Intelligence moving to devices
- Mobile phones 'dumbing down brain power'
An over reliance on technology is leading to a dumbing down of the nation’s brain power, according a study published today.
In a society flooded with mobile phones, Blackberry devices and computers of various shapes and sizes, a quarter of all Britons do not know their own landline number while as little as a third can recall more than three birthdays of their immediate family.
I don't think this is dumbing down. We humans are simply bad at mastering domains of knowledge. Take a year long physics class and and few years later you'll know little more than a child from the back country. So we need to externalize this stuff in devices. In time they'll be in chips socketed into our brain.
My interest is if access to facts, like chemistry and evolution, will alter people's opinions, since most people know nothing about the technological issues facing the world. For example, the effect of CFCs is obvious chemistry that people doubt. Knowing chemistry would just make the problem more obvious. But even for me the mechanics of all the chemical reactions has faded. So long live the devices!
son of parnas
July 18th, 2007 10:33am
The bad thing about that is you lose the external perspective. Many great things happened because a second pair of ignorant eyes came along and saw trees the trained couldn't for the forest.
July 18th, 2007 10:37am
I've had this thought recently - that I don't know people's phone numbers any more. What I know is how to key their name to pull them up on my phone.
But who cares? I'd like to see a study on whether people communicate more today than ten years ago thanks to ubiquitous cell phones and directories. (I'm betting physical get-together time has dropped, while overall communication time has gone up significantly)
July 18th, 2007 10:50am
Yeah, yeah, "wet-ware" is just around the corner, yadda, yadda.
Shoot, we can't even get computers to LISTEN to us very well yet. The brain-silicon interface is WAY more complicated than that.
Besides, remember the Krell, and Monsters from the Id (reference to "Forbidden Planet"). Personally, I'm very fond of the distance between myself and the computer, moderated by this very nice keyboard I'm typing on.
Computers are tools, which allow us humans to leverage what we do best with what they do best. Remembering numbers is something computers are WAY better at than we are.
July 18th, 2007 10:52am
Yo! I'm already there.
July 18th, 2007 10:53am
> Remembering numbers is something computers are WAY better at than we are.
Which why having them integrated in to your brain would be useful.
The conjecture is access to knowledge could tip arguments like global warming much sooner.
son of parnas
July 18th, 2007 10:56am
I had a really great reply to this, but my phone crashed.
July 18th, 2007 11:14am
there are sorta two ideas in the OP:
- knowledge not useful in everyday activities (like chemistry) atrophies from the brain with lack of use. It gets decoupled to other people, experts, with an API ("the media").
- everyday useful knowledge (ie, phone numbers) becomes automated (or, somehow technofied) into devices, hence external to the brain, and decoupled once again with its set of APIs.
What the brain ends up being is a simple thing gluing the first set of interfaces to the second.
July 18th, 2007 11:34am
The thing is...this is not new. One of the first things I learned was the value of knowing how to find the information you wanted. My dad was a lawyer, and, like all lawyers' offices, his was full of books. His office at home was full of books. I realized that there was no possible way he could have all that in his head, but he was constantly reading cases. He didn't know stuff off the top of his head, but he could quickly find a ton of cases relevant to whatever case he happened to be working on at the time.
As long as people have been able to offline data, we've been doing it.
July 18th, 2007 11:47am
Men were smarter before the devices of bras and boob jobs came into vogue. They could tell how old a woman was by looking at her breasts.
Now they must use facebook.
pavel igorovitch historov
July 18th, 2007 12:50pm
Rubbish. Intelligence moved into calculators long ago.
July 18th, 2007 7:27pm
July 18th, 2007 7:34pm