by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 19th 2011 9:59pm
There are a bunch of reports out concerning a new study claiming that Google is rewiring how we remember. It sounds good, but it's not really what the study appears to be saying. Basically, the study is saying that we just don't work as hard at remembering stuff we know we can access again easily. But I don't see that as rewiring. I think that's always been true. It's the same thing as people not remembering their multiplication tables as carefully, because they know they have a calculator. If anything, it just seems like an efficient use of your brain. The report also notes that people have an easier time remembering where to find certain info than they do remembering the info itself. But, again, that's just our brains being efficient. So I don't see how that's rewiring anything. It's just a recognition that, thanks to the internet and other technologies, we can have near ubiquitous access to certain kinds of info, and we function better by remembering how to find it, rather than the info itself. In fact, we've discussed this before, about how people quite reasonably use things like Google as their backup brain and how that actually has some benefits.
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