Another one weighing in on the Internet makes you stupid debate

Business Technology : Does the Internet Make Us Think Different?

This one does have an interesting point, that we’re “outsourcing” our memory to the internet in some degree. This may well be true, though I think if this is the case it stretches back further than just the internet (calculators will rob children of the ability to do math, anybody?)

One point though is quite valid – people who remember things might become less valuable than people who can find information. In software development I believe this is quite true. There are lots of things I don’t remember, about the languages I use and the environments I work in. Plenty that I do of course as I work with these systems every day, but plenty that I don’t.

What I can do though is find information. Anything I need to do, given some time, I can find out how. Google is a software developer’s best friend.

I’ve met programmers who have rote-learned language details and object oriented concepts and have proven to be absolutely useless when they sit down to work. The first obstacle they come across they have to stop and ask for help, as they’ve absolutely no idea how to use the resources at their fingertips to find a solution.

The internet, or more correctly Technology in general, has changed the way we think, and the way we learn. Rote learning is no longer as important or emphasised, more attention is placed on critical thinking and less on volumes of trivial knowledge available for recall.

We’ve changed. The question is – is this a bad thing?

I don’t think so.


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