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How is the Internet living up to its originally conceived potential?

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  • How is the Internet living up to its originally conceived potential?

    I'm just curious what people think about how the Internet is shaping people's thoughts and experiences today compared to what people thought it would do for everyone when it's widespread adoption first began.

    The following article inspired me to start this thread:

    BBC - Future - Our IQs have never been higher – but it hasn’t made us smart

    By David Robson
    30 September 2016

    James Flynn is worried about leaving the world to millennials. As a professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand, he regularly meets bright students with enormous potential, only to find that many of them aren’t engaging with the complex past of the world around them.

    “They have all these modern skills and yet they come out of university no different than the medieval peasant who is anchored in his own little world,” he tells me mid-way through our conversation. “Well, actually they are anchored in a much bigger world – the world of the present – but with no historical dimension.” The result, he thinks, is that we have overly simplistic views of current issues, leaving us open to manipulation by politicians and the media.

    I ask him how else I could hope to get a brain boost. “You can marry a partner, not because they look like a star, but because you found them intellectually challenging,” he advises me. “They would introduce you into a world of ideas and peers that would make your life far more interesting.

    Which brings us round to his concerns about millennials. Despite the gains in IQ, he worries that we aren’t engaging our minds effectively on the issues that matter. “I’m not being gloomy but actually the major intellectual thing that disturbs me is that young people like you are reading less history and less serious novels than you used to,” he says, arguing that we should have a background in the crises that have shaped world history before we form opinions on current politics. He chastises me for my lack of knowledge of Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, for instance, which he believes has many parallels with today’s conflicts in the Middle East. (His criticism is perfectly fair, and he is persuasive enough to convince me to fill the gaps in my knowledge.)...

  • #2
    Just Google it.
    Nuff' said.


    • #3
      I've spent the last 25 years or so listening to people say how the Internet was destroying everything, how the current generation wasn't as capable as the previous one, etc, etc,. The reality is things are getting better and the "problem" with millennials isn't that their view is too narrow, it's that it's different. I know for sure that millennials and the kids growing up today have a broader view of the world than I could possibly have had when I was growing up.

      "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"


      • #4
        Exactly. The days of sneaking off in the library to read World Book Encyclopedia are over.
        Time spent in the Rockies is never deducted from the rest of your life


        • #5
          It's changed the world for the better in almost every conceivable way. Knowledge is now freely distributed, shared, and consumed. The internet is on par with fire and writing as historic human achievements.
          "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal


          • #6
            Arguments are different now. I don't think anyone understood when it came in, how all the worlds facts would pretty much be on everyone's smart phones.


            • #7
              On my reading list is the book "Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of our New Renaissance" by Chris Kutarna and Ian Goldin. CBC had a an interesting interview with Kutarna where he argued the Internet is spurring changes on par with the Renaissance.


              "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"