|Chapter :||Scenario 1: The Internet and Evolution of Human Intelligence|
capabilities will both improve and decrease some of our human capabilities. Certainly it’s much easier to find out stuff, including historical, accurate, and true stuff, as well as entertaining, ironic, and creative stuff. It’s also making some folks lazier, less concerned about investing in the time and energy to arrive at conclusions, etc.” —Ron Rice, chair of social effects of communication in the Department of Communication and co-director of Center for Film, Television and New Media, University of California–Santa Barbara
“Nick [Carr] says, ‘Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.’ Besides finding that a little hard to believe (I know Nick to be a deep diver, still), there is nothing about Google, or the Net, to keep anyone from diving—and to depths that were not reachable before the Net came along.” —Doc Searls, fellow, Berkman Center, Harvard, fellow at Center for Information Technology and Society, University of California–Santa Barbara; co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto
“Google isn’t making us stupid—but it is making many of us intellectually lazy…Like other major technologies, Google’s search functionality won’t push the human intellect in one predetermined direction. It will reinforce certain dispositions in the end-user: stronger intellects will use Google as a creative tool, while others will let Google do the thinking for them.” —David Ellis, director of communication studies at York University, Toronto, and author of the first Canadian book on the roots of the Internet
An extension of the previous theme: The impact of online tools depends upon the ways in which users implement them.
“As with food, people will learn about what makes a good information diet, and what good habits look like. Google is a supermarket. Supermarkets don’t make people fat. Access to information is not the issue, it’s the consumption model. What you retain. What is toxic. What is nutritious. What should go out as waste.” —JP Rangaswami, chief scientist, British Telecommunications
“The answer lies in two words, ‘That depends.’ That depends on how we use the Internet. Will we use it as a replacement for human interaction or as an enhancement for human interaction?” —Gary Marx, founder and president, Center for Public Outreach