My Other Brain Is Powered By Silicon…

from the extensions-of-ourselves dept

A short piece at CNN examines how younger people today now seem to consider computers and the internet as real extensions of their “carbon” brains. Without a laptop and an internet connection, it’s as if they’re working at a disadvantage. The article isn’t suggesting this is a bad thing (as some might assume), but rather that it’s different, and interesting to see how people adapt when a large component of their brain is outside of their body.

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Comments on “My Other Brain Is Powered By Silicon…”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Personally, I think it's a huge mistake

Much like using calculators in the classroom.

Way, way, way back in the olden days when I went through school, we weren’t allowed to use calculators in math classes until higher level math classes where you needed the advanced functionality of a scientific calculator.

We were never allowed to use a calculator to perform simple arithmetic like they encourage kids to do today.

I encourage people of all ages to use a computer and the internet as an extension of their brain, but not as a replacement for it! Use technology as an aid – not a crutch that can be kicked out from underneath you!

It boggles my mind when I go to a convenience store, gas station, etc. and the clerk doesn’t know how to make proper change if (s)he punches the wrong numbers into the cash register.

It’s sad, but my guess is that if you had 100 average grade school to high school children in a public library trying to research a school project online and their internet connection went down, that at least half of them would look around stupidly and say to themselves “Now where am I supposed to find that information?” and not notice the 100,000+ books surrounding them on all sides.

thecaptain says:

Re: Personally, I think it's a huge mistake

I agree.

While I myself (far from being a child..although one can always be childish at times) find a certain panicky emptiness those rare times when I have no computer, or when my laptop isn’t connected to the net, I *CAN* function without a PC or a net connection.

I found myself a couple of years ago without a calculator and I had to figure out some math problems (can’t remember why…just one of those things) and I found I could no longer remember how to work them out on paper. From that day on, I’ve kept my calculator use to a minimum…use it or lose it I figure.

(puts on tin foil hat…I freely admit that the following sounds like raving paranoia…but I just can’t quite shake this…)

I can’t help but think that we are raising a generation that not only is unable to think for themselves…but that is unable to think, period. We have actively shut out critical thinking in our schools’ curriculum, we encourage (by not forbidding) the use of “thinking crutches” like calculators, the net (ie: cut and paste your homework), etc. Literacy levels are low, most high school graduates have barely adequate math and reading skills and are completely unable to evaluate information in an objective manner. Add to that the constant bombardement from marketters we have a generation of dumb sheeple good only for consumption for the few elite who have the brains to be the shephards…

Its a sad state of affairs.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

Re: Re: Re: Science fiction [Personally, I think it's a hu

There’s a nice little Sci-Fi story by Asimov on this very topic. Now if only I could remember the name

You mean The Feeling of Power where the astronauts rediscover how to do arithmetic with pencil and paper?

If I remember, one of the main characters in the novel Rule Golden had a permanent radio attachment to a computer.

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