. If I expect to do well on the weekly Fark news quiz I have to be sure and read every. single. word.
 
2014-04-07 07:47:54 PM  
tl;dr and I mean the headline.
 
2014-04-07 07:59:17 PM  

falkone32: I don't really see the trade-off.  I don't have the patience to enjoy the actual reading of a book anymore, but I'm still plenty capable of doing so*.  Where's the either-or?  Scanning was necessary even before the internet, as 90% of stuff really is crap.  If you've ever needed to read a reference or technical document, you either learned to scan or you read through each word on thousands of pages.  Even newspapers require it.. and I doubt that that's a new thing.

And since youtube came out I've actually gotten decent at scanning through videos looking for visual cues so I can find the only 5 seconds of actual content in a 5 minute video.  Yet I still enjoy movies perfectly well because I don't sit there skipping through them.

Which kinda worries me about these people.  There's a person who claims that they can only scan now.  Well congratulations for somehow forgetting to read.   Scanning isn't something you do in place of reading, it's what you do to narrow down what you have to read.  It'd be like saying that I'm so paranoid about what time it is that I got really good at noticing the location of clocks.. but now I can't read the time on them anymore, even though that was the whole reason I was looking at clocks.  It doesn't make sense.  If someone can't read anymore because they scan so much, than they were only ever scanning and were never actually reading.  Which actually helps explain the 30% of stackexchange users who never actually read the questions they respond to.  Seriously, the answers share some of the same keywords as the questions but it's clear that they never actually read the question.  It's bizarre.

Also, this kind of change means that I won't have to sit and wait 5 minutes for an older person just to parse a damn screen's worth of data.  Seriously, it's painful.  Like when someone insists on showing a youtube video and has you wait for minutes while they incompetently try and find it.


*I've got crap attention.  If I'm not super interested ...


tl;dr what a wall of text lol
 
2014-04-07 10:06:15 PM  

Rwa2play: Says a member of the print media whose sole purpose in life has been to rot the brains of whoever buys their rag.


Ferment, dear, ferment! Not rot. Merciful heavens!
 
2014-04-07 11:14:26 PM  
Well, at least, its improved my grammer.
 
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