Steven Perez
Is the Internet Making Us Smarter or Stupider? -
Is the Internet Making Us Smarter or Stupider?
"It's by no means a new debate, but it remains an important one, and today the Wall Street Journal tackles the issue with a pair of essays on what exactly internet's doing to our noggins. So, which is it?" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
I ask myself this when I find myself continually going to Google to check spelling and correct word usage. I have allowed Google to pick up the slack on my grammar skills. I used to be pretty good without the internet; now I have become really lazy about it. :-/ - Jenny
The Internet makes us stupid the same way that calculators make us stupid and the same way reading and writing makes us stupid. - Victor Ganata
I just wished these network social sites would stop telling me i can't spell, just because i use British and not American spelling, lol. But on a more serious note, i think Wikipedia is the real threat to making us stupid. While some of it is fairly reliable, the fair chunk of historical information on Wikipedia is somewhat more suspect. People, especially students now, rely on it too much and forget that its not 100% accurate. Also, plagiarism is on the increase more than ever now, by students lifting stuff off the internet, copy/paste, hey presto finished essay. Copy/paste hey presto, new government dossier!!! :| - Halil
Halil, when I was teaching and issuing essays, I found a LOT of plagiarism from Wikipedia even though I warned my students 1. not to use it as a reference and 2. that I was using to check for plagiarism. - Jenny
What Ladybug said. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
Whaaa?! So reading and writing made us stupid? - Victor Ganata
+++Victor - Mo Kargas
Seriously, though, the same arguments people use for saying the Internet makes us stupid are fairly similar to the arguments people made when other people started writing things down instead of just memorizing everything. - Victor Ganata
Yes, very true, Victor and Jason. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
+Halil about Wikipedia. I love it for bits of info about all sorts of random things, but it's shot through with all sorts of errors and crappy writing. It should not even be allowed as a source on school papers. It's only a place to get a rough outline about any topic. And wayyyy too much about every particle of pop cultural detritus. (There is a page for *one* Transformer named Swindle that looks about 10 printed pages long. Wiki-groaning.) - Kamilah Reed (K. Gill)
Jenny, what was punishment for plagiarism? At my university it was punishable by expulsion off the course, as they took it pretty seriously, if found guilty. And yes Kamilah (I love this spelling of your name :) ) Wikipedia is good in parts, I use it a lot for various things. Science, nature stuff, looking up plants (I love gardening) and even some stuff on politics and other non-historical stuff. Its the history that I'm most concerned about, as sometimes if can be grossly biased and distorted, as the checks are not as good as if it was going to print, unless I'm completely wrong? ...And Jason makes a very valid point, I wonder how many people we have met we might not have ordinarily, or even ordinarily even engaged with on any level, but do so on these social websites? I wonder how many of us have influenced or been influenced by others on a whole plethora of issues? I wonder how many of us have learnt new things from others, not necessarily because they posted something from Wikipedia, lol. But rather, their own knowledge. I know I'm a better person for having joined these sites, sometimes I have experienced extreme unpleasantness and abuse, but on the whole its all been good. - Halil
A zero on the essay, which was approx 30% of their overall grade. The punishment for plagiarism was at the discretion of the instructor. Some were harsher than me, for sure. If you got caught plagiarizing in grad school, you were unceremoniously booted out of the program. I was teaching mostly Freshman, so hopefully I just gave them a wakeup call to clean up their act. (I did have a few Juniors and Seniors who plagiarized in my class then begged me to pass them because they would lose their athletic scholarships. Boo hoo.) - Jenny