A recent study suggests that even if you may have a little deficit in your memory with age, the internet is speeding up the process. Not because it’s damaging your memory, but because you’re simply using the internet as a crutch. The information is at your fingertips, so you don’t have to remember.
In my view, this ‘study’ follows a long line of similar work that states the obvious.
Others who have engaged in this scaremongering include the likes of Nicolas Carr ( who seems to have made a career out of Internet bashing and Google bashing ..) and the neuroscientist Susan Greenfield who claims that social sites such as Facebook are causing alarming changes in the brains of little children.
But I believe that instead of making us less intelligent, the Internet is making us more intelligent by being selective .. and the model for that type of intelligence is Henry Ford
The findings of this study made me remember a section in Napolean Hill’s classic – Think and Grow Rich in which he describes how lawyers for a Chicago newspaper attempted to prove that Henry Ford was ‘ignorant’.
The attorneys asked Mr. Ford a great variety of questions, all of them intended to prove, by his own evidence, that, while, he might possess considerable specialized knowledge pertaining to the manufacture of automobiles, he was, in the main, ignorant.
Mr. Ford was plied with such questions as the following: “Who was Benedict Arnold?” and “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the Rebellion of 1776?” In answer to the last question, Mr. Ford replied, “I do not know the exact number of the soldiers the British sent over, but I have heard that it was a considerably larger number than ever went back.”
Finally, Mr. Ford became tired of this line of questioning, and in reply to a particularly offensive question, he leaned over, pointed his finger at the lawyer who had asked the question, and said, “If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts.”
… Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize that knowledge into definite plans of action.
There is a lot to be said for this response from Henry Ford and it indicates an optimistic evolution path for humanity!
That row of buttons is now Google and you don’t to be as rich as Henry Ford to have access to them at your fingertips. Thanks to the Web and the Internet, Information is now democratised ..