Thursday, 10 July 2008

"Is Google Making Us Stoopid?"

'Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter [...] His vision was failing [and] once he had mastered touch-typing he was able to write with his eyes closed. [...]
But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche's friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. "Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom (style)," the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his "'thoughts' in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper."
"You are right," Nietzsche replied, "our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler, Nietzsche's prose "changed from arguments to aphorisms (short phrase containing wise idea), from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style."'

It's pretty interesting how the medium you use has an influence on the style and expression of your ideas, and if you write something by pen, the resulting idea may be very different from if you type it. This is from the article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid" :

It's a really interesting article about internet as the new medium of information intake, how it differs from inherited cultural norms (books, articles etc.) and how the medium in which information is presented not only affects how our brains process this information but also changes the ways the brain functions:
'The media or other technologies we use in learning the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains.'

It might seem a little long but it is quite fascinating and well written so worth the read!

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