June 17, 2003

An item from the chicken little file. While I agree that the web has totally changed the way we interact with information -- both publication and discovery -- I think it's going a bit far to say that the whole project has become a kind of "substitute for meaningful thinking." Take a look at "From Thinkers to Clickers: The World Wide Web and the Transformation of the Essence of Being Human" by M.O. Thirunarayanan and tell me if you don't think this person needs to relax and get a grip. I'm sure when Gutenberg invented the printing press, there were all kinds of people who went on about how you can't possibly think properly about a topic unless you spent a couple of years copying out every book on the subject by hand. Yes, we are more impatient. Yes, we are bombarded with more information. We may even be lazier. But, are we -- by definition -- stupider? Sheesh. There's an interesting discussion on the topic in the associated forum. From Current Cites.

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