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(Washington Post)   Fark is ruining your brain   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 76
    More: Obvious, cognitive neuroscientist, William James, Henry James, Emarketer, Marcel Proust  
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5568 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Apr 2014 at 10:10 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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 [TotalFark]
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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