( A seven minute read)
Our worldviews are formed by who is shouting louder and more persistently into our ears.
While our Technologic vision is to create more intuitive and human-like interactions between man and machines Google, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet of Everything. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.Ambiguity is not an opening for insight but a bug to be fixed. The human brain is just an outdated computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive.
There’s has been little consideration of how, exactly, the Internet and these Companies are reprogramming us.
Having said that, I think internet and new media actually can be effective to fight such brainwashing.
However most of the Internet and Social Media is now presenting just superficial information we won’t even remember tomorrow. It is the illusion of knowledge by information.
Just as we coming to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that is being flattened into artificial intelligence.
True reality might be forever beyond our reach, but surely our senses give us at least an inkling of what it’s really like. Quantum mechanics is telling us that we have to question the very notions of ‘physical things’ sitting in ‘space.
If you have got this far, you might be wondering where am I going with this post.
Just as there’s a tendency to glorify technological progress, there’s a counter tendency to expect the worst of every new tool or machine.
The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well.
The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements.
Last year, Page told a convention of scientists that Google is “really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large-scale.
Certainly if you had all the world’s information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off.
Still, their easy assumption that we’d all “be better off” if our brains were supplemented, or even replaced, by an artificial intelligence is unsettling.
Is it real knowledge? or a HAL-like machine that might be connected directly to our brains. “The ultimate search engine is something as smart as people—or smarter,”
Thanks to the growing power that computer engineers and software coders wield over our intellectual lives,“algorithm,” are beginning to govern the realm of the mind.
The Internet is a machine designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information, and its legions of programmers are intent on finding the “one best method”—the perfect algorithm—to carry out every mental movement of what we’ve come to describe as “knowledge work.”
Google, is “a company that’s founded around the science of measurement,” and it is striving to “systematize everything”
It carries out thousands of experiments a day, according to the Harvard Business Review, and it uses the results to refine the algorithms that increasingly control how people find information and extract meaning from it.
The company has declared that its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It seeks to develop “the perfect search engine,” which it defines as something that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.”
In Google’s view, information is a kind of commodity, a utilitarian resource that can be mined and processed with industrial efficiency. The more pieces of information we can “access” and the faster we can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.
It would bring about a restructuring not only of industry but of society, creating a utopia of perfect efficiency. “In the past the man has been first,” he declared; “in the future the system must be first.”
An “algorithm world.”
Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the Internet does today.
Thanks to our brain’s plasticity, the adaptation occurs also at a biological level.
In the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think, the Internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition.
The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV.
A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.
The Net’s influence doesn’t end at the edges of a computer screen, either.
As people’s minds become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience’s new expectations. Television programs add text crawls and pop-up ads, and magazines and newspapers shorten their articles, introduce capsule summaries, and crowd their pages with easy-to-browse info-snippets. “Shortcuts” give harried readers a quick “taste” of the day’s news, sparing them the “less efficient” method of actually turning the pages and reading the articles.
Intellectual technologies —the tools that extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies.
They are disassociated time from human events and helped create the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences.
The conception of the world that emerged from the widespread use of timekeeping instruments “remains an impoverished version of the older one, for it rests on a rejection of those direct experiences that formed the basis for, and indeed constituted, the old reality.
Skimming activity, hopping from one source to another and rarely returning to any source they’d already visited.
We are becoming “power browsers”
Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice.
But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self, weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace.
We are becoming “mere decoders of information.”
Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.
Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings.
It’s not etched into our genes the way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains.
The circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works.
The human brain is almost infinitely malleable.
People used to think that our mental meshwork, the dense connections formed among the 100 billion or so neurons inside our skulls, was largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. But brain researchers have discovered that that’s not the case. Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. “The brain,” according to Olds, “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.”
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory.
I think I know what’s going on.
For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded.
In the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.
Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.
I have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb.
Having a computer for a brain has its perks, but it has its drawbacks as well. Language is a tough concept for robots, as words can convey the abstract as well as the concrete and robots have trouble knowing the difference (and grasping the abstract).
That makes human-machine interaction less than intuitive for humans and confusing to ‘bots. Thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they’re following the steps of an algorithm.
As we are drained of our “inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,” Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”
Every day of the week new APPS replace thinking, Jobs. Humanoid robots are now able to speak in different languages with voice recognition thanks to the cloud. Robots can also ask one another about where they just came from, and which directions it is from where they currently are.
If one finds itself in an unfamiliar place, it will make up a word to describe it from randomly generated syllables. It communicates that word to other robots it meets there, establishing the name of the locale within the community. From this, a spatial and verbal framework is established to name places on the map. Creating a shared language between them.
If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with “content,” we will sacrifice something important not only in ourselves but in our culture.
I find myself centered between understanding the necessity for change into the world of technology and mourning the loss of social interpretation and deep thinking.
Don’t stopped reading books altogether.