Looping technology

In his new book “The Shallows,” Nicholas Carr frets that technology may be making us more stupid as we frenetically search the Net for fads or ask Google to fill in our memory blanks. Steven Pinker counters that in a world of vastly scaling knowledge, we need technology to be smart, solving problems with engines that pull in data we can’t possibly retain ourselves. Clay Shirky parries most optimistically, suggesting the 1.8 billion humans now using the Internet have created a cognitive surplus that gave us Wikipedia at first, and perhaps leaps in creative output in the future.

All we can say about technology is: damn, KT Tunstall can jam with it.

4 thoughts on “Looping technology

  1. Plus without the web, you could never take such an easy way out, simply linking to Pinker, Shirky and embedding KT. What a brilliant way to prove that Carr is wrong.

  2. Edward, I’m with Shirky on this one. Every evolution in communications technology has started with silliness before enabling advances in insight. I’m sure the first cave painters were derided by their hunter colleagues — “Ooga, put down that brush and come kill for meat like us, you idiot!”

    What’s funny is how the old guard of a communication elite always take umbrage at the new advance. The editors of newspapers and magazines deride blogs for not having high editorial standards; ad agency chiefs (some) mock crowdsourcing for low creative quality; some school teachers still scoff at Wikipedia. The aristocracy who guard democratic knowledge fear the true democracy of unbridled creation, e.g. creativity unbound. Quite an irony there. Or to paraphrase Shirky, every group started to solve a problem ends up having a vested interest in the problem never being solved.

    But don’t look at me. I just wrote this cause KT is hot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *