dinsdag 8 juni 2010

How the information era (mis)forms our brains

The New York Times has an article "Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price" with an accompaniing blog post about the consequences of the information era for our brains. In the past we have seen many articles about the benefits: the young generation is better at multi-tasking, playing computer games makes you better in certain spatial tasks, etc. This article shows the downside: people get used to this information overload and then the slowly moving normal world looks boring. Spending time with others becomes interupted by checking email and Twitter and becomes less intense.

This debate is not new. Previously it had been argued by Nicholas Carr that Google makes us stupid. He argued that people because of internet are less likely to read complicated books. But every new thing has a price: reading means that part of our visual brains is reserved for letters. This makes us less capable of "reading" our natural surroundings.

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