Response to Nicholas Carr's "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
The internet is a technology which has had a significant impact on the way many people conduct their lives. Information once contained in massive volumes at libraries or in private collections is now available by typing words into a search engine and clicking “search.” One must no longer pick up a phone to call a friend, relative or colleague; e-mail, instant messaging, Skype and the like, have enabled people to communicate in non-traditional ways and across boundaries previously inaccessible. Nicholas Carr addresses the wonder that is the internet in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The general direction of the article is a discussion of how intelligent thought patterns seem to be changing; attention spans and critical
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There is no structured peer review process to filter incorrect information. Academic journals and scientific publications are subject to review and editing; however, there are in reality few barriers to restrict anyone from publishing their own ideas in traditional print media. If one has the means, one may print literature containing messages of hate or misinformation. An example might include Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf or for disbelievers, L. Ron Hubbard’s writings on Scientology. The Bible is taken by many to be guiding parables, while others believe the words contained within to be directly communicated by God (Believers.org; Godandscience.org). These examples illustrate that there are similar fallacies of thought by readers of written text as there are for web-based text such as blogs, online forums and Wikipedia. The main difference between written text and the internet is the reach of these ideas.
It is the role of the individual, much like in print media, to decipher the message and gain knowledge from their interpretation of ideas. Carr suggests that although the ideas are there, the distraction of hyperlinks, advertisements and so forth, take away from the value of the message. Individuals all process information differently; some may be distracted by flashing banners and pop-up windows encouraging an