Is Google Making Us Dumber?

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Before the advent of Google, way back in the not-so-dark ages, if you needed an answer to a question that was boggling your mind, you either contemplated privately and arrived at a logical conclusion, visited the library or asked someone who knew. These is how the masters did it. The likes of Galileo, Newton and Einstein, private thoughts experiments of whom we are reaping the benefits to this day.

These days, the answer to almost any question is just a couple of taps away on your smartphone. Thanks to Google, the gap between conceiving a question and getting the answer is smaller than ever, on the route to extinction. What we end up having is all the information we ever need right at our fingertips, giving us the impression of  being smart. But are we are actually smarter or we’re getting dumber? Ian Leslie believes it’s the latter.

In his Salon.com publication, Google makes us all dumber: The neuroscience of search engines, Leslie argues that our over-dependence on Google is killing our curiosity, our desire to learn more. As he puts it:

“The Internet can make us feel omniscient. But it’s the feeling of not knowing which inspires the desire to learn. The psychologist George Loewenstein gave us the simplest and most powerful definition of curiosity, describing it as the response to an “information gap.” When you know just enough to know that you don’t know everything, you experience the itch to know more”.

Read the full article here.

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