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Essay internet changing our life
Change: 19 Key Essays on How Internet Is Changing our Livesit gives us the things that we want faster and with less effort, but it doesn't give us anything that we couldn't otherwise get for ourselves and doesn't require us to do anything more than give comprehensible orders. clearly, anyone who spends 10-plus hours each day with their attention focused on a screen is not devoting much time to experiencing the "real" world. so-called mutlitaskers are like woody allen after he took a speed-reading course and devoured war and peace in an evening. am not sure if i am answering your question, as it is a question that i do think about consiously everyday now but can't quite figure out. the internet has not only changed the way i think, but prompted me to think about those changes, over time, weighted by the uneven-ness of technology take-up and accessibility to the net. a tool available to a reasonably wide public, the internet is only twenty years old, but it is already the fundamental catalyst of the broadest based and fastest technological revolution in history. the internet is simultaneously the world's greatest time-saver and the greatest time-waster in history. in several studies, i contrasted this ancestral audiovisual medium with cellphone use in which you hear but do not see your conversant, and texting in which you neither see nor hear your conversant. of the internet has not changed the way that i think, but it is making a unique contribution by providing me with immediate and convenient access to an extraordinary range of ideas and information. use peer ratings effectively, we have to let go of our intellectual and aesthetic pretensions. this function of the internet is particularly striking when i'm writing; i no longer am comfortable writing if i'm not connected to the internet. use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services and show users advertising related to their preferences by means of the analysis of their browsing habits. perhaps it would help if i could work out what life would be like for me without the internet. we think it's natural to court a totally unknown person in a bar or club. but how are we to establish affective bonds locally if our lives are consumed by virtual experiences on global intermedia? the internet reifies a logic that was always already there. it isn't changing the structure of your thinking, because it resembles it. the internet we tend to absorb multiple pieces of information about whatever topic we decide we're interested in. the transition from non-primates to primates came with an expansion of social groups, and many scientists now think that the primate brain evolved under the pressures of this novel form of social life. the obvious topics like terror and child porn â€” the lesser but mind numbingly pervasive evils unnerve me: virus, trojan & phishing scams, incessant nigerian cash crap, shrink your debt, lengthen your penis, news lite going gaga over gaga, while teens are violently 'happy slapping' and ultracore pr0n swapping, guys with tattoed faces play ego shooters with death metal screams. bottom line of reconsolidation research is that your memory of some experience is only as good as your last recollection of the experience. more importantly, the raw experimental data is becoming available to theorists like myself via the internet. me, the internet is a return to yesteryear; it simply allows me (and all the rest of us) to think and behave in ways for which we were built long long ago. a small example of that recent elections in which candidates have run internet campaigns. decisions made and actions taken during the next generation will have an imbalanced impact on the future of humans and all other life on earth. your search engine will then present a set of ranked pages to you, determining availability. by contrast, according to a 2009 pew study, 51% of internet users now post content online that they have created themselves, and 1 in 10 americans post something online for others to see every day., the only hope i see hovering in the never-never land (now real) where the internet does it's work of feeding smart people amphetamines and "dumb" people tranquilizers — the only hope is that the expanding puddle of boiling, bubbling hot milk will eventually coagulate and a new unforeseen pattern will emerge out of all that activity that thought it was aiming at a certain goal. internet makes a difference as we zero in toward the final detailed solution of our scientific problem: "how did the ancestral nucleated cell evolve some 1000 million years ago? for example, the number of internet searchers for something you wrote may asymptotically approach zero over the decades, but it will never quite reach zero. when i grew up, there was only one radio in our entire village of twenty families. the short answer is that remembering is a dangerous affair in the life of a memory. ultimately, i can envision the internet as a net positive or a net negative force in the critical sustainability effort, but i see no way around the fact that any positive outcome will involve us turning off the screens and spending significant time outside interacting with the real world, in particular the nonhuman world. a photographer for over 50 years has created an innate suspicion of cyber space but this superstition/suspicion does not interfere with my use of the internet as a system of communication and research. the internet does, and what mass communication does more generally is to sample those inputs from the 6. contrary to our ancestral behaviours, we tolerate invasion of privacy online, and the success of the internet relies on this. but that doesn't mean that their experience and attention won't be changed by the internet, anymore than my print-soaked twentieth century life was the same as the life of a barely literate 19th century farmer. we now have the same capacity for being united under a common language and shared technology that our earliest human ancestors had. admittedly useful as the internet is, easy access to images of everything and anything creates a false illusion of knowledge and experience. but the comfort of connectivity is an important part of my life when i'm back on more familiar ground, and take it for granted. you want to become an instant expert in something that matters to you: maybe a homework assignment, maybe researching a life-threatening disease afflicting someone close to you. internet as it evolved up to about the turn of the century was a great relief and comfort to me, and influenced my thinking positively in a multitude of ways. this odd human habit has even spilled into our streets and other public places. we need a sense of direction that carries us onward through the wood despite our twists and turns. it doesn't make sense to find a place in a book that you technically have read but that is so far from your memory that you don't remember having read it. "our whole inner world is reality," he once wrote, "perhaps more real still than the apparent world. of the new web-dependent phenomena: open access and open source programming, virtual social networking, the co-construction of knowledge? of course, there are energy costs to the banks of computers that underpin the internet â€” but these costs are far less than the forests and coal beds and oil deposits that would be spent for the same quantity of information flow. the edge foundation's goal is to increase public understanding of science by encouraging intellectuals to "express their deepest thoughts in a manner accessible to the intelligent reading public. there you have it: the emergence of a truly global, collective entity, something that has arisen from humans + internet. i have enjoyed living a few blocks from a major university library because i could casually browse through the extensive journal stacks, leafing through assorted periodicals to see what was up in the latest issues. unfortunately the internet, as it has come to be, maximizes it. before the internet came into play, i could take pride that my each of my papers was present in hundreds or thousands of libraries across the globe. libraries connect things, people connect things, and connections can even happen, yes, while sitting disconnected from the internet under an apple tree somewhere. and should we cede such control, or instead strive, temperately, to develop our own minds very well and direct our own attention carefully? internet first appeared long after i had received my ph. claims that the internet is changing human thought are propelled by a number of forces: the pressure on pundits to announce that this or that "changes everything"; a superficial conception of what "thinking" is that conflates content with process; the neophobic mindset that "if young people do something that i don't do, the culture is declining. mind as a man-made extension had become our environment, which he characterized as a "collective consciousness" that we could tap into by creating "a global utilities network. the only sensible strategy is an eclectic path to defineâ quality of lifeâ for yourself, and use all tools in whatever customized fashion to forge your path. first bit is wholly unsurprising: the internet was designed for people like me, by people like me, most of them english speakers. the internet requires an active engagement and as a result it is full of surprises. aldous huxley famously posited that to enable us to live, the brain and nervous system eliminates unessential information from the totality of our minds. way out of the guilty feeling of wasting our time is to commit ourselves to interesting and well articulated conversations, as we accept invitations to dinners in which we hope to have a stimulating chat and not falling asleep after the second glass of wine. we know this because we can still visit some people on earth who don't have the internet and they think the same way that we do. and, no, i'm not sidestepping the question, because until the internet actually rewires my brain, it won't change my processing abilities. the fact is, the internet reveals in its full horror the true nature of mankind â€” its obsessions, the triviality of its interests, its scorn for logic or rationality, its inhumanity, the power of capital, the intolerance of the other. many others i feel that the internet has made my experience more fragmented, splintered and discontinuous. upon a time, knowledge consisted of what you knew yourself and what you heard â€” literally, with your ears â€” from others. we see this also in journalistic endeavors that seek truth in public documents and records." a sixteen-year-old girl says that even without privacy, she feels safe because "no one would care about my little life. is our addiction to the internet leaving us no time or space to think and process the complex stream of interactions and knowledge we get from it? of journalism, new york university; former journalist, science magazine; author, virtual unreality. i worry that this may be at the expense of first life. and television producer; author, remembering our childhood: how memory betrays us. the automatic generation of a chronicle and a history colours the destiny of all statements. more and more decisions are made by the emergent interaction of multiple communicating systems, and these component systems themselves are constantly adapting, changing the way they work. then, via a website, hearing listservs, and e-mail i networked with fellow hearing advocates and, by feeding each other, our resolve gained strength. among these are open source development, shareware and freeware,â wikipedia, moveon, and uk citizens online democracy.., i should be free to think about and question anything), methods (experimentation, statistical inference, modeling building), and content (evolutionary biology, quantum mechanics, the computational theory of mind) of modern thought are unimaginably different from those held by our ancestors living before gutenberg. this is the real impact of the internet: by allowing adaptive complex systems to interoperate, the internet has changed the way we make decisions. what is happening to us, now that the internet has engulfed us? the anthropologist, robin dunbar, calculated that the volume of the human cortex predicts a social group of 150 â€” about the size of the villages that would have constituted our social environment for a great deal of evolutionary time, and which can still be found in "primitive" societies. it gives immediate, constant contact with select, distant conversants, and can tell you where you are, where you should go next, how to get there, provide diversions while waiting, and document your journey with text, snaps and video images. our highest mental tasks, any dream of an orderly process is a will-o'-the wisp. in practice, it also means a world in which many have already proven that they can ignore what they do not wish to think about, select what they wish to quote, and produce a public discourse demonstrably poorer than what we might have known in the past. i consider the effect of the internet on my thought, i keep coming back to the same metaphor. maybe the internet has damaged me â€” i've informed myself to death! at the same time, the idea has a certain obviousness to it â€” of course i can't recount the enormous complexity of biochemical processes and neural firing that gives rise to my thoughts. cause it is becoming more and more important to see how our individual thoughts and actions affect everything else around us. it really true that we no longer have any choiceâ butâ to be intemperate in how we spend our time, in the face of the temptations and shrill demands of networked digital media? they would get into fights about babe ruth's lifetime batting average. high-resolution colour rendering of virtual reality will improve to the point where the distinction from the real world becomes unnervingly hard to notice.
19 Key Essays on How the Internet Is Changing Our Livesthe internet is opening this possibility to society at large for the first time. all the options have been ruled out, and the result is a disjunction between true adulthood and the creative life. moreover, i use the internet for "sanity checks," trying to gauge whether my emotional reactions to an event are reasonable, quickly comparing them to those of others. the real disparities between the two groups become painfully obvious once members of the cyber-lumpenproletariat head to the polls and push for issues of extremely dubious â€” if not outright unethical â€” nature (the recent referendum on minarets in switzerland is a case in point; the fact that internet users voted the legalization of marijuana as the most burning issue on obama's change. artists have to think differently about their work in the time of the internet because artistic work resonates differently, and at different amplitudes. i, like so many of us, spend so many hours before a flat computer screen, typing away, even when surrounded by countless books, that it is hard to say exactly how the internet has affected me. by orchestrating the power of billions of tomorrow's chips, linked through the internet or its successors, we should be able to construct virtual laboratories of unprecedented flexibility and power. if we consider the world as divided into two similarly populous halves: the ones born before 1980 and the ones born after 1980 — of course there are other important differences such as gender, race, class, ethnicity, geography, etc. i recently spent an hour looking for a title, and then another skimming its text, only to discover that it wasn't the book i had wanted in the first place. came the honeymoon phase â€” believing that nothing in the world could ever be as wondrous â€” an appreciation for all the incredible richness and simplicity that the internet brought into my life. internet pushes this notion farther, louder and of course with the velocity of light. tim berners-lee this book, ch@nge: 19 key essays on how internet is changing our lives, is the sixth [. internet has changed the way i think about our threats for societal collapse. those with a distinctive voice and a good theme, have found a following, when worldwide word spreads, the result is usually a contract to publish their output, lightly edited, as a book, which in turn can be read on the internet. the internet so far has not given me no memorable experiences, although it might have helped to usher some along. when the internet has been soldered into our glasses or teeth, with the screen replaced by a laser making images directly on our retinas, there will be deeper changes. and the internet may be more retro than it first seems. this way, the internet would not stand outside reality and send information in, rather it would be conceived of as a part of reality, and thus the distinction between subject and object would dissolve, and we would experience the internet as if it were a three-dimensional space. in eastern europe, my grandmother explained, you assumed that other people read your mail. i notice that it is even possible to engage in complex social projects â€” such as making music â€” without ever meeting your collaborators. internet teaches us to rethink nostalgia and give it a good name. internet has not so much changed my thinking as it has expanded my preexisting artistic sensibility.'s no accident we're a culture increasingly obsessed with the food network and farmer's markets — they engage our senses and bring us together with others. arguably, this provides a better understanding of human decision-making â€” the habit system may guide us to our daily starbucks fix (even if we no longer like it), while the pavlovian system may cause us to choose a pastry once there despite our goal of losing weight. before the internet, if you wanted to keep up with the news, you had to walk down to the newsstand when it opened in the morning and buy a local edition reporting what had happened the previous day.'m starting to think like the internet, starting to think like biology. i think in tandem with the internet, using its knowledge to inspire and challenge my thoughts. onlyâ philosophicalâ argument could establish that information overload has deprived us of our agency. the more difficult game of calculating quantum reality we, with the help of our silicon friends, presently play like weak masters. the tools for research and communication about this research developed along with new thinking about mind-machine interaction, about the future of education, about the impact of the internet on texts and writing, about the issues of filtering, relevance, learning and memory., there might be a greater degree of socialism to buffer biological challenges, but there was an intense libertarian tilt coincident with the rise of the internet in the usa. because their circumstances require that they sever all ties with their previous ways of life, they develop a brand new dynamic amongst themselves, and as a result, this sparks off the fundamental emotions of humankind â€” love, desire, passion and hatred. to the collective efficacy of our virtual community, hearing aid compatible assistive listening has spread to other communities and states. thinking has certainly been transformed in alarming ways by a relatively recent information technology, but it's not the internet. as you become an expert at using it, the internet, as with other tools, becomes an extension of your brain. radio and printing did this too, and so did writing, and before that language, but the internet has made it fast and furious. amid the bread and circus element to the internet here is a need for good quality materials, and a means to sort out the wheat from the chaff: garbage in, garbage out, as computer programmers say. the internet is the third great breakthrough in human communication, and our behavioural plasticity is a necessary means for exploiting it. the same will be true of the way the internet enhances our mental faculties in the years to come. (my own work as a journalist and author is based on making connections in this way, but the same is true for many other information workers, a category that encompasses a growing fraction of the workforce.., finishing that term paper) is to slow down enough to appreciate that connection, consider the conflict between present and future rewards, weigh the options, and decide in favor of the best overall course of action. this does not mean that as artists, intellectuals or creative practitioners we stop considering or attending to our anchorage in specific co-ordinates of actual physical locations, what it does mean is that we understand that the concrete fact of our physical place in the world is striated by the location's transmitting and receiving capacities, which turns everything we choose to create into either a weak or a strong signal. just as everyone on the internet is a potential recipient and transmitter of our signals, we too are stations for the reception and relay of other people's messages. that is, does the internet alter our fitness as a species? the internet has brought thinking more into the present tense, raising questions of what it means to be contemporary. and in my quest to assemble truths from half-truths, non-truths, and some other truths scattered in the flux (this creation of the known is now our job and not the job of authorities), i find my mind attracted to fluid ways of thinking (scenarios, provisional belief) and fluid media like mashups, twitter, and search. far, our deep experiences with this form of collaboration have been in the domain of textual data. so, what is so bad about email conversations that are invading my life? even in remote place of this planet logging onto the net means merely turning on your machine. paramount among the cancer-inducing mutations are those that disrupt regulatory processes that have evolved to prevent damage from cancer and other diseases cell proliferation. internet's primary effect on how we think will only reveal itself when it affects the cultural milieu of thought, not just the behavior of individual users. it's become necessary to consume thousands of abstracts from scientific journals, doing one's own fast search for what should be read in more detail. specifically, other people can extend our intelligence and help us understand and regulate our emotions. what i've learned over the course of my career is that i need to trust in emergence also known as the muse. in retrospect, it was happening to me long before the advent of the internet. "entire world" that the internet seems to offer harmonized strangely with the apple offered to eve from the tree of knowledge — ah, we don't believe in those old myths? this, of course, involves not only written and oral speech, but also music, the pictorial arts, the theater, the ballet, and in fact all human behavior. how such interactions create our inner mental life and give rise to the phenomenology of our experience (consciousness) remains, i think, as much of a fundamental mystery today as it did centuries ago. it's not just students, but those at the end of their career, whose lives the iinternet can transformatively enhance. our century began on a note of uncertainty, as we worried how our machines would handle the transition to the new millennium. i believe that the internet, used this way, will play a revolutionary role in promoting our understanding of the fundamental problems at the frontiers of science. is a basic ingredient of thinking: our way of structuring our thought would have been very different without the powerful tool of verbal exchange. the internet has forced me to view physical and intellectual geography as instances of an overarching abstraction co-existing on a common footing. players of this kind, once created, would scale up smoothly to overwhelming strength, simply by tapping into ever larger resources. back in the 20th century i could not imagine my technical research making such an impression on the global sociopolitical scene because the responsible mechanism â€“ publishing in open access online academic journals â€“ was not available. perhaps the internet we know is merely a harbinger and like ulysses returning, dirty, false and lame, it will only truly reveal itself when we are ready. if i enjoy a television show, within minutes or hours of the air time of the latest episode, i expect to be able to take part in a delightful, informed conversation about it, anchored by an essay by a professional writer, supported with high-quality user-contributed comments that not only enhance my pleasure of the show, but also reveal new insights. 2004, i moved to rome just as the tsunami was showing how the internet could be mobilised for the good. yes, i know reading has given me a powerful new source of information. the internet supports my thinking and the physical world supports that, as well as, rich sensing and feeling experiences. internet made me think more both and instead of either or instead of nor nor. knowledge and skills should benefit survival, but not if you spend all of your time immersed in the internet. depending on how one counted, the number of card recipients was somewhere between 125 and 154, just about the right number for our brains. so, for these reasons and many others, the current fashionable design of the internet, dominated by so-called social networking designs, has an anti-human quality. there is the giant creature who has memorized everything ever written, and will repeat excerpts back to you (mainly out of context) in response to your questions. i've learned that i can offload much of my judgment on to the large samples of peer ratings available on the internet. we are still the same warlike, peace loving, curious, gregarious, proud, romantic, opportunistic â€” and naã¯ve â€” creatures we were before the internet, indeed before the automobile, the radio, the civil war, or the ancient sumerians. more generally, the internet functions as if it is my memory. it is our misfortune to live through the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race, a misfortune because surplus always breaks more things than scarcity. back in my school days, the internet was linear, predictable, and boring. just one generation the internet changed the way we make and experience nearly all of media. the changes began with the camera and other film-based media, and the internet has had an exponential effect on that change. terms of how i think, i fear that the internet is less helpful. the episode above was the beginning of my last one, and a lot of things dawned on me at once, not just the fact that i was actually all inside my own head: the internet is reconfiguring my brain, it changes not only the way in which i think." over the next decade-and-a-half i joined the camp of what i have since come to think of as "internet utopians. nothing that takes place anywhere in the world and is communicated on the internet is at a remove any longer. the changes that take place within an adult life, like the development of the internet, are disruptive, attention-getting, disturbing or exciting. it appears, then, that over the course of millions of years of human history our brains have been tuned to the social opportunities and threats presented by groups of 150 or so. "virtualization" (a basic historical transition, like "industrialization") means that i spend more & more of my time acting-within and thinking about the mirror-reflection of some external system or institution in the (smooth, pond-like) surface of the internet. besides, i would be describing version 3 of the protocol, and your operating system is probably already using version 4. whatever the effects of the internet on our inner lives, it seems clear that in changing the structure of our outer lives â€” the lives intertwined with those of others â€” the internet is likely to be a more potent shaper of our minds than we have begun to imagine. i don't think the internet would be of much use, if hadn't carried those burdens to excess all through my life.
Internet changes the way we thinkin the meanwhile, however, i had used one of the great internet innovations, the scientific preprint archive, to post the incorrect result on the internet for everyone to see. it isn't changing the structure of your thinking, because it resembles it. to give one prominent example of our current dysfunctional perspective, how are we to achieve sustainability as long as we see nature as part of the economy rather than the inverse? moving frequently between the uk, and america's east and west coasts, i began to think about the implications of the internet and, moreover, about how not being able to get online was starting to affect me. flynn has documented massive gains in iq over the 20th century (the "flynn effect"), which he attributes to our enhanced capacity for abstract thought, which he in turn attributes to the cognitive demands of the modern marketplace. internet has made it far easier for professionals to access and search the scientific literature. it requires long essays to explain and discuss the "ifs" and "buts" of real science and of real life. so overall, the convenience and breadth of information on the internet probably helps more than hurts me. look at schreber's vision of wires and nerves, or kafka and rilke's visions of giant switchboards linking mortals to (and simultaneously denying them access to the source-code of) gods and angels. the internet has become a better tool than the old paper scientific literature, because it responds in real time. neuroses and false beliefs are buttressed: we all worry about our health and in the past would look around us and find that no one else is worrying or ill. the last time social life expanded as significantly as it has in the last couple of years was before there were any humans. effect, my argument is that the internet may influence thinking indirectly through its unrelenting stranglehold on our attention and the resultant death (or at least denudation) of non-virtual experience. blogs, email and internet data bases put everyone in the community on the same footing. most of our knowledge of the past depends on very little about very few, the story of very few lives survives. as the internet facilitates a national hobby of data analysis, our thinking about scientific discovery is no longer typically in the intellectual tradition of mathematics. if such a view of augmented interactivity is even remotely accurate (as it must be), it is the absence of a cognate presence that defies the achievement of transforming the internet to a new reality, a universally accessible medium for enhanced thinking., the internet is still invisible to the point where many serious thinkers continue to doubt whether it changes modern thought at all. as part of my profession, i think a lot about the behavior of primates, including humans, and the behavior manifest in the internet has subtly changed my thinking. the reason for our personality change is that the internet is a portal to lazy escapism: at the twitch of the mouse we enter a world where the consequences of our actions don't seem real. what is important for thought about the internet is not the content, it is the new activity of being a searcher, with the world's store of knowledge and images at your fingertips. the greatest fascination is bloggers who rather knowingly provide alternative slices of life. all this means is that we are in a different space now, one that is largely unfamiliar to us even when we think we are using familiar tools (like a "newspaper" that has never been printed or an "encyclopedia" vastly larger than any shelf of buckram volumes), and one that has begun life by going through rapid changes that only hint at what is to come. internet gives me not only traditionally available information faster (and sometimes faster than i can retrieve it from memory), but also previously unavailable information. this is to deal with only one aspect of the internet, its provision of factual content. something like that may eventually meld the various units that constitute the internet. the more i've loved and known it, the clearer the contrast, the more intense the tension between a physical life and a virtual life. is not to say that before writing, the printing press, and the internet, our minds did not have the ability to retrieve information from outside sources. the internet has given me and the other participants in this effort the opportunity to ask each other probing questions, to engage in civil argument, specify areas of agreement, clarify points of disagreement, and to suggest what we should do next to advance our scientific understanding of consciousness. morozov is a contributing editor at the new republic and the author of the net delusion: the dark side of internet freedom (publicaffairs, 2011) and to save [. in one instance, our work provided a starting point for the preparation of new tranquilizers. another plus, the internet has made me think that the downtrodden have a slightly better chance of being heard â€” the efficacy of the crowd. i don't believe google makes us dumber, or that prolonged internet fasts or a return to faxes are a necessary part of mind health. in the sistine chapel, god and adam were connecting on michelangelo's ceiling, outside fingers were twitching on laptops and cellphones for one of the internet's seminal news moments. adapting to the touch and feel of the internet makes it easier to extract information, but a better question is whether the changes in your brain will improve your fitness. a sense, this is hardly surprising: the social beast that has taken over our digital lives has to be constantly fed with the most trivial of ephemera. impressions of an internet-free life from my facebook friends were of general horror. it may look like i am spending endless nano-seconds on a series of tweets, and endless microseconds surfing betweenâ web pages, or wandering between channels, and hovering only mere minutes on one book snippet after another; but in reality i am spending 10 hours a day paying attention to the internet. modern internet has greatly increased the availability of information, both the valuable stuff and the flotsam. all of this discussion is taking place in near real-time, and all of our comments are preserved and archived for publication. mixed blessings of social life seem to have been writ large in our evolutionary history. we know what is happening to those who were born after the advent of the internet and for those like me who started out with typewrites, books, slowness, reality measured by geographical distance and local clocks, the world that is emerging now is very different indeed from the world we knew. websites often reference books, but if the internet limits the production of manuscript length works then the quality of information is going to suffer. sleep is essential for 'brain sorting' — maybe offline life (behaviour) is too. most important impact on my life and yours is that the internet grants immortality. all the authors of these essays have learned how to use the web with brains that were fully developed long before we sent our first e-mail. the internet may not necessarily change the way we think, but it certainly shapes and directs our thoughts by changing our behaviour. but the new technologies let me witness their distancing and distorting influences: internet fuelled fantasies where everyone can be a celebrity, or can live through their avatar in virtual reality, or develop alternative personalities in chat rooms — fantasies that someone, somewhere on the internet is making money from. technology visionaries such as vannevar bush and james licklider sought to develop machines that could do our remembering for us. it happens that what we will leave to the next generation are threads of useful and learned conversations, then be it: i see this as an improvement in our way of externalizing our thinking, a much more natural way of being intelligent in a social world. will information stored on the internet become unreadable to later generations because of data storage changes, and the knowledge lost? the unplanned worldwide unification that the web is achieving (a science-fiction enthusiast might discern the embryonic stirrings of a new life form) mirrors the evolution of the nervous system in multicellular animals. as it comes on and speaks to us or we speak through it, it continues to create a map of almost everything in our lives. would be nothing even vaguely utopian about the reality of the internet, despite preachy "the road ahead" vision statements by â€” late to the web â€” luminaries like bill gates. i am now on an internet diet, in order to understand the world a bit better — and make another bet on horrendous mistakes by economic policy makers. for consciousness researchers lucid dreams are interesting, because you can go for a walk through the dynamics of your own neural correlate of consciousness, unconstrained by external input, and look at the way it unfolds, from the inside. if we do not know something, someone else does, and there are enough ways around the commons of the internet that enable us to get to sources of the known. we still have to do it for ourselves, and we do it the old-fashioned way. twitter is one of the simplest internet applications ever developed. is now a staple of scientific fantasy, or nightmare, to envision that human minds will one day be uploaded onto a vast computer network like the internet. but the internet has a more powerful protection system than i'd realized. (note: of course our planet is mostly not earth, it ought to be renamed planet water or planet hard rock. so i've taken the liberty of interpreting the question more broadly, in the form "how should the internet, or its descendants, affect how people like me think? the internet should help us become more consciously involved with the world, it is not enough to just canalise huge amounts of information into society. will enable a function to virtually hold hands with our twitter friends. the internet has turned the human village into a megalopolis and has thus inaugurated what might be the biggest sea-change in human evolution since the primeval campfires. probably most dramatically, what it has meant for millennia to belong to a community is being totally renegotiated as a result of instant 24-7 access to anyone who is connected to the internet. am not sure the internet has changed the way we think so much as the way we act. more and more, it seems, real-life experience is being replaced by virtual alternatives. title quotes richard feynman, and i am using his words to express how the internet is providing not only information about our world, but also making available the means to understand it in a deep sense. brings me to the question of how the internet has changed the way i think. the internet has somewhat freed me â€” of some of 20th century's burdens. almost by accident, we now command the capacity for self-quarantining, retaining knowledge, speeding information flow, reducing censorship, actualizing human capital, and saving energy resources., the internet has changed how i think professionally, as a computer scientist. they can foster new connections, new relationships, new productions of reality: reality as life-montage / life as reality-disruption? the internet can be our key to survival, because the ability to work telepresently can inhibit microbial transmission by reducing human-to-human contact. i avoid using the internet for tasks that require a more personal connection, such as administering my university department or talking to my children. like all effective behavioural reinforcement schedules, the reward is very intermittent: maybe one in 100 emails contain something i really want to know or hear about. for millions of years, our forebears traveled in little hunting and gathering bands. quick reference to the internet seems to confirm this characterization. so the next time a co-worker laments about internet addiction, the banality of tweets, or the decline of face-to-face conversation, i will sanguinely suggest that the internet â€” even with all its flashy wastefulness â€” may just be the technology that saves us. try to look at the positive: our internet-enabled emphasis on the present may have liberated us from the 20th century's dangerously compelling ideological narratives. the internet is great for disorganized people like me who don't want to throw something away for fear of losing something valuable they missed. in this way, the internet's pervasive co-presence with real world processes, ends up reminding us of the fact that our experience of duration is now a layered thing. because the internet is my new pencil and paper, i am "smarter" in factuality. you, amid that optimism, it's hard not to despair a bit at the idiocy of the crowd, as insane rumors careen about the internet. fitness is its tool, and human nature, our shared endowment as members of a species, is among its key effects. is said that twitter is playing an important part in the current unrest in iran, and latest news from that faith-pit encourages the view that the trend will be towards a net positive effect of the internet on political liberty. now anyone can assess their impact factor through a multitude of platforms including facebook, twitter and of course, blogging. when we pay attention to something, the prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain responsible for conscious goal-directed planning, controls the release of cholinergic transmitters, chemicals that help us learn, to certain very specific parts of the brain. the existence of many available facts, somewhere in the infinite ocean of the internet, is no help in such an endeavor. the obvious yet still remarkable fact that i spend at least 50% of my waking hours on the internet, compared to 0% of my time 25 years ago.
How the Internet Has Changed Everyday Life - OpenMindfrom a prehistorian's perspective, i judge that we have been returned to a point last occupied at the time of our evolutionary origin. like individual neurons in our neocortex, each human can potentially influence and be influenced, rapidly, by information from anyone, anywhere. but i must admit to being one of those who believes that while it is clearly "life-changing" — it is no way, if you will — "soul-changing" accessing the ever expanding, ever faster internet means a life that is changing as it becomes the life of a surfer (just as life might change if one moved to a california beach community) — one becomes more and more agile balancing on top of the flow, leaping from hyper-link to hyper-link — giving one's mental "environment" a certain shape based on those chosen jumps. civilization seems to have been forgetting that through centuries of building and isolating waste depots and by exploiting limited resources. but this was still linear, predictable, and an essentially uninteresting use of the internet. i don't have an avatar on second life and i've never "met" anyone online. but i certainly do not believe "gathering information" is thinking — and that has obviously been an activity that has expanded and sped up as a result of the internet. our fate won't matter much, but the norms we set will. indeed, the internet is also creating a hybrid social group that includes real friends and the friends-of-friends who are little more than strangers. the same applies, of course to the remainder of the scientific literature. one disputes that new technologies, including the ubiquitous internet and world wide web along with social media, have changed our lives and how we work and play. my essay is a testament to this – facebook inspired my thoughts and provoked this essay, so i couldn't have done it without the internet. the internet is changing our thinking by giving the tremendous power of search to the most casual of users. when i hacked into the computer at mit running an early symbolic manipulator program, something that could do algebra in a painfully inadequate way, i just used the internet as a perfectly predictable tool. historically, a more successful strategy has been to confront free speech with free speech â€” and the internet allows this in a natural way. benkler is the berkman professor of entrepreneurial legal studies at harvard law school, and faculty co-director of the berkman center for internet and society [. is the end-to-end principle: the functions of the internet are defined by what is connected to it, not by how it is constructed. have concluded that the realities of my own life as a professional writer â€” if the words didn't go out, the money didn't come in â€” drove me to evolve a set of methods and disciplines. given the present dire circumstances, any new far-reaching cultural phenomenon must be evaluated in terms of its ability to help or hinder the pressing work to be done; certainly this concern applies to how the internet influences thinking. inexhaustible anthology of every possible thing recorded at every conceivable location in any given time, the internet is displacing the role of memory and it does so immaculately. multi-tasking, for instance, might be a useful skill for exploiting in parallel the varied resources of the internet, but genuine multi-tasking, at present, probably exceeds the limitations of the attentional system of homo sapiens. feeling i want to convey with these examples/scenes is how over time and with the advent of the internet our sense of orientation, space and place have changed, our sense of the details necessary to make decisions has changed. a false belief perhaps but better for evolution to err on the side of getting us to believe in ourselves than not to. i can learn a new idea every day on the internet. has changed my way of thinking is the ability of the internet to support the deliberative aggregation of information, through filtering and refinement of independent voices, to create unprecedented works of knowledge. and â€” radical notion â€” maybe that's what our wetware brains are doing, too. internet is also itself a metaphor for the emerging paradigm of thought in which systems are conceived as networks of relationships., in sum, the relevance of the internet to human thought depends on whether one evaluates this relevance phylogenetically, ontogenetically or epigenetically. ironically, electronic social networking has made the christmas letter otiose; your friends hardly need an account of the year's highlights when they can be fed a stream of reports on the day's events and your reflections on logical positivism or lady gaga. but (as is usual with life) was really headed someplace else nobody knew about. our brains have appetites for thinking, learning, feeling, hearing and seeing. large-scale communal games such as second life will become disconcertingly addictive to many ordinary people who understand little of what goes on in the engine room. we, the metaphoric neurons of the global brain, are on the brink of a wholly new system of societal organization, one spanning the globe with the metaphoric axons of the internet linking us together. for those of us who wallow in the world of knowledge for pleasure and profit the internet has become a vast extension of our potential selves. concern, then, is this: how are we to develop new, more meaningful connections to our native communities if we are staring at computer screens that connect us only to an amorphous worldwide "community? and it is hoped that, looking back, when the present irritation experienced by many because of the internet, will appear to have been just an episode in the development of humanity. the internet shifts our cognitive functions from searching for information inside the mind towards searching outside the mind. the internet addresses the energy problem with a kind of natural ease. if protein synthesis is disrupted in the hours following the experience, a long-term memory does not result. internet isn't changing the way i or anybody else thinks. depending on how one counted, the number of card recipients was somewhere between 125 and 154, just about the right number for our brains. internet has become the engine of gift economy and cooperation. i haven't changed my mind or my convictions because of the internet. any electronic archaeologist, sociologist or historian examining our e-lives would be able to understand, map, computer, contrast, and judge our lives in a degree of detail incomprehensible to any previous generation. growth of the internet has reversed previous assumptions: the private is now public; the local appears globally; information is entertainment; consumers turn into producers; everyone is an expert; and the socially isolated become part of an enormous community preferring the virtual to the real. i would say that at least internet made me a more informed patient. the only way to find out would be to run a parallel universe experiment in which everything is the same except for the existence of an internet type of communications, and see what i do in the alternative situation. is easy to state in one sentence nonsense such as "the theory of evolution is wrong", "global warming is a legend", "immunization causes autism" and "god (mine, yours, or hers) has all the answers". it is so saddening to realize that, being born close to four centuries after huet, and having done most of my reading with material written after his death, i am not much more advanced in wisdom than he was — moderns at the upper end are no wiser than their equivalent among the ancients; if anything, much less refined. the everyday generation of an internal archive of our work, and the public archive of our utterances (on online discussion lists and on facebook) mean that nothing (not even a throwaway observation) is a throwaway observation anymore. the moment, however, the ability of the internet to propagate information promiscuously is largely a blessing. what the internet has done, however, is sharpen my memory. another oft-noted concern is the nature of our communications, which are becoming increasingly terse and decreasingly face-to-face. that note — and in terms of future internet innovation, the important question may not be how the internet is changing how we think but instead how the internet is teaching itself to think. but nevertheless —while the internet swamps us in "connectedness" and "fact" — it is only in the withdrawal from those i claim a space for thinking. the number of your facebook friends, like the make of the car you drive, confers a certain status. perception: sometimes i feel as if the internet has granted me clairvoyance: i can see things at a distance. internet is currently the great leveler: it allows everyone to have access to exactly the same information. but there were still very large lagoons in our knowledge. as an arrangement of interlocking high, pop and folk art forms, the internet is no different. here are six ways that i think the possession of a rapid and vast communication network will make us much luckier than our predecessors:One of our more dire prospects for collapse is an infectious disease epidemic. by relaxing our suspicion (or perception) of strangers and behaving altruistically (indiscriminately) we share our own resources and gain access to a whole lot more. the historical significance of business as a social and political force, one might assume that there would exist ample and incisive scholarship into how business has shaped today’s internet—implementing systems and services and advocating policies for what has become [. i felt guilty for the time i spent on the internet. to intellectuals, second life and its souped-up successors will become laboratories of sociology, experimental psychology and their successor disciplines, yet to be invented and named. is about much more than cognitive style alone: for those of us intensively working with it, the internet has already become a part of our self-model. internet also offers me with an instant and fast set of information about the pathologies that i know i suffer from and the new symptoms that arise suddenly, thus sustaining a mild form of hypochondria. it is impossible today to imagine the world without the internet: it enables us to do things which only a few years ago would be unthinkable, and impinges on every sphere of our lives. is virtually impossible to edit or eliminate most traces of our lives today and for better or worse, we have now achieved that which the most powerful egyptians and greeks always sought â€” immortality. even though i myself do spend lots of time on the internet — (fallen, "pancake person" that i am) i can't help being reminded of the greek philosopher who attributed his long life to avoiding dinner parties. the most obvious answer â€” that the internet has democratized access to knowledge and we are all thinkers now, bowing over our keyboards much like the character of rodin's famous sculpture â€” is wrong. no one has expressed this misunderstanding more clearly than tom wolfe inhooking up:I hate to be the one who brings this news to the tribe, to the magic digikingdom, but the simple truth is that the web, the internet, does one thing. i write a paper for an academic journal, the paper is evaluated by other philosophers who suggest improvements, it is then disseminated to the academic community in order to prompt new conversations on a topic or launch new topics for discussion. the technical point is this: the internet tricks us into doing bad mathematics; it gets us to do a mathematical integration inside our brains that we don't know how to do. the influence is much deeper; it already penetrates my dream life. i briefly considered scouring my shelves in search of my copy ofâ the wealth of nations. and look at the toll of dyslexia and attention disorders and learning disabilities, all signs that our brains were just not designed to deal with such a profoundly unnatural technology. has the internet changed the patterns of thought that transcend individual differences? now it seems obvious that the only feasible way to rank the internet's offerings is to track the online behaviors of individual users. create tools and then we mold ourselves in their image. of us can no longer memorize hour-long folktales and songs as in an oral tradition. believe that the internet is either a tool to subjugate or liberate. the internet has far-reaching consequences for both modes of knowledge acquisition. in other cases, too, such as severe drunkenness or senile dementia, you may lose the ability to direct your attention â€” and, correspondingly, feel that your "self" is falling apart. is a limited life space of certain information and data becoming more urgent? remember very well the day when the internet began changing the way i think. soviet-style restrictions on copying machines sound quaint today, and the only currently reliable censorship is not to allow the internet at all, like in north korea. the sense that we were surrounded by crowds was not entirely in our imaginations: over a thousand tweets per minute about rio were appearing on twitter; wikipedians were posting continuous updates to their "2016 summer olympics" page; and political blogs were filled with active conversations about the lobbying of world leaders on behalf of different cities. the internet is an improvement on television in the same way that jane jacob's bustling neighborhood sidewalk is an improvement on the dullness of suburbia. substituting links to our past with links to our facebook profiles and twitter updates risks turning us into hyperactive, depressive, and easily irritant creatures who do not know how to appreciate own achievements. now, the internet allows more of our understanding to seep from the ivory tower, closing that gulf and empowering us to know things for ourselves and changing our expectations about what it means to live in an open, data-driven, society. and your children's always-on community of friends, texting "lol"s and other quick messages that really say "i'm here, i'm your friend, let's have a party" is no different than the quorum sensing of microbes, counting their numbers so that they can do something collectively, such as invade a host or grow a fruiting body from a biofilm.
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The internet: is it changing the way we think? | Technology | Thetype "gregory paul religion and society" into google and nearly four million hits come up. internet hasn't changed the way i think; it hasn't altered one whit the way in which i â€” that is, my brainâ€”processes informationâ€¦other than maybe by forcing me to figure out how to process a lot more of it. the question is, does an active use of the internet change our way of thinking? web is a wonderful resource for speeding up the retrieval and dissemination of information and that, despite wolfe's trivialization, is no small change. announcements of new experimental results are video-cast through the internet as they happen. we now kill without seeing our enemies, running the show, as first witnessed in desert storm, by remote control, coordinated by private internet links. my point of view the next great watershed that influenced our perception of time has been the arrival of the internet. in the human species, neoteny, the extremely slow fading of our juvenile characteristics, has made child rearing into an extreme, draining long-term commitment. new media have emerged, too, whose content arose for, or on, the internet: these include blogging, wikipedia, and youtube; along with new forms of shared communication, such as facebook, google groups and twitter. i relished my login gifts: a precious 30 minutes at new york public library, a whole hour at small towns in the mid-west, a grabbed few minutes in a university department before giving a lecture somewhere. in creating much larger social groups for ourselves, ranging from true friends to near-strangers, could we be laying the ground for a pathogenic virtual city in which psychosis will be on the rise?, the internet has also made me sentient of my own insignificance and power at the same time. from now on, there are vanishingly few excuses for remaining ignorant of objective scientific facts, and ever thinner grounds for cultivating hatred through willful failure to recognize our shared humanity. now, in my 365 day project i knew that later, same day, i will put it on internet and within minutes it will be seen by all my friends, and strangers too, all over the world. i have argued that the internet provides such spaces and is thus a rich ground for working through identity. this requires that google, yahoo, aol and the other large companies defining the future of the internet, provide the medium with enough confidence to operate with self-criticism. it is not uncommon for someone to have virtual friends in the hundreds which seems to show, among other things, that the internet is doing more for our social lives than wine coolers or the pill. because of the internet, memes and calculations of more people (and/or computers) passes through us. one has to do with how the internet changes what we think about; the other one â€” with who gets to do the thinking. my relationship with the internet began to feel oppressive, overly demanding of my time and energy. gold standard for interpersonal communication is face-to-face conversation in which you can both see and hear your conversant. a car doesn't change the nature and purpose of a journey i make to the nearest town, it only makes it quicker and leads to me making more journeys, than if i walked. while markets may drive exploration, the actual settlement of the frontier at times requires the commitment of individuals questing for personal freedom, and here the new world of the internet shines. graduate school, as a computer scientist whose focus was on search engines even before the web, i always dreamed of an internet that would replace the inefficiencies of libraries, making all important information easily available online. the internet can be used in an active rather than a reactive way, that is, not letting it determine how long we can think and when we have to stop. still, the question of how the internet changes how we think is an enormous problem, one that anecdotes might help us understand. this has been a thrilling development, and one that points to a new phase in our understanding of what people and technology can accomplish together, and about the world we've grown to jointly inhabit. slow-changing vessels bearing the distant echoes of ancient tradition, books were absent from the lives of all but a tiny fraction of humanity. attention is no longer a simple function of things that are available for the regard of our senses. the individual driver feels very much like an individual, car to match your personality, on way to your chosen destination. much has been made of the emergent properties of the internet.ñaki vázquez: the origins of the internet of things. fact is that the internet provides a wealth of information. our physical folders, mailboxes, bookshelves, spreadsheets, documents, media players, and so on have been replaced by software equivalents, which has altered our time budgets in countless ways. selwyn is a professor in the faculty of education, monash university, melbourne, australia. peer ratings empower us to be evidence-based about almost all of our decisions. well the internet is a place where i can pick from the sum of all strategies people have tried out beforehand, and if i think of something new, i can put it up there to share with the world. our brains evolved to judge risks, to assess likelihood or probabilities, to defend our minds against undue worry, and to infer what others are thinking, by sampling and summing or averaging across small groups of people, most probably the people in my tribe. the new visual scene, the hills and the trees, were as real as it could be â€” but somehow it just hadn't come into sight as it would in real life, had i turned my head as i would normally. life with an electronic shadow provokes anxieties that lead today's teenagers to look toward a past they never knew. scientists are voracious users of the internet, and of other computer-based technologies that are supposedly making us stupid, like powerpoint, electronic publishing, and email. thus, the modern internet-era scientist may be mentally nimble as the deer is physically nimble, but lacks time for cattle-like rumination. the change in our thinking started, strangely enough, with reflections on internet friends. and it is hoped that, looking back, when the present irritation experienced by many because of the internet, will appear to have been just an episode in the development of humanity. the internet may well be considered an oracle, the builder of composite and hybrid knowledge, but as it is today — is its present instantiation actually inhibiting the very cognitive nature of reflective and creative thought? now i simply search the topics in the science citation index (sci), and then go to the journal article available online. there is a danger of coming to think that what cannot be found on an internet search doesn't exist, and that the virtual world is the world. i find particularly worrisome with regards to the "what" question is the rapid and inexorable disappearance of retrospection and reminiscence from our digital lives. internet, in its current fashionable role as an aggregator of people through social networking software, only values humans in real time and in a specific physical place, that is usually away from their children. the internet allows us (as a group) to believe both facts and their opposites; we'll all find supporting evidence or opinions. true, the brain is plastic, it responds to the way it is brought up by its user, or to the language it has been taught to speak, but its fundamental structure is not changed this way, except perhaps in extremis, maybe eight hours per day of computer games. friends have told me recently that during their just-completed holidays they unplugged from the internet and had big, deep thoughts. they are trying to rob us of as much of our scarce resource as possible, and they are doing so in ever more persistent and intelligent ways. access to the internet would then provide the opportunity to everyone anywhere in the world to obtain a great deal of information on any subject that they choose. as the internet connects the like-minded and pools their ideas, white supremacists may become more racist, obama-despisers more hostile, and militia members more terror prone (thus limiting our power to halt terrorism by conquering a place). once it starts on the internet, everyone's bad mathematics make it explode.) towards the answer to a key question about the grand sweep of the history of life in its biospheric environment on planet earth. because of the abundance of information and this new emphasis on resourcefulness, the internet creates a sense that anything is knowable or findable — as long as you can construct the right search, find the right tool, or connect to the right people. if decisions take into account the many ways in which information comes to us then the internet at this point privileges what we can see and read over many other aspects of knowledge and sensation. online behaviour would be selected out in an offline world because no-one would cooperate — people don't want unprompted friendship and generosity from complete strangers. i learned not as you are taught in school, with a curriculum and a syllabus, but with the explorations of a child, who composites a world-view bit by bit out of the stuff of everyday life. i have lived most of my life with the internet, it has been the increasing the addition of new contexts which has been the thing which has most changed the way i think. it has revolutionized communications, to the extent that it is now our preferred medium of everyday communication. the mature internet marks the completion of this process, and thus the reemergence of a fully contiguous human cultural landscape. instead, the internet will offer access to outstanding lectures â€” and in return will offer the star lecturers (and perhaps the best classroom teachers too) a potentially global reach. the most profound organic revolution, after life itself, was thus the transition to complex multicellular organisms like trees, mushrooms and ourselves. the internet protocols don't contain performance numbers that impose assumptions about how they will be used, which has allowed their performance to be scaled over 6 orders of magnitude, far beyond anything initially anticipated. rio de janeiro was announced as the site of the 2016 summer olympics, i was on the phone with colleagues, talking about some ideas for how to track breaking news on the internet. in fact, the rise of the internet only reminds me of how little any of us have changed since the modern human brain evolved more than 35,000 years ago. after several conversations and a grant application, our goodplay project, a social science study of ethics in the digital media, was launched. those special-purpose creations are mini-internets (actually mini-grids), networking dozens or a few hundred ordinary computers. but there is also evidence that it works in real life situations with trauma victims. but she assumed â€” and i assume myself when using the internet â€” that with a little skill and judgment you can get more reliable information there than anywhere else. already know that our use of technology changes how our brains work. today, the advertisement and entertainment industries are attacking the very foundations of our capacity for experience, drawing us into the vast and confusing media jungle. consumer reports data on car owner satisfaction ('would you buy your car again? internet offers a vast realm for distraction but then so does reading and television. there is a paradox here: the internet offers the potential to access the full spectrum of research papers, but actually results in a narrowing of focus. and on the internet, the worlds "delete" and "erase" are metaphorical; files, photographs, mail, and search history are only deleted from your sight. i'd argue that we already know the most important lessons of the internet; what matters now is not finding them, but making sure we don't need to keep re-finding them. the invention that changed human mental life more than anything else: writing, and subsequently, the printing press. the number of your facebook friends, like the make of the car you drive, confers a certain status. when we receive one of those panicky warnings (often attributed to microsoft or symantec) about a dangerous computer virus, we do not spam it to our entire address book but instead google a key phrase from the warning itself. it is true that the experience of controlling and sustaining your focus of attention is one of the deeper layers of phenomenal selfhood, then what we are currently witnessing is not only an organized attack on the space of consciousness per se but a mild form of depersonalization. curious to see how reactions to the announcement were playing out, we went onto the web to take a look, pushing our way like tourists into the midst of a celebration that was already well underway. what the internet cannot accomplish as a tool of learning, it might eventually accomplish as a tool of natural selection. those of us throughout history who have acted on our world â€” even if just to wonder why fires start, why the wind blows out of the southwest, or what would happen if we combined heat with clay, will have been more successful than those of us who sat around waiting for things to happen. if our home computing power or disk space is insufficient, the internet connects us to massive computing power such as the teragrid or the cloud. internet is many things: good and bad (and worse) business models, techno-libertarian governance and state censors, information and misinformation, empowerment and addiction. amplifying shared concerns and ideas, internet-enhanced communication can also foster social entrepreneurship. one survey found that 12% of the internet addresses cited in three prestigious medical and scientific journals were extinct two years after publication. although this content probably gets watered down as a function of distance from the source, consensual validation might offset the degradation.
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Change: 19 Key Essays on How the Internet Is Changing Our Lives
Is Google Making Us Stupid? - The Atlanticyet, the internet's lack of structure means that it is not possible to construct these types of visualizations over any or all data. with the internet, i feel like i am never truly alone, with the very ends of the earth a few clicks away. given the ubiquity of the internet, its databases, and search engines, someone a hundred years from now may smile on something you wrote or wonder about who you were. natural selection acts over generations; the internet is but one generation old. flaws of the latest pop version of the internet have made me more of a biological realist, and in particular have made me more sensitive to neoteny. you no longer believe, as did the ancient egyptians, that your king, carlos iv, is literally a god, living on earth. you can research it on the internet using a search engineâ€¦ but as you know, you can search, but you can't really find. people can help us compensate for our mental and emotional deficiencies, much as a wooden leg can compensate for a physical deficiency. internet is not changing the way i think, but it has changed what i think. what i've learned from the internet comes not from web 2. internet has fuelled (and been fuelled by) a relentless economic and cultural globalization, with all its positive and negative aspects. these new creations contain more data, require more attention over longer periods; and these works are more successful as the internet expands. don't know how the internet is changing the way i think because i don't know how i think. attention is a finite commodity, and it is absolutely essential to living a good life. am telling you this to indicate that my thinking is now only entering the internet nation. respecting difference has its limits, however: the fact of our knowing that there is a humanity to share means we must increasingly work towards agreeing common moral standards. imagine a virtual world abstracted from the internet by deleting all the content so that all that remained was the links. but the finding that parental behavior can alter gene expression and thought life in a child certainly leaves open the possibility that other behavioral environments, including the internet, can do the same. in connection with the large hadron collider (lhc) project, cern laboratory — where, earlier, the world wide web was born — is pioneering the grid computer project, a sort of internet on steroids, that will allow many thousands of remote computers and their users to share data and allocate tasks dynamically, functioning in essence as one giant brain. this, of course, fuels the suspicions of internet conspiracy theorists. social changes the internet is bringing about have changed the way the two of us think about madness. the lifetimes of the various discs, drives and tapes currently used for digital storage are unknown, but are commonly estimated in decades. some travelers may have recently gotten a glimpse of the truth, for example, upon learning that their flights were grounded due to an internet router failure in salt lake city, but for most this was just another inscrutable annoyance. the internet, i made more trips to the library and more phone calls. a peculiar thing about the internet is that it makes us highly receptive and indiscriminate in our interactions with complete strangers. mixed blessings of social life seem to have been writ large in our evolutionary history. extent to which this information improves quality and quantity of life will depend on whether people get access to it and alter their behavior to reduce their risk. sculpts human thought within a lifetime and across a few generations. i am a better thinker now than i was before i integrated the internet into my mental and emotional processing. though i myself am a digital immigrant—i sometimes refer to myself as a digital paleolith—i now spend many hours a week thinking about the ways in which nearly all of us—young and old—are affected by being on line, networked, surfing, or posting for so much of the day. making friends and trusting strangers with personal information (be it your bank details or musical tastes) is an essential personality trait of an internet user, despite being at odds with our ancestral natural caution. modern internet has achieved much of what ted nelson articulated decades ago in his vision of the xanadu project or doug englebart in his human augmentation vision at sri. if you want to do good, there are thousands of good causes competing for your attention at the click of your mouse. the internet does takes advantage of our appetites, and this changes our thoughts, if not the way we think. on the contrary, the triumphant march of quantum theory far beyond its original borders strengthens our faith in its soundness. the internet and a certain resistance to its present tense have made me increasingly aware that there is an urgent call to be contemporary. that the internet wouldn't work as a global mind if it were a completely flat and undistinguished sea of data. the main downside of the internet is that surfing can be addictive and a prodigious timewaster, encouraging a habit of butterflying from topic to topic, rather than attending to one thing at a time. a profoundly democratic medium, opening up unprecedented possibilities of self-expression, freedom of the press and access to information, the internet is not only the source of unlimited access to knowledge, but paradoxically enough also the breeding ground of a general acceptance of a lack of competences. should start by saying that i'm not really one to ask about such things, as i am an extremely unsophisticated user of the internet. it seems impossible to find out on the internet what it really costs the planet to sustain the internet and its toys, what it costs our culture to think, to play, to fondle and adore itself. spend more than half of my working hours doing my email: i have 4407 messages in my gmail inbox today: stuff that i haven't read yet, that i have to reply to, or that i keep in the inbox just to take advantage of the search facilities and be able to easily retrieve it when needed. the idea of an internet without some form of computer device is, for the time being, out of reach. the internet has amplified this trend of shifting knowledge from the inside to the outside, and taught us new strategies for finding what one wants using search machines. plus, the internet makes it easier to poll the opinions of trusted experts. we are learning to multitask, our attention span is becoming shorter, and many of our social relationships are taking on a strangely disembodied character. i am not entirely deprived of the internet; this is just a severe diet, with strict rationing. the intellectual playing field was being leveled and the internet changed the way i think about the very real possibility of fairness and opportunity in a world that has for too long been rigged to favor the elite. large social communities such as facebook, which do not produce or exchange any kind of knowledge, seem to flourish, and because search machines are based on trivial algorithmic principles of recognition, it can be hard to find the qualified, critical voices in the bulk of information. the british playwright harold pinter developed cancer of the oesophagus, his wife, lady antonia fraser, discovered from the internet that there was a 92% mortality rate. we can finally harness the law of large numbers to improve our decision-making: the larger the sample of peer ratings, the more accurate the average. the ability to attend to our environment, to our own feelings, and to those of others is a naturally evolved feature of the human brain. the internet has made disruption and montage the operative bases of everyday experience. the internet has changed what i think, however — most notably about where the human race is now headed. you learn in this way, you tell your own story and draw your own map. dignity means, in part, that you don't have to wonder if you'll successfully sing for your supper for every meal. journal of organic chemistry started in 1936, and continues up to the present. what happens down our streets becomes as present in our lives as what happens down our modems. perhaps it will unfold itself soon and help us bring the real ecology back to life, unveil the conspiracies, shatter the mirrors, tear down the walls, rejoice and bring forth the promise that is truly waiting in us, waiting only for it's release. everybody has heard about midlife burnout and rising levels of anxiety in large parts of the population. tells us that our minds are constantly editing down the world into manageable bits. sites have good reasons for such a fundamentalist preference for the present, as it it greatly enhances their ability to sell our online lives to advertisers: after all, much of the time we are thinking of little else but satisfying our needs, spiritual or physical, and the sooner our needs can be articulated and matched with our respective demographic group, the more likely it is that we'll be coerced into buying something online. the internet, however, has not been around long enough, and is changing too rapidly, to know what the long-term effects will be on brain function. it was hardly a times square ball-drop, but my personal nod to a piece of 18th century tech which was a part of communications history and ergo, a link to the internet. am of that generation for which adapting to computers was welcome and easy, but for which the pre-internet age remains real. cannot use the internet without thinking about the primitive research conditions i labored under during the late 1970s and early 1980s in the brazilian amazon, when i spent months at a time in complete isolation with the pirahã£ people. the radical change in attitude toward authority, and the revaluation of minds even at the bottom of society, can be seen in william tyndale's defense of his plan to translate the bible into english: "i defy the pope, and all his laws; and if god spares my life, i will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than the pope himself. the internet has put at the forefront resourcefulness and critical-thinking and relegated memorization of rote facts to mental exercise or enjoyment. for them the internet will feel as fundamental, as rooted, as timeless, as a battered penguin paperback, that apex of the literate civilization of the last century, feels for me. waking dream we call the internet also blurs the difference betweenâ my serious thoughts and my playful thoughts, or to put it more simply: i no longer can tell when i am working and when i am playing online. right now a little kid can browse the raw data coming from the large hadron particle collider, he can search the stars for signals of alien life with the seti project. with the internet, we are returning to this practice of shared community. the internet no longer feels involuntary when it comes to thinking. three billion years ago, microbial life invented the internet and lamarckian evolution. by permittingâ anyoneâ to publishâ anything, the internet allows me to read the whole range of views on a topic, and infer from the language used the reasonableness or otherwise of the views. certainly to those of us who read more novels than mris, the internet — and especially the world wide web —looks like what we know: a fictional world made mostly of words. think of your old archaeology/sociology/history course, or your visits to various museums. basic cellphone has morphed into a powerful, mobile, multimedia communication device and computer terminal that is a major driver of internet society. humans are very good at adapting to the technologies we create, and the internet is the most malleable, the most human of all technologies, just as it can also be intensely alienating from everything we've lived as before now. important development that has allowed this to happen is that the possibly greatest of all traits the internet has developed over the past few years is that it has become inherently boring. internet's most popular search tool also feeds me thoughts (tangible ideas encoded in words) via a massively-connected system that operates in way that is hidden to me. the digital age presents us with yet another paradox: while we have nearly infinite space to store our memories as well as all the multi-purpose gadgets to augment them with gps coordinates and 360-degree panoramas, we have fewer opportunities to look back and engage with those memories. and critics must only be careful, as we are trained to be careful, not to mistake this new, highly stylized and artificial order, the internet, for reality itself. we need attention in order to truly listen to others â€” and even to ourselves. in terms of art, the internet expands the network of reproduction that replaces the way we "know" something. the internet also unleashes monsters from the id — our evolved mental programs are far more easily triggered by images than by propositions, a reality jihadi websites are exploiting in our new round of religious wars. internet makes me think more about non-final exhibitions and exhibitions in a state of becoming. have become intellectual bulldozers for the curious, but the result falls short of the utopian knowledge future hoped for at the dawn of the internet. intellectual life started to get much better when i realized that the difference is not that much: that even papers and comments to the papers, reviews, replies, etc. but for three quarters of the subsequent period, life was exclusively unicellular, similar to today's bacteria, yeast or amoebae. the internet hasn't changed the way we think anymore than the microwave oven has changed the way we digest food. internet is the epitome of that concept: barely in its infancy, in a deplorable state between 'not quite there yet' and 'already half fallen apart', unruly chaos, ugly, confused, appealing to the worst base instincts, but:â youâ can use it in entirely unprecedented ways to enhance your life ambitions, with more choices, options and knowledge than any crowned heads in history.
The Future of the Internet | Pew Research Centeruse our own and third-party cookies to improve our services and show users advertising related to their preferences by means of the analysis of their browsing habits. personally, i typed all my early texts, but the more the internet has become all-encompassing , the more i have felt that something went missing. we ingest streaming torrents of satellite images and climate model simulations in near-real time; we post our own online for free use by unseen others around the planet. this is why google is changing itself from a search engine to a "live" search engine, why email devolved to sms and blogs devolved to tweets. i used to joke that if i had a query which could be answered by consulting a book in the shelves on the other side of my study or by using the internet, it would be quicker and less energy-consuming to find the answer on the internet. of course as a theoretical physicist i could do that before as well â€” it just meant carrying a lot more weight. after all, all cultural forms and conceits that gain currency and influence — epic poetry, the catholic mass, the british empire, photography —do so by purporting to be reality, to be transparent, to represent or proscribe life as it really is. if you were asked a question in those days you thought of what you had seen and heard and done yourself and what others had said to you. becoming aware of what email is doing to our allocation of time is the first step to re-gaining control. course it will be maintained that what "pops" out may have its roots, may be conditioned, by many factors in my experiential past. internet expands the horizon of every utterance or expressive act to a potentially planetary level. don't believe the internet has changed the way i or anyone else thinks. but those of us who study symbolic systems, including philosophers and literary critics, find in the internet another yet another symbolic system, albeit a humdinger, that yields — spectacularly, i must say — to our accustomed modes of inquiry. indeed, i am reminded of the impact that eyeglasses had after their development in the late 13th century (though my recollection of the details was sketchy until i, ahem, asked the internet). among those who have predicted that humans will be uploading their minds into cybermachines in the not too distant future, one might assume i'm enthusiastic about the internet. this results from the happy miracle that the internet is that it's unmoderated and cheap to use. doing the integration wrong, means that contagion can leap across the internet. if the theme of the enlightenment was independence, our own theme is interdependence. but even in my case, an honest response to the delphic admonition "know thyself" already requires an internet search. i stare out my window, at the unusually beautiful seattle weather, i realize, i haven't been out to walk yet today — sweet internet juices still dripping down my chin. more often than i'd like to admit, i sit down to do something and then get up bleary-eyed hours later, only to realize my task remains undone (or i can't even remember the starting point). watching my own and others' present versus future self struggles, i worry that the internet may impose a "survival of the focused," in which individuals gifted with some natural capacity to stay on target or who are hopped up on enough stimulants forge ahead, while the rest of us flail helplessly in some web-based attentional vortex. likewise, early internet forums and bulletin boards were discussions users returned to at their convenience. at the neuron level, but more abstractly: it completely redefined how we perceive the world and ourselves in it, new models of how we work and research, entertain ourselves, communicate with our family and friends, how we learn about the past and preserve our memories, what we expect of the future and how we plan for it, what we watch, read, listen to: all greatly influenced by technology in general and the net in particular." alas, our motley collection of fused bacterial ancestors never escaped from their "marriage contract". using the internet, i was able to find raw data on electron interference that i used to test the many-worlds formula. today, people make decisions based on evidence that they get from the internet all right, but that evidence often is no better than the evidence the village elder may have supplied. in one sense, the internet expands the arena within which thinking may resonate, and so perhaps the thinking is thereby "attuned" somewhat differently. i seek my reward from the immediate response that my efforts may bring, with little thought to the possibility that some stranger may see my words centuries from now, and wonder about the life that was led by the person who wrote them. so, let's acknowledge that the internet allows us to think and write in a much more natural way than the one imposed by the written culture tradition: the dialogical dimension of our thinking is now enhanced by continuous, liquid exchanges with others. fundamentally reflecting western, rationalist, objective, data-organizing drives, the internet simply enhances my ability to think in familiar ways, letting me work longer, more often, with better focus, free from the social tyranny of the library and the uncertainty of postmen. for us, though, the intellectual fate of our historical generation is unlikely to matter much in the long haul. for example, the current issue of the journal ecology contains articles on bacteria, plants, insects, fish and birds, covering a wide range of research topics, both theoretical and empirical. in place of the cartesian notion that our mind is transparent to introspection, it is very likely that numerous biases undermine the possibility of self-knowledge, making our thinking as impermeable to ourselves as it is to others. difficulties are unlikely to affect prestigious sources such as the journal of organic chemistry. although the thought life of each person is unique, one can discern patterns of thought that transcend racial, cultural and occupational differences; similarly, although the face of each person is unique, one can discern patterns of physiognomy â€” two eyes above a nose above a mouth â€” that transcend individual differences. this year's edge question at least gives me pause to think whether i really want to be spending 1000 hours a year on email, at the expense of more valuable activities. moore’s law will probably continue for at least part of that time, enough to wreak some astonishing magic (as it would seem to our puny imaginations if we could be granted a sneak preview today). abstaining from the internet is not a feasible experiment even on a personal level! and above all, the internet is changing how i see myself. i don't think we should concentrate of the wastes, rather, we should try to make a responsible use of our conversational skills and free ourselves from unreal commitments to accidental formats, such as the book or the academic paper, whose authoritative role depends on the immense role they played in our education. some are mystified by the way others, particularly the young, so frivolously reveal their intimate lives on facebook, twitter, in emails and via other internet billboards. if, in the course of the research, some document reveals a different an â€” gle, the fact that this happens within hours or days rather than months can only be to the good. the internet has, in effect, upgraded my memory of such marginal items from haphazard and partial to reliable and total. but if bdts were just about connecting things then the internet would only be mildly interesting in changing the way i think. who have determinedly kept our heads while suffrage, the holocaust, the highway system, renaissance perspective, coeducation, the pill, household appliances, the moon landing, the kennedy assassination and rock 'n' roll were supposed to change existence forever, cannot falter now. aided and abetted by our very recent (holocene) loud, careless, ignorant, frantic, clever but unwise, ephemeral human species, the rest of our planetmates have been there before us and will be there when we're gone. course, the increased participation means that there is an increase in the equivalent of what we used to call flame wars, or generally rude behavior, as well as a proliferation of false information and gathering places for people to plan and encourage hurtful activities. in fact i tend to remember the answer to the pointed pieces of information i ask about on the internet better than i do when reading a long book. and we have the freedom to consume the output of such networks selectively, and holding our noses â€” to participate, we needn't be true believers. there are the diaphanous forms, barely visible at the right-hand edge of your field of vision, who listen mutely as you cancel meetings and talk about staying home in bed, and then mysteriously begin slipping you ads for cough medicine and pain relievers. course i don't have to do any of this stuff. we have developed a way of thinking that depends on being connected to an ever changing graph of all the worldâ€™s people and ideas. what we require is uninterrupted solitude outdoors, sufficient time for the local sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and textures to seep into our consciousness. this allowed them clever conceits about what was really important in life, art, science and the rest of it. It has become a global means of communication in our everyday lives. internet has changed our thinking, but if it is to be a change for the better, we must add a third kind of knowledge to johnson's list â€” the knowledge of what matters. as remarkable as these technologies are, and as wonderful as they are in enabling us to stay in touch with friends and family that live in other countries or even other states, they have caused a fundamental decline in our capacity for normal, face to face. observers speak of "where we are going," or of how "our minds" are being changed by information overload, apparently despite ourselves. your telephone conversation may be delivered over analog lines one day and by the internet the next. or will the tendency of people to form isolated groups on the internet preserve that all important diversity of thought, so that although scientists all have equal access in principle, there are still those who look at the raw data in a different way from the consensus? no, of course not — too invasive, personal and potentially costly (they'd know where i live and i can't unplug them! sure, for academics the internet is a fantastic resource â€” almost all of the literature at your fingertips, unbelievably efficient ways of communicating and cooperating with researchers around the world, an endless source of learning and inspiration. but even as brain candy i think the internet's influence on these sorts of capabilities and pleasures is probably not as serious as the curmudgeons and troglodytes would have you believe. it will be tougher for the rest of us who grew up before the modern internet, in the primitive decades of the 20th century. the internet mirrors the cross connectivity of my own mind — a mind, it should be noted, that has been hybridized by drugs and other consciousness altering activities. our primate ancestors did it all the time, and do it today: they groom. conclude my answer to the question, the internet changes my behaviour every time i log on and in doing so influences how i think. the internet empowers better decision-making and a more efficient use of time. course, peer ratings of any product, like votes for a politician, can be biased by stupidity, ignorance, fashion cycles, mob effects, lobbying, marketing, and vested interests. like the digital organisms of today's internet, the new cambrian lifeforms rewrote the rules of habitat after habitat, evolving rapidly in the process. this parallels what happened, in animal evolution, as we evolved complex brains controlling our behavior, partially displacing the basically hormonal, one-to-many systems that came before. one answer lay in a blog comment from a diver just back from the iranian side of the persian gulf where he had seen diverse and flourishing coral reefs in 35c water (ten degrees warmer than much of the great barrier reef). in response to this incessant barrage of bits, the culture of the internet has been busy unbundling larger works into minor snippets for sale. in short, the release of printing technology into human societies brought into being a vast new ecosystem of knowledge — dense, diverse, rapidly changing, rapidly growing, and beyond the ability of any one mind to encompass, or any government to control. the increased use of the computer in scientific research, from simple data analysis to simulations, means the ability to recreate and verify facts for oneself is very real, as scientists can release the complete software environment and data required to reproduce their results on the internet. of ideas; author, passions and tempers: a history of the humours. it certainly changes how we read, as it changes how we do many aspects of our work. at the same time, the internet make us more specialised and compartmentalised in the kinds of knowledge we access and absorb. course, more or less everyone has come to depend on the internet in this way., mit; researcher, precision cosmology; scientific director, foundational questions institute; president, future of life institute; author, our mathematical universe. psychedelics, on the other hand, overwhelm our minds with the fullness of the world. internet brings to us art treasures, ability to simulate complex experiments, mechanisms of learning by trial and error, explanations and lessons from the greatest teachers on earth, special aids for children of special needs, less need to memorize facts and numbers, and numerous other incomparable marvels, not available to previous generations. internet shows me more and more about those who participate in it, but i worry lest i forget that not everything or everyone in the world has a home on the internet.‘pearls before swine’ over-estimates the average chat-room conversation, but it is the pearls of hardware and software that inspire me: the internet itself and the world wide web, succinctly defined by wikipedia as “a system of interlinked hypertext documents contained on the internet. tangle of events that trigger societal collapse can be complex, and there are several existential threats the internet does not address. the internet's standards were a way to create playing fields, not score goals; from vhs vs betamax to hd-dvd vs blu-ray, the only thing that's changed in standards wars has been who's sitting on which side of the table. i learned that if you begin your email with, "hi, i am writing to you from the banks of the maici river in the amazon jungle" you almost always get a response. and it is this sense of disconnection â€” more than distraction, multi-tasking, or long-distance engagement â€” that makes the internet so aggravating. most importantly, as the above analysis shows, email eats my time just as it likely eats yours. the other hand the information provided by the internet and then stored in lightweight portable devices such as pen drives of external hard-disks save me from carrying heavy books around, therefore protecting my back. internet is the ultimate mating ground for ideas, the supreme lekking arena for memes.
Change: 19 Key Essays on How Internet Is Changing our Lives
The Impact of the Internet on Societyand the balance tipped: the internet carried the news more quickly and accurately than any news station could. if we are to care about larger issues surrounding sustainability, we first must care about our local places, which in turn necessitates direct experiences in those places. it suggests that in addition to "computer literacy," an old pursuit where we teach novices how to use computing technology in a purely operational sense, we need to be conveying the much more complex skill of "information literacy" at very young ages: how to reason about the swirl of perspectives you find when you consume information on-line, how to understand and harness the computational forces that shape this information, and how to reason about the subtle consequences of your own actions on the internet. this is whereâ the internet's center of attention lies, not in text alone. rarely connect to the internet from the amazon these days..A certain unreliability of technical and material information on the internet brings us to the notion of doubt. i have access to more books, journal articles, newspapers, tv programs, documentaries and films. generation is the first generation that has lived their entire lives with the internet. are far more interesting ways that the internet changes our thoughts, and especially the conclusions we draw, and it does this also by acting on our appetites. yet, the internet is much more than just the web. within the endogenous limits of learning set by one's genetic inheritance, exposure to the internet can alter how one thinks no less than can exposure to language, literature or mathematics. internet relationship was supposed to enable all of my needs to be met; how did it instead become the source of endless demands? social media hold great promise as discrimination tools, and ai hints at the possibility of cyber-cicerones who would gently keep us on track as we traverse the vastness of cyberspace in our enquiries. in terms of art, the internet expands the network of reproduction that replaces the way we "know" something. it has revolutionized communications, to the extent that it is now our preferred medium of everyday communication. this virtual blacksmithing in both the wikipedia and twitter workspaces support a form of evolvable media that is 'impossibly' supported by the internet. the degree to which our online and offline personas differ will of course vary from one person to another." i just wonder if it is time to embrace the new internet and let that public write back. consider, for example, our tendency to reduce human thought to a few distinct processes. when our witness read the newspaper account, the old memory was retrieved and new information was integrated with the old information. in its current form, the internet, the way i see it, has signed a contract with a modernist, two-dimensional conception of space. scientist, yale university; chief scientist, mirror worlds technologies; author, america-lite: how imperial academia dismantled our culture (and ushered in the obamacrats). the advent of the internet age happened progressively, we saw it develop like a child born of many brains, a protean animal whose characteristics were at once predictable and unknown., for me, the theoretical physicist geek from central casting, the internet is changing the way i think, because its "whole is greater than the sum of its parts". internet tells me i am thinking in real time, when what it really does, increasingly, is take away the real and take away the time. rather than begin a question or hunch by ruminating aimlessly in my mind, nourished only by my ignorance, i start doing things. in this sense, the internet really is like a butler. inevitably, the same creative stigmergic effect in the audio-visual domain from internet-enabled collaboration will result in works of knowledge beyond our current imagination. persistent, frequent email messages threaten our capacity for the real work. the internet completes the process: now arbitrarily far-flung individuals can link, share information, and base their decisions upon this new shared source of meaning. the former is more common in fast moving fields like medicine and physics, but the second is widespread in my own field of ecology, where the longevity of most research papers (judged by the half-life of citation decay) is in excess of a decade. in adults, this kind of conscious attention is a very limited resource. simply becoming aware of the fact that life online requires this kind of decision-making was my first step in learning to tune a fundamental filter on what i allow into my head â€” a filter that is under my control only if i practice controlling it. visual artists, we might rephrase the question as something like: how has the internet changed the way we see? most interesting trend in the development of the internet is not how it is changing people's ways of thinking but how it is adapting to the way that people think. for most goods and services, and indeed most domains of life, they offer the consumer a kind of informal meta-analysis â€” an aggregation of data across all the analyses already performed by other like-minded consumers. for three billion years of evolution, our ancestors were all free-living cells like this, independently "doing it for themselves," and were honed by this long period into tiny organisms more versatile and competent than any cell in our multicellular bodies. let us use the internet as an impetus for completely rebooting our educational system, reorienting it from its current but antiquated 18th century emphasis on memorization â€” pointless in the age of wikipedia â€” to a more modern emphasis on critical thinking skills, on metacognition and decision-making. only in our era, it's more of a present shock. in telling stories to explain what we've learned and encourage others to follow us into the west, we've become not just mapmakers but meme makers. but over time, it has become clear that the idea of the moratorium space does not easily mesh with a life that generates its own electronic shadow. in the process, i've learned a new-found respect for the collective wisdom of our species. internet has changed how i think about science, and how to identify it. some think that this is why the internet is going to make us lazy, less-literate, and less-numerate, that we will forget what lovely things books are, and so on. yes, i understand the great potential for the internet to facilitate fact-finding, information sharing, and even community-building of like-minded people. this year, our chosen theme is the internet, the single most powerful vector of change in recent history. if speeding up thinking continually constitutes changing the way i think though, the internet has done a marvelous job. first, the internet is, for me, a kind of internal cognition combustion engine, something that vastly accelerates my ability to travel vast landscapes. current mainstream, dominant culture of the internet is the descendant of what used to be the radical culture of the early internet., the internet permeates pretty much all of my thoughts and actions. but until then, the internet will continue to be nothing more, and nothing less, than a very useful, and very dumb, butler. this is a life of resignation: teens are sure that at some point their privacy will be invaded, but that this is the course of doing business in their world. in 1996, i co-founded a software company that built its products and operated essentially entirely through the internet; whether this was more efficient than a regular "bricks-and-mortar" company is debatable, but the fact was that through this medium, fabulously gifted individuals were able to participate in this experiment, who would never have dreamed of relocating for work like this. while i am agnostic about whether we will ever break the neural code, allowing our inner lives to be read out as a series of bits, i notice that the prophesied upload is slowly occurring in my own case. it has revolutionized communications, to the extent that it is now our preferred medium of everyday communication. because this affects everybody, i feel that thinking about what the internet is now must always come back to myself as an individual. internet has vastly more coverage of everything, immediate, future, and past. i be misunderstood, i do not have webophobia, greatly profit from the internet as a consummate informavore, and am a passionate one-click amazonian. we are not aware of more subtle changes, which nonetheless can affect your perception and behavior. a first approximation the internet is words on a screen â€” google, papers, blogs. thought i had too little pre-internet experience to be able to answer this question. your airplane route may be chosen by a computer or a human being, or (most likely) some combination of both. our brains can generate only a limited amount of this precious resource every day. psychological reactions can be harsh to the point of inflicting myself various forms of punishment such as imprisonment in a dusty parisian library without internet connection or voluntary switching off of the modem at my place. at the most extreme, online life is literally one of care-free fantasy — live vicariously through your flawless avatar in the fantastical world of second life! effects of the internet have become even more striking since i've used a smart phone." i want to know how the internet changes the waytheyâ think. rockefeller mauzé professor of the social studies of science and technology, mit; internet culture researcher; author, reclaiming conversation. have embodied our rationality within our machines and delegated to them many of our choices, and in this process we have created a world that is beyond our own understanding. whatever the effects of the internet on our inner lives, it seems clear that in changing the structure of our outer lives â€” the lives intertwined with those of others â€” the internet is likely to be a more potent shaper of our minds than we have begun to imagine. using the internet i have renewed or begun new epistolary interactions on a global basis with superb, knowledgeable scientists and historians. this is very interesting because the internet is becoming a new form of sense that has not existed since we became to self realize as humans." the internet will evolve new offspring more quickly thanhomo sapiensâ and they, rather than the internet, will alter human nature. the number of requests to do x, y, or z began to increase exponentially, because, for example, it was far easier to shoot me a question than to spend the time digging up the answers â€” even on the internet. the libraries and archives that we had only dreamt of were now literally at our fingertips. but the rapid advance of the internet has thoroughly (and happily) changed my opinion about our customary existential threats. he and his successors at ipto, including robert taylor and larry roberts, provided the ideas that led to the development of the arpanet, the forerunner of the internet, which itself emerged as an arpa-funded research project in the mid-1980s. in the "old days," your great-grandchildren might have carried some vestigial memory of you, but that faded like a burning ember when they died â€” and you would have often been extinguished and forgotten. the simple insight that there is so much more knowledge, data and wisdom out there than i can ever attend in a lifetime, shows me that life is not about collecting information into a depot of books, theorems, rote memories or titles. our brain appetites act as spurs to action, in much the same way that our emotions do; or much the same way that our other appetites â€” for food and sex â€” do. for many decades before the advent of the internet, educational progressivists have insisted that, in our rapidly changing world, knowing mere facts is not what is important, because knowledge quickly becomes outdated; rather, being able to collaborate and solve problems together is what is important. the simplest level, the internet expanded our already capacious, triangulated nervous system to touch the nerves and synapses of a changing and chaotic world. search engines evidently have very complicated ways to determine which pages will be most relevant to your personal quest for the truth. internet has made me think more about whom i would like to introduce to whom; to cyberintroduce people as a daily practice or to introduce people in person through actual salons for the 21st century (see the brutally early club). of course, such rewiring may be in the offing, and quite possibly sooner than we expect, but that's not yet the case. are we, the ones that knew places before the internet, more able to navigate them now or less?” the swiftness and reach of the changes wrought by the internet indeed have a touch of magic about them. internet allows us to know fewer facts, being sure that they are always literally at our fingertips, thus reducing their importance as a component of the thought process. for example, musicians used to tour to promote their records, but, since records stopped making much money due to illegal downloads, they now make records to promote their tours. the internet has added a lot to our lives indeed, and has also made a few things disappear. with everything that comes to our attention we have to now ask - 'what obstacles did it have to cross to traverse the threshold of our considerations' - and while asking this we have to understand that obstacles to attention are no longer a function of distance. anybody with a cheap laptop computer, and an averagely fast wifi connection, can enjoy the illusion of bouncing dizzily around the world in full colour, from a beach webcam in portugal to a chess match in vladivostok, and google earth actually lets you fly the full length of the intervening landscape as if on a magic carpet.
19 Key Essays on How the Internet Is Changing Our Lives
How Has The Internet Changed Education? [Infographic]the cloud is a superhuman interstellar traveller, whose ‘nervous system’ consists of units that communicate with each other by radio – orders of magnitude faster than our puttering nerve impulses. the arrival of the internet rescued libraries from the space crisis created by the proliferation of new journals and the vast increase in the size of existing ones. can go original, either in creation or curation, and, if good, carve a new, little path in the anthill — or we can copy one of all the things out there and bring it home to our local group. every morning, we went together to the mailboxes of our apartment building. while for the first two questions, we can devise scientific procedures how to decide them, even including borderline cases, for the last question, such an algorithm seems impossible, even though some of our biology friends try to convince us that it is just a matter of deterministic procedures in our brains and in our bodies. when we learn of the empires that have tumbled before us, it is plausible to think that our civilization will adhere to the same path and eventually fall to a traditional malady â€” anything from epidemics to resource depletion. no doubt mistakes creep in, or are even maliciously inserted, but the half-life of a mistake, before the natural correction mechanism kills it, is encouragingly short. of course, i was inclined to disbelieve in intelligent design before i had access to the wide range of wacky and hysterical websites that promote it. move aside, sex: the world-wide web has usurped your role. had the internet existed in 1922 when alexander friedmann discovered the expanding universe model, georges lemaître wouldn't have had to rediscover it five years later. malware is forever changing, but our defenses are forever evolving as well. and also:'‘my dreams are like other people’s waking hours'. if you're one of the individual drivers on the ground, driving your car from b to a, the perspective is, of course, different. my senses dulled as my greedy mind became one with the global brain we call the internet. when a friend claims that it is her penchant for socialist ideals that leads her to support the latest healthcare reform bill, it might be wise for you to assume she likes the bill but to doubt her reasons why (and she ought to share your skepticism! the transition from non-primates to primates came with an expansion of social groups, and many scientists now think that the primate brain evolved under the pressures of this novel form of social life. admittedly useful as the internet is, easy access to images of everything and anything creates a false illusion of knowledge and experience. the internet may yield more "thinking" about such issues but such "thinking" would not be equally distributed. internet has made me aware of the importance of handwriting and drawing. and many days, she would tell me as if it had never come up before, "in america, no one can look at your mail. finally, my mind seems to be increasingly interwoven into the internet — what i store locally in my own brain seems more and more to be metadata for the parts of my understanding that are stored on the internet. but material stored only on the internet is far more vulnerable to destruction than the same material present in multiple paper copies. the ipbs become of chagallian importance and encourage the use of new windows on the world. as an attentional agent, you can initiate a shift in attention and, as it were, direct your inner flashlight at certain targets: a perceptual object, say, or a specific feeling. second, i wonder if i could disconnect from the internet long enough to have big, deep thoughts. too many hours of my life are consumed in this way, and other tasks procrastinated, but i am perpetually educated in return. the changes began with the camera and other film-based media, and the internet has had an exponential effect on that change. it gives me, and everybody else, the ability to conduct research instantly on our own terms. there is also email and attachments and blogs and software downloads and you tube and facebook and internet shopping and banking and weather forecasts and googlemaps and and andâ€¦. knocking out keystone species and toppling community structures, these shifts and extinctions opened up new opportunities, inviting avian and mammalian adaptive radiations and other bursts of innovation that transformed the living world — and eventually opening the way for our placenta-suckled, unprecedentedly luxuriant brains. is, of course, too soon to say what permanent effect the internet will have on languages. for best results, please make sure your browser is accepting cookies. in these and many more areas, four decades of internet development are colliding with practices brought to us by (presumably) well-meaning but ill-informed engineers who don't study history as part of an engineering education, and thereby doom everyone else to repeat it. set me thinking about my own interactions with the internet, and how they might differ fundamentally from using any other sources of information. the characters you see in this image:Technology, sociology, internet, culture, humanities, communications. contrast with friendship, however, an expanded social group is unlikely to be an unalloyed good because it is hardly news that the people in our lives are the sources not only of our greatest joys but also our most profound suffering. that might sound like a paltry beginning, but it's actually an encouraging show of strength, because the equations of qcd are much more complicated than the equations of quantum chemistry. to the position in front of the screen of the computer and to the lack of physical exercise deriving by a too intense use of the internet (to every advance in connection speed more hours of it) i developed two herniated discs in the cervical region (detected in 2005) and two herniated discs in the lumbar region (detected in 2008). i do often take advantage of the internet's breadth, even if it is a little more directed. earlier, one assumed invisibility to be the default mode of life and practice. the internet is a kind of collective memory, to which our minds will adapt until a new technology eventually replaces it. i do not sense that the internet alters the way that i think as much as it does the way i work; having the great source close at hand is simply irresistible, and i generally keep a window open on my laptop for random searches that pop into my head. the greatest proportion of these individuals and outputs were already offering something interesting or important to which the internet gave worldwide access. walking with a bag of warm pizza, i heard a sudden churning of bells, when it was not the marking of the hour. continually freeing me of the aforementioned burdens, it has allowed me to focus even more on the tasks expected of me as a journalist â€” find context, meaning and a way to communicate complex topics in the simplest of ways. this essay, i consider the impact of the internet on the arts and media, focusing, though not exclusively, on film, journalism, and, especially, popular music, which serves as an extended case study. in choosing to decline the medal, peer review, publication and employment, the previously obscure grigori perelman chose to entrust the legacy of his great triumph solely to an internet archive intended as a temporary holding tank for papers awaiting publication in established journals. childhood abuse can similarly lead to persistent feelings of anxiety and acute stress in a child, fundamentally altering its thought life. i quit the internet if it meant i would have more bdts? in england around 1200 the ability to read a particular psalm entitled a defendant to be tried in an ecclesiastical court, which was typically more lenient than a civil court. internet can facilitate an incredible persistence and availability of information, but given the internet's adolescence, all of the information simply isn't there yet. the internet is in the tool kit, but has not yet been applied. flip side, however, is that the internet is also the world's greatest time sink. i have learned that the internet is just a tool., the truth is that the virtual world grows out of, and ultimately depends on, the one world whose inputs it draws on, whose resources it consumes, and whose flaws it inevitably inherits. "homework hack" is, in reality, little more than the usual pattern of academic discourse, but carried out, in william gibson's memorable phrase, with "one thumb permanently on the fast-forward button". the internet gave me access to as much information (for good or ill) as any researcher in the world, even from the rain forest. the anthropologist, robin dunbar, calculated that the volume of the human cortex predicts a social group of 150 â€” about the size of the villages that would have constituted our social environment for a great deal of evolutionary time, and which can still be found in "primitive" societies. to get from jack kerouac to hank williams to the pentatonic scale used to be quite a journey. but there is also the danger that something valuable about reading in a linear fashion, absorbing information internally, and processing it as we go along is lost with the internet or even electronic devices, where it is too easy to cheat by searching. the years, my company has been a map-maker in the world of technology, spotting trends, documenting them, and telling stories about where the sandbars lie, the portages that cut miles off the journey, as well as the romance of travel and the glories of the destination. the internet has turned the human village into a megalopolis and has thus inaugurated what might be the biggest sea-change in human evolution since the primeval campfires. consider the explosive situation: more information (particularly thanks to the internet) causes more confidence and illusions of knowledge while degrading predictability. these offspring will probably no more resemble the internet thanâ homo sapiensâ resembles amoebas. It has become a global means of communication in our everyday lives. while a synthesis of such scope might well have been possible without the light-speed world library of the internet, i, for one, would never have attempted it. there was a time, no long ago, when the heads of corporations did not use the internet because they never learned to type, but they are going extinct and have been replaced with more internet savvy managers. happily the internet provides us with access to many of these earlier forms of the written word as well as to electronic communications. but from what little i understand about human thought, i don't think the internet has changed the way you think. greatest of all traits: the internet has become inherently boring. sustainability, if it is to occur, will include greener technologies and lifestyles. the days of looking your enemy in the eye, and driving a knife into his body, are over! we have always been auto-didacts, and knowing that we can touch what we do not yet know and make it our own, makes working with knowledge immensely playful and pleasurable. my intellectual suitcases have been packed for months now as i try to screw up the courage and proper 'efficient frontier mentality' to follow my own advice to the next generation: "go virtual young man. what do you mean that the store hours aren't anywhere? an amateur musician i find the internet linked in time with the nature of music itself. now that the hopkins library has severely cut back on paper journals as the switch to online continues it is less fun. because of online fans, and streaming on demand, and rewinding at will, and all the other liquid abilities of the internet, directors started creating movies that were more than 100 hours long. we are posed to empower our own decision making through internet-based verification of what we believe, important for self-determination but also for the validity of the computational results themselves. put succinctly, just as if a newly discovered preliterate tribe had challenged my beliefs about human language and human culture, the internet has altered my views of human development and human potential. an interesting follow-up issue, to this last comment, is the question whether the minds and brains of children growing up in an internet inspired educational system, will be physically "wired" differently than those of earlier generations. but i believe this will become typical - the draw of verifying what we know for ourselves and being less reliant on the conclusions of others has remained evident in our long search for truth about our world. there are many universities & courses online; eventually, as virtualization progresses, we'll see many or most absorbed into a world-university where you can walk the halls, read the bulletin boards & peek into classrooms within a unified space â€”â without caring which conventional university or web site contributed what. on a misunderstanding of its capacity, our attention to normative deliberative decision-making probably contributed to a lot of bad decision-making.: 19 key essays on how the internet is changing our lives, is the sixth issue of bbva’s annual series devoted to explore the key issues of our time. as a system that infinitely breeds new realities, it is predisposed to reproduce itself in a proliferating series of ever more functionally differentiated subsystems. the internet changed from a resource at my desk into an appendage chirping from my pocket and vibrating on my thigh, however, the value of depth was replaced by that of immediacy masquerading as relevancy. our effective personal memories are now vastly larger, essentially infinite. in the future, simulacrums of you, derived in part by your internet activities, will be able to converse with future generations. the only self-criticism, the internet is operating with at the moment seems to be the one of the market economy â€“ the most efficient, frequently updated and trimmed sites being the ones where money is changing hands. for many people around the world, ‘first life’ reality has few charms and, even for those more fortunate, active participation in a virtual world could be more intellectually stimulating than the life of a couch potato slumped in idle thrall to ’big brother’.) and, as with so much of vice, we want to blame it on anything but ourselves.
Internet changes the way we think
's hard to doubt that more friends are a good thing, friendship being among life's greatest boons. i used the internet back when it was just arpanet, and even earlier as a teenager using a teletype to log into a state-of-the-art honeywell mainframe from my school, i don't believe my way of thinking was changed by the internet until around 2000. it's less than twenty years since the living presence of networked information has become part of our thinking machinery. before the internet that was limited by the boundaries of my brain. but the thought process that was once mine is now ours, even while in progress, even before it yields a finished work. in the beginning, the internet was a giant mess of unstructured, unorganized, identity-free data spread across un-connected computers all over the world., connecting, and organizing the information on the worldâ€™s computers has enabled us to search for the answers to our most important questions and to provide more context to the information in our lives. if i am away from my desk, i pull out my blackberry so quickly and instinctively that you probably think i'm ignoring your question and starting to read my e-mail or play brickbreaker â€” and sometimes i am! indeed, the internet is also creating a hybrid social group that includes real friends and the friends-of-friends who are little more than strangers. the increasing numbers and influence of scientists working in asia and latin america and the dominance of european science in some fields is a consequence of the internet. internet addresses the problem of knowledge-sharing better than any technology we've had. perhaps we are tapping into our collective unconscious in a way watching the directed stream of tv, radio and newspapers could not. this is still not the case, but in the near future the internet may provide an equivalent opportunity for people everywhere. instead, i exploited the very resource we are evaluating, and asked my friends on facebook what they thought their lives would be like without the internet. antonia fraser's remark was really a tribute to the reliability and comprehensiveness of the internet. like most people i know, i worry noisily and loudly that the internet has made me incapable of having bdts. likewise, offline behaviour does badly in an online world — unless you give a little of yourself, you get restricted access to resources. internet has changed my life greatly, but not in a way that i could have anticipated, nor in the way that the question implies. internet, the online virtual universe, is my jungle gym and i swing from bar to bar: learning about: how writing can be either isolating or social; diy drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) at a maker faire; where to find a quantified self meetup; or how to make sach moan sngo num pachok. a result of wasting my time over the years surfing the internet, i've come to better understand how people have a terrible craving to find others like themselves, and the more unconventional the person, the more the need. we want to forget that we have become the instruments of our own surveillance. the arrival of the internet was a trigger for me to think more in the form of oulipian lists —practical-poetical, evolutive and often nonlinear, lists. the internet, by spreading information, causes an increase in interdependence, the exacerbation of fads (bestsellers like harry potter and runs on the banks become planetary). even when the ping back is sour or critical, it comforts me. the leap in internet usage that accompanied the appearance of the world wide web more than a decade ago came from its user interface, the graphical browser, which worked around the serial, line-based processing of the actual computer hardware to simulate a familiar visual world of windows, icons, and buttons. someone who believes both in human nature and in timeless standards of logic and evidence, i'm skeptical of the common claim that the internet is changing the way we think., a grassroots, internet-fueled transformation in how america provides listening assistance is underway. when our collective sources of knowledge improve, we will be better for it and our lives will be more meaningful. consciously, i still use the same scientific training that was drummed into me as an undergraduate and graduate student in theoretical chemistry, even when it comes to evaluating aspects of my daily life: based on a certain preliminary amount of information, i develop a hypothesis and try to refine it so that it differs from any competing equally plausible hypotheses; i test the hypothesis; if it is proven true, i rest my case within the limits of that hypothesis, accepting that i may have solved only one piece of a puzzle; if it is proven false, i revise and repeat the procedure. net will not reach its true potential in my little lifetime. Key Essays on How the Internet Is Changing Our Lives, is the sixth issue of BBVA’s annual series devoted to explore the key issues of our time. i wonder if the difficulty of getting information before the internet was not somehow protecting us from a new diffused expertise as the one of bouvard and pecuchet. we may loose some skills in this process, such as the ability to concentrate over an extended period of time and storing large amounts of information in long-term memory, but the internet is also teaching us new skills for accessing information. now-ness of the internet engenders impulsive, unthinking responses over considered ones, and a tendency to think of communications as a way to bark orders or fend off those of others. there are some high-priority scientific quests â€” for instance, the recipe for a room-temperature superconductor, or the identification of key steps in the origin of life â€” which may yield most readily neither to insight nor to experiment, but to exhaustive computational searches. and that is, i began paying more attention to everything that the internet seems to be eliminating. required, each of them has to say a few words via the camera to their loved ones each day; most of the time, these revolve around their recollections on the past, realizations about life and confessions when their consciences are pricked. moral: by linking and magnifying the inclinations of kindred-spirited people, the internet can be very, very bad, but also very, very good. early hominid verbal communication and hieroglyphs were the tools of persuasion used by our ancestors. by the internet, i mean the global network of interconnected computers that enables, among other things, the web. now that the internet allows the experimenter to post her data, we theorists can individually analyze it. it is sad that after the intimacy of infancy our children inevitably end up being somewhat weird and incomprehensible visitors from the technological future. our relationship to it is similar to our relationship to our biological ecosystem. i lost hours trawling the streets of european cities for an internet cafe, to feel it was merely a brushed kiss from a stranger; there's always be someone else in line. internet changes every aspect of thinking for the often-online human: perception, categorization, attention, memory, spatial navigation, language, imagination, creativity, problem-solving, theory of mind, judgment, and decision-making. is the truth-telling power of the internet something to avoid? the internet plays a crucial role in our personal lives: my friends said they would be 'lost', 'stressed', 'anxious' and 'isolated' without it. our capacity to connect through the internet may be breeding a generation of social degenerates. this is because the internet doesn't (yet) know how to think. way that neoteny relates to the degradation of the internet is that as a parent, you really can't go running around to play gigs live all the time. internet versions of journals and abstracts have one disadvantage at present: my university can afford only a limited window for the search. as real world activity and connections continue to be what matters most to me, the internet, with its ability to record my behavior, is making it clearer that i am, in thought and in action, the sum of the thoughts and actions of other people to a greater extent then i have realized. in summary, in the age of the internet, the concept of you and personhood is more diffuse than ever before. the change in our thinking started, strangely enough, with reflections on internet friends. in the old days, one would glance at all the titles and perhaps most of the abstracts in a particular journal issue. and that is what perhaps enables me to use the internet with a measure of wisdom. many others, my personal experience is that the internet is both thegreat sourceâ for information and theâ great distractor,â fostering compulsions to stay "connected," often at the expense of other, arguably more valuable aspects of life. search engines are linear, predictable and essentially an uninteresting way to use the internet. we have linked our destinies, not only among ourselves across the globe, but with our technology. the internet makes me think less of exhibitions as top down masterplans but bottom up processes of self organisation like do it or cities on the move. the public for our work, for any work that positions itself anywhere vis-a-vis the global digital commons is now a set of concentric and overlapping circles, arranged along the ripples produced by pebbles thrown into the fluid mass of the internet. the internet allows people to draw upon ideas that occur to anybody in the world. if i could empathize with my alter-ego in a parallel 'offline' universe where there was no internet, perhaps i can understand how the internet has influenced the way i think. most likely our current best theories will end up relegated to the dustbin as not only wrong but misleading. the internet's extreme hyperlinking highlights those anti-facts as brightly as the facts. our inventions in the past have altered our fitness: arrow heads, agriculture, the control of fire. i can find a video on virtually anything; i learned how to safely open a young thai coconut from this internet of wonder. we're not all the way there yet, but the internet is leveling the knowledge playing field by democratizing access to information. as a result, speaking for myself, the internet makes me mean. in an internet-connected world, it is almost impossible to keep track of how systems actually function. but this first glance ignores the vastly larger underbelly of the internet â€” moving images on a screen. but imagine churchill or hitler with internet-like access to information! fact the propensity of the internet to diminish our attention is overrated. while appreciating the inventions of the telephone and broadcasting, it occurred to me that the ability to contact unseen conversants is a basic property of the auditory sense; it's as old as our species and occurs every time that we speak with someone in the dark or not in our line of sight., most people only recognize that they are using the internet when they are interacting with a computer screen. we still have the same brain our forebears had as they stalked woolly mammoths and mastodons; and we still chat and warm our hands where they once camped â€” on land that is now london, beijing and new york. are, of course, endogenous limits to what can be learned, and these limits are largely a consequence of mutation and natural selection. the only way for a creative person to live with what we can call dignity is to have some system of intellectual property to provide sustenance while you're out of your mind with fatigue after a rough night with a sick kid. internet is not changing the way i think (nor, so far as i am concerned, the way anyone else thinks, either, but that is not theâ edgeâ question). depth of biological knowledge and the ability of the internet to access this depth allows even a generalist to evaluate these two alternative explanations. this has come about because of a blog campaign by like-minded skeptics who have used the internet to draw attention to what they consider to be questionable business activity. my daring, cheeky, spontaneous, and interactive online persona, makes me quicker-thinking and encourages me to think further outside my offline box. these visualizations — be it news from around the world displayed on a globe or a sortable table of airfares — can greatly enhance our understanding of the world or our sense of opportunity. we place demands on the internet, but the internet hasn't placed any fundamentally new demands on us. that may have worked had technological development leaned towards the option of living life disconnected from those machines whenever access to their memory banks was not required. shared mind that is the internet is a comfort to me. and suspicion of the unfamiliar are ancestral traits of humans, ensuring survival by protecting against usurpation and theft of resources. the internet brought with it the exhilaration and the abundance of a frontier-less commons along with the fractious and debilitating intensity of de-personalized disputes in electronic discussion lists. our basic tools of modern data analysis, from regression to principal components, were developed by scientists working squarely in the mathematical tradition, and are based on theorems and analysis. stare at a screen in your home or in your hand. but for me the most blatant phenomena is that my life has to an extent compressed to the extent that i am not only aging in the conventional sense but also not aging, due to the fact that rather than losing information with the passing of "time" i am in fact accruing more and more information. that is if you take the 1992 version of the internet to be the real thing.
an internet exchange was only as rich as the amount of time i allowed to pass between posts. notice that the desire for community is sufficiently strong for millions of people to belong to entirely fictional communities such asâ second lifeâ andworld of warcraft. for me, the internet has only magnified â€” on a grand scale â€” what i already knew about human nature. notice that my daily life has been changed more by my mobile phone than by the internet. think about the cognitive demands this activity involves â€” once the domain of scholarship, it is now something that the internet requires from us on a daily basis., seriously, i find it utterly impressive how the notion of information is becoming more and more important in our society. we still retain free will, which is the ability to focus, deliberate, and act on the results of our own deliberations. internet revolution has equally profound consequences for the second mode of knowledge acquisition. many of us lack effective strategies for organizing our time in the face of this onslaught. social changes the internet is bringing about have changed the way the two of us think about madness.'m starting to think like the internet, starting to think like biology. it only matters how fast you can pedal your bike. teenagers, for example, often gauge the reliability of a website by how slick a site is, rather than on the nature of the site's sources. notice that i now digest my knowledge as a patchwork drawn from a wider range of sources than i used to. what we could read in the traditional library of 25 years ago was orders of magnitude richer and more diverse than the most that any person could ever see, hear, or be told of in one lifetime. the internet was not a joy, but a catch-up mechanism., i am much less concerned about "tweeners" like me who grew up before the internet than i am with children of the internet age, so-called "digital natives. thus the internet and the computer are married in some ethereal place, as yet undefined. this seems a natural evolution from a state of knowledge derived from mystical sources with little ability to question and verify, through a science-facing society still with an epistemological gulf between scientist and non-scientist. the first two provoke numbness and a certain diminution of strength in my thumbs, while the two last ones determine sciatica pains in my right leg, which is variable but aggravated by the position used to navigate the internet for long hours. we had however prepared some other new compounds and improved some methods, so i wrote a paper that was published in 1969 in the journal of organic chemisty. culture journalist; partner, contributor, co-editor, boing boing; executive producer, host, boing boing video. but i'd argue that's not because of the internet itself but because i have mastered the internet as an adult.ñaki vázquez: the origins of the internet of things. i interact with people all over the world from different fields and walks of life, and i see myself and others becoming interconnected hubs of information that the full range of human experience passes through. in letting the internet think for us, as it were, are we encouraging the degeneration of our own mental capacities? all these are gains and reflect something hopeful: the collaborative effort of our joint endeavour; our willingness to share. over time, as the internet rewards certain cognitive skills and ignores or discourages others, it could profoundly alter even the basic patterns of thought that we share as a species. studies show that there is an intricate connection between reminiscence (particularly about positive events in our lives) and happiness: the more we do of the former, the more we feel of the latter. but here is something we are just beginning to understand â€” that the internet affects our sense of selfhood, and on a deep functional level. its science entries, in particular, are extremely thorough, reliable and well-sourced. the internet is the infinite oscillation of our collective conscious interacting with itself. the internet causes scientific knowledge to become obsolete faster than was the case with the older print media. the internet sweeps you away from where and "what" you were — so instead of filling you with the fire to dig deeper into the magic bottomless source that is the self — it lets you drift into the dazed state of having everything at your finger-tips — which are used to caress the world of course, but only the world as it assumes the shape of the now-manifest rather than the world of the still un-imaginable. internet made me think towards a more expanded notion of curating. we make our technologies and they, in turn, make and shape us. so we end up thinking that we know more than we do, which, in economic life, causes foolish risk taking. then we will begin outsourcing other cognitive abilities, and hopefully, learn new ones., the internet is so seductiveâ€”which is odd considering that it's so passive an agency. whatever your opinion and level of engagement, the cellphone and related internet devices are profound social prostheses — almost brain implants — that have changed our lives and culture. we can at least hope that the faster, more ubiquitous and above all cheaper internet of the future may hasten the long-awaited downfall of ayatollahs, mullahs, popes, televangelists, and all who wield power through the control (whether cynical or sincere) of gullible minds. an archive search that in the past might have taken a week, plus thousands of miles of travel, can now be done at blitz speeds in the privacy of your own home or office. immensely cool â€” within just a few years, a self-correcting bottom-up system of quality that's fundamentally independent of authorities from on high is breathing down the neck of the mother of all sources of knowledge. certainly, there is diversity and hierarchy, and vast domains of varied information, but nevertheless, except when internet users turn their attention on the those who are excluded, or who exclude themselves, a mirror will be held up to those who sustain the information age, and it is only this part of the world i come to have scattered information about., there is a troubling epistemological problem: to know whether the internet is changing how i think my introspection into my own thinking would have to be reliable. (if only i could avoid the equally distracting internet which, in it's promise of connectedness and expanded knowledge is really a substitute social phenomenon). this means i can swim freely through the internet's vast oceans of information, safe in the knowledge that any connections between items that subsequently occur to me can still be made. the very speed of the internet and convenience of web content accelerates information search to a rate that crowds out reflection, which may bias me towards gratifying the salient but fleeting desires of my present self. know how internet has changed my body, not really how it changed my way of thinking. internet is essentially a huge storage room of information, and we are in the process of outsourcing information storage and retrieval from mind to computer, just as many of us have already outsourced the ability of doing mental arithmetic to the pocket calculator. the internet reverses that by making each of our minds a node in a continually evolving network of other minds. of course, maybe it is just this dogmatic approach that prevents the internet from changing the way that i think. other consequences of the disconnect show up in the inner life of the generation that has grown up with always-on/always-on-you connectivity. internet enables far wider participation in front-line science; it levels the playing field between researchers in major centres and those in relative isolation, hitherto handicapped by inefficient communication. invention of photography created several concrete displacements of our perception of the past. one of my facebook friends said it would be 'relaxing' without the internet. internet is the latest and best expression of the collective nature of human intelligence. is not a bias of the internet itself, but of the way it has changed from an opt-in activity to an "always on" condition of my life. fortunately it can keep track of all of this changing information by connecting to other computers through the internet. before the internet, if you wanted to keep up with the news, you had to walk down to the newsstand when it opened in the morning and buy a local edition reporting what had happened the previous day. in my day-to-day life as a scientist, i mostly still do. for me the internet has led over time to that deep sense of collaboration, awareness and ubiquitous knowledge that means that my thought processes are not bound by the meat machine that is my brain, nor my locality nor my time. changes to scientists' reading habits due to the internet are similar to the distinction between grazing and browsing animals. a motivated teen anywhere on the planet can walk through the world's knowledge â€” from the webs of wikipedia to the curriculum of mit's open course ware. might also mean being able to resist the near-consensus of your peer group. none of that, as far as i am aware, has changed because of the internet. we sniff out our digital blazes, following the circular depletion of our own curiosity reservoirs. for some people the disintegration between these two realms marks all that is wrong with the internet: it â is the high-priced waster of time. course books are only valuable to those who have access to them, can read and are encouraged to do so. this may seem counterintuitive but it's increasingly likely that the internet would not diffuse knowledge-production and thinking around the globe but rather further concentrate it in one place. i saw the internet as more a resource for messaging, a faster route than the bike-delivered pigeon post. understand how the internet encourages this interweaving of complex systems, you need to appreciate how it has changed the nature of computer programming. at first glance, we might think that the internet has radically changed the way look for and accept evidence. is made accessible to me through the internet might not be changing how i think, but it does some of my thinking for me. there's no point in making the strenuous trek over to the library to find the source when you can get an expurgated electronic version on google books right away. everyone can have their say, opinion is democratic; and at a time when natural resources are shrinking, and where environmental threats require us to limit our emissions, the internet seems to be an ever expanding and almost limitless resource. when you have generations growing up with bottom-up emergence as routine, when wisdom of the crowd phenomena tell you more accurately what movies you'll like than can some professional movie critic, people are more likely to realize that life can have emerged with all its adaptive complexity without some omnipotent being with a game plan. there during the very early days of computing and the net, i cannot help but compare the vision, the hope and the theory with the reality we find ourselves in decades later. you will begin to perceive the entangled system that makes so many of our day-to-day decisions. second, our nervous systems evolved over 400 million years of natural selection, during which billions of competing false-starts and miswired individuals were ruthlessly weeded out., studies show that individuals within your social network have a profound influence on your personal health and happiness, for example, through your contacts on the internet (whom you usually know) and their friends (whom you may not know). use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services and show users advertising related to their preferences by means of the analysis of their browsing habits. one believes that the wetware source of intellectual production, whether in the arts or sciences, is guided by the ability to critically model reality, to scale information and to engage in abstract thought, where are we heading in the age of the internet? some well-designed prizes for milestone achievements in the simulation of matter could have a big impact, by focusing attention and a bit of glamour toward this tough but potentially glorious endeavor. terms of my curatorial thinking, my 'eureka moments' occurred pre-internet, when i met visionary swiss artists fischli/weiss in 1985. we cannot view our public any longer as being arrayed along familiar and predictable lines. director, excel venture management; co-author (with steve gullans), evolving ourselves. forgive me if i may sound like a bad sciece fiction writer, but if i may give any direction to your question, i think that the internet is probably going to evolve by itself very very soon to give you better answers that i can hopefully ever give. but it surely has influenced the thinking in my lifetime like nothing else ever has. while for the first two questions, we can devise scientific procedures how to decide them, even including borderline cases, for the last question, such an algorithm seems impossible, even though some of our biology friends try to convince us that it is just a matter of deterministic procedures in our brains and in our bodies.— to expect that our brain function will significantly be reduced in the coming decades to very simple decision-making, and so on and so on." but of course friends are only as good as they are genuine, and it is hard to know what to think about facebook friends.
How the Internet Has Changed Everyday Life - OpenMind
i therefore delight in the fact that the internet makes it harder to restrict information and block the truth. a man on a facebook page posting photos of a baby and a trip and myself, a 42 year-old architect on vacation with an assignment due in two hours! but for this to happen, we have to make better use of the potentials of the internet, and the internet has to have an interest in this mutual exchange — it has to invest itself in its users, so to speak. it is our choice, some will say, and yet i find myself looking with sheer disbelief or ironic amusement at what people have chosen to put up on the net. internet turned an occasional habit into my primary way of storing knowledge. yet for millions of years our forebears had almost no privacy. since teaching as an adjunct professor is no way to make a living (literally), i founded the skeptics society andskeptic magazine just as the internet was getting legs in the early-1990s.'s because human change takes place across generations, rather than within a single life. in its current state, the internet has extended my memory, perception, and judgment. we have to recognize that some of our consumer judgments served mainly as conspicuous displays of our own intelligence, openness, taste, or wealth, and are not really the best way to choose the best option. instead of theatrically changing our thinking, this time, we must keep our heads, which means — to me — that we must keep on reading and not mistake new texts for new worlds, or new forms for new brains. internet is virtualizing the universe, which changes the way i act and think. generation is living through this transformation, so although our cognitive unconscious is hidden from awareness, we can at least report on our direct experience on how our thinking has shifted before and after. the result, for the general public, is a flourishing of extremist views on everything. i'm tempted to know a little bit about everything and look for pre-digested, concise, neatly formatted content from reliable sources. ever growing ever pervasive records that the internet produces make me think sometimes about the virtues of forgetting. is the space of attentional agency: conscious information is exactly that information in your brain to which you can deliberately direct your attention. assuming 3 minutes per email (let's face it, i can't afford to spend too long thinking about what i want to say), that's about 1000 hours a year on email alone. memory: once i look up something on the internet, i don't need to retain all the details for future use â€” i know where to find that information again, and can quickly and easily do so. the internet-as-social-amplifier can instead work for good, by connecting those coping with challenges. of course, i could always do this in a university environment, but now i can do it while sitting at home, and i can do it more quickly. people who trust books (two or more years out of date) rather than wikipedia are like people who balk at buying on the internet for security reasons but happily pay with a credit card in restaurants where an unscrupulous waiter could keep the carbon copy of the slip and run up huge bills before they knew it. course there are negative aspects, but they are easily forgiven. in academia especially, but in other careers as well (most notably politics and corporate business), your name, money, connections, social standing, religion, and especially which institutions you are affiliated with do seem to matter…a lot. it or not, i have to admit that the internet has changed both what and how i think. in so doing, he forced the recognition of a new reality by showing that it was possible to move an indisputable intellectual achievement out of the tradition of referee gated journals bound to the stacks of university libraries into a new and poorly charted virtual sphere of the intellect. the internet seemed to have given me a case of attention deficit disorder, but did it really change the way i think, or just made it more difficult have the time to think? internet also affects my thinking by leaving me thinking about the internet. your interests, decision-making capabilities, habits, and even health are so intertwined with others, your personhood is better defined as a pseudo-personhood that is composed of yourself and the assembly of your ipbs out to at least three degrees of network separation. i am also struck by the radical democratization of information that the internet may soon embody. to my surprise, i found that 11 papers and some patents had cited our publication, up to 2002. this concept endured until sometime in the 1950s when the photograph was no longer accepted in courts of law. visual artists, we might rephrase the question as something like: how has the internet changed the way we see? moreover, just when we need them most, the meticulously trained editors of our newspapers, journals, and publishing houses are being laid off in droves. internet makes us think in the right way: pass it on, let it go, let it flow. "if you have cancer, don't go on the internet," she said in an interview published byâ the sunday timesâ in january 2010. i had been trained in physical library search techniques: look up the subject in science abstracts (a journal itself now made defunct by the internet), then go to the archived full article in the physical journal shelved nearby. that has a great deal of appeal, not least because i get the frisson of contemplating bdts without actually going to the trouble of a) giving up the internet, and b) seeing if i actually have the aforementioned thoughts. while isolated groups drifted into ever greater idiosyncracy, those who found themselves in competition for the same resources consciously strove to differentiate themselves from their neighbours. the internet, and this is a term i think that is beyond the idea of just the web on a computer (websites, emails, blogs, twitter, google etc) that is become "something" that i cannot myself really define yet. finally with the coming of the modern internet, the world wide web and the incredible explosion of knowledge access another level in transformation took hold. in the thirteen years since i finished graduate school, the internet has steadily and incontrovertibly advanced the argument that computer science is not just about technology but about human beings as well â€” about the power of human beings to collectively create knowledge and engage in self-expression on a global scale. the internet is already an enormous repository of the products of many minds, and the interactive aspects of the evolving internet are bringing it ever closer to the sort of personal interactions that underlie social prosthetic systems. doubtless it has helped contribute to thousands of excellent travel agents losing their jobs, and even more hours of time wasted, in return for these perceived monetary savings. now, when documents can be found and downloaded in seconds, library catalogues consulted from one's desk, experts emailed and a reply received within 24 hours, the idea is set in stone much earlier. here it's harder to see the internet as a solution because the chat room can never provide the chance encounters, nor replicate the convivial cosiness, of an old-fashioned low-tech coffee room. the new york university library carried bound journals that dated from the 19th century, and the articles thay contained had obviously outlived their authors. how could people not use the internet in muddled, frazzled, fractured ways when hardly anybody instructs anybody else about how to use the net salubriously? here is the difference: the difference is that the internet increases the speed and frequency of these connections & collisions, while dropping the cost of both to near zero. internet has not changed the way i think nor has it changed the way anyone else thinks. doubt the internet is changing the way i operate and influence the world around me. i have already told you three times that the internet hasn't changed the way you think (4 and counting) and every time you are reading it, my statement becomes more believable to you. before the internet, most of us rarely left marks on the world, except on our immediate family or a few friends. i can use the sci only back ten years, and most e-journals have not yet converted their older volumes to online format, or if they have, my university can often not afford to pay for access to these older print journals. i notice that i mourn the passing of the fax machine, a more personal communication tool than email because it allowed the use of drawing and handwriting. he mentioned that the foundation was sponsoring a major study, to the tune of 50 million dollars, of how young people are being changed by the new digital media, such as the internet. it is not uncommon for someone to have virtual friends in the hundreds which seems to show, among other things, that the internet is doing more for our social lives than wine coolers or the pill. far more consequential, of course, is the ability of the people to vote online about who should win american idol. internet is really growing beyond this "something" so that even if someone does not have a computer, the internet still affects them.'s hard to doubt that more friends are a good thing, friendship being among life's greatest boons. the city from where i now do most of my work, the internet has become an extension of my memory â€” it combats the occasional "senior moment", helping me to find names, facts, and places instantly (or so it seems). the internet has allowed me to learn from people i have never met. and specialization are what makes cultural evolution happen, and the internet's capacity for encouraging exchange encourages specialization too. here we have ready-made content for the voracious internet to consume and display. alphabetic literacy can change how we think, imagine how internet literacy and 10 hours per day in front of one kind of screen or another is changing our brains. it might take decades for the internet to rewire how our brains actually process information, we should expect that most immediate changes would be social rather than biological in nature. the changes occurring in your brain as you interact with the internet good or bad for you? insults and obscenities, to which you would not dream of signing your real name, flow gleefully from the keyboard when you are masquerading online as ‘tinkywinky’ or ‘flubpoodle’ or ‘archweasel’., yet i see the 1980 as significant in the shift and alteration in the relationship of knowledge, place and space, due to the use of the internet. so, we go up on the internet and make websites, create facebook pages, contribute to youtube and write web logs and, surprise, it appears that everyone is looking at or reading them, because look at how many people are leaving comments! in many ways, it is difficult to discuss any aspect of contemporary society without considering the internet. contrast with friendship, however, an expanded social group is unlikely to be an unalloyed good because it is hardly news that the people in our lives are the sources not only of our greatest joys but also our most profound suffering. i am not sure what to tell and 18-year-old who thinks that loopt (the application that uses the gps capability of the iphone to show you where your friends are) seems creepy but notes that it would be hard to keep it off her phone if all her friends had it. so as we wrestle with a new technology we adults can only change our minds a little bit at a time. the fact that the information can be looked at by so many different kinds of people from anywhere on earth is the internet's true power, and it's the source of my fascination with it. in fact, because of the internet, a gifted surgeon in boston can guide a beginner in bangkok, without even meeting the patient, let alone touching his body. julia, eighteen, says "i've heard that school authorities and local police can get into your facebook," but doesn't want to know the details. whole lineages — diatoms and dinosaurs, corals and crustaceans, ammonites and amphibians — shockwaves from the yucatán impact 65 million years ago ripped through the intricate interdependencies of the planetary ecosystem, turning blankets of life into shrouds in one incandescent geological instant. you may become part of this future person's own ipb as he navigates through life. the internet more social enabled people to share their real name, likeness, voice, and the things that they are connected to. in some ways, when we die physically, a part of us survives as an ipb in the memories and thoughts of others, but also as trails we leave on the internet. it creates an environment where a few incriminating emails between scientists generate so more news than our much slower but more significant climate crisis. you are aware of some of the changes and call it your memory, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. internet has been in majority use in the developed world for less than a decade, but we can already see some characteristic advantages (dramatically improved access to information, very large scale collaborations) and disadvantages (interrupt-driven thought, endless distractions. it's not about what it means to be human — in fact it challenges, renders trite, our cherished assumptions on that score. i vividly remember my first day of browsing — firing link after link after link, suspended in an endless elation as i surveyed possibility after possibility for twenty hours straight — something i still feel. it is all too easy to look away and cling to our personal list of "fave cool stuff" while the seams are showing, the veneer is loose. one of my greatest fears is that the internet would widen the gap between the disengaged masses and the over engaged elites, thus thwarting our ability to collectively solve global problems â€” climate change and the need for smarter regulation in the financial industry come to mind â€” that require everyone's immediate attention. only have i been transformed into an internet pessimist, but recently the net has begun to feel downright spooky. it transformed our collective capacity to forage for the nourishment of our imaginations and our curiosities. awareness, from the strength of weak ties and the nature of small-world networks to the power of publics and the how and why of changing facebook privacy settings, would be the next literacy i would teach, after crap detection. then, of course, the internet didn't exist, but the idea was alive.
The internet: is it changing the way we think? | Technology | The
increasing internet identity means increasing identity theft, and whatever i have encrypted, hackers will try to decode. while this sounds like technological motherhood and apple pie, it means that the internet protocols are not the best choice for any particular purpose. it's still in its infancy, i am not really thinking yet internet way — i am only babbling. sometimes i think much of what we get on the internet is empty calories. if we want to spend hours reading books, we still possess that freedom. internet, no doubt, has become such a map of the world, both literally and symbolically, as it traces in an almost 1:1 ratio every event that has ever taken place. you ever read a great book from before the mid 1990s and thought to yourself, "my goodness!" but of course friends are only as good as they are genuine, and it is hard to know what to think about facebook friends. what better way to escape the tedium and struggles of reality that confront our offline-selves? the other hand, the internet gives me more time for such internet-free thinking by eliminating second millennium style visits to libraries and stores. but the speed and ubiquity of the internet actually helps us to be on our critical guard. judgment: the internet has made me smarter, in matters small and large. too much concentrated in one place, too much accessible from one's house, the need to move about in the real world nearly nil, the rapid establishment of social networking websites changing our relationships, the reduction of three-dimensionality to that flat screen. one of the most significant but overlooked internet developments of 2009 â€” the arrival of the so-called "real-time web", whereby all new content is instantly indexed, read, and analyzed â€” is a potent reminder that our lives are increasingly lived in the present, completely detached even from the most recent of the pasts. the internet also lets me focus my thinking on the research frontier rather than on reinventing the wheel." eyeglasses doubled the useful working life of scribes and skilled craftsmen who were otherwise liable to suffer from farsightedness (presbyopia) from the age of around 40. the internet has provided us with unprecedented access to information, but it hasn't changed what we do with it once it's made it into our heads.— to expect that our brain function will significantly be reduced in the coming decades to very simple decision-making, and so on and so on. once computers became connected through the internet, it made more sense for computers to find out the time by asking one another, so something called network time protocol was invented. journals, prizes and endowed chairs give us landmarks to which we turn in the quest for designated thinkers and for those wishing to hug the shore of the familiar this proves a great aid. we depend on the internet as our social network, to connect with friends, strangers and to access resources. i often sit for hours in the grip of this compelling medium, motionless and oblivious, instead of interacting with the people around me. the internet relies on our greed for knowledge and connections, but also on our astonishing online generosity. a journalist covering the case notices that her testimony includes things she could not have known at the time but that were later discovered and that appeared in his newspaper. most humans have a concept of self that is constructed in terms of how we think we are perceived by those around us and the internet has made that preoccupation trivially easy. the problem with the internet is that the menu has gotten too big, too unwieldy and too full of lies and stupidity.(apology: the question "how has the internet changed the way you think? internet is instant news from remote places with photos to prove it. i sit in front of my computer and grab them out of the internet hive mind that expands endlessly outwards, a giant, evolving global collage that participants edit to conform to their needs and sensibilities. in creating much larger social groups for ourselves, ranging from true friends to near-strangers, could we be laying the ground for a pathogenic virtual city in which psychosis will be on the rise? internet dispenses information the way a ketchup bottle dispenses ketchup. internet's influence on the production and consumption of culture: creative destruction and new opportunities. when we die, the web of interconnectivity becomes torn, but one's pseudo-personhood, in some sense, continues to spread, like a soliton wave on a shoreless sea of internet connections. our minds arise not only from our own brains but from internet prosthetic brains (ipbs) â€” those clusters of people with whom we share information and advice through electronic networks. this ought to be especially clear when what's meant by "the internet" is that mostly comic, intensely commercial bourgeois space known as the world wide web. ago when i was an architectural student and wanted to know about, say, guarino guarini's importance as an architect, i would go two flights down the stairs at avery library, get a few cards, follow the numbered instructions on those index cards and find, two or four or seven feet worth of books in a shelf dedicated to the subject. at the time, as part of our goodwork research project, i was involved in studies of ethics and focusing particularly on the ethical orientation of young people. but even in its present form the internet has transformed how we scientists work..us, and slashdot, and then we might feel ourselves obligated â€” if we're participating as true believers â€” to pay special attention to the top-voted items. the average modern mind has a poorly trained long-term memory, forgets rather quickly, and searches for information more in outside sources such as books instead inside memory. the media, then us: how the internet changed the fundamental nature of the communication and its relationship with the audience. we think with the help of the internet, and it helps us determine our desires and goals. we became each other's databases and servers, leaning on each other's memories, multiplying, amplifying and anchoring the things we could imagine by sharing our dreams, our speculations and our curiosities. as data analysts we must have the same high standards for transparency in our findings, and consequently i am pushing my thinking toward deeper intellectual rigor, more in line with the mathematical tradition and less in line with the data analysis tradition so facilitated by the internet. to a bleak bladerunner-esque world dominated by russian, ukrainian, nigerian and american cyber-mobsters in which our every motion and movement is surveilled by a chorus of big and little brothers. this parallel trend is less visible at first because of a common short sightedness that equates the internet with text. we were all pissed at our own parents for not coming through in some way or other, but evolution has extended the demands of human parenting to the point that it is impossible for parents to come through well enough, ever. in this way, the internet can empower the individual through collective campaigns. computers would free us from the tyranny of the past â€” as well as the horrors of world war ii â€” allowing us to forget everything and devote our minds to solving the problems of today. is disturbing to this human raised on hard copy information transmission is how fast the internet is destroying a large portion of the former. instead of a collection of resources available for our exploitation, nature must become a community of relatives worthy of our respect and a teacher to whom we look for inspiration and insight. my students and i work together so effectively through the internet that its always-on-library dominates our discussions and helps us find the sharp questions that drive our research and thinking infinitely faster than before. approach does encourage tiny bits, but surprisingly at the very same time, it also allows us to give more attention to works that are far more complex, bigger, and more complicated than ever before. a scientist trained in the print media tradition is aware that there is knowledge stored in the print journals, but i wonder if the new generation of scientists, who grow up with the internet, are aware of this. indeed, as a part of an abstinence-based rehab program, i now try to disconnect completely from the internet while thinking, closing my mail program and web browser for hours, much to the chagrin of colleagues and friends who expect instant response. but this is nothing like what the internet now makes possible. in the real world, you only have to worry about the criminals who live in your city. the flood of information unleashed by the internet has produced a similar cultural split. i scraped together a master's degree through the second-tier california state university system, and finally gave up hope for an intellectual life and raced bikes for a decade. an hour or two without interruption are heaven for me. internet is producing a fundamental alteration in the relationship between knowledge, content, place and space. our images of our world and of ourselves are, in part, models resulting from our perceptions of the technologies we generate. is the impact of spending hours each day in front of a monitor, surfing the internet and playing games? the last time social life expanded as significantly as it has in the last couple of years was before there were any humans. and he had picked up on mcluhan's idea that by inventing electric technology we had externalized our central nervous systems — that is, our minds — and that we now had to presume that "there's only one mind, the one we all share. sometimes, when working on an obstinately analog process such as the actual fabrication of an object, the internalized shadow of fleeting internet time in our consciousness makes us perceive how the inevitable delays inherent in the fashioning of things (in all their messy 'thingness') ground us into appreciating the rhythms of the real world. with no money, no backers, and no affiliation with elite institutions, the internet made it possible for us to succeed by making knowledge accessible and searchable to me and my editors and writers on a scale never previously available. the last decade, the internet has taken on unpleasant qualities, and has become gripped by reality-denying ideology. however bizarre and incredible the people populating the internet are, they are still akin to me, people with knowledge of computers and their applications. whether, on balance, the internet benefits the oppressed more than the oppressor is controversial, and at present may vary from region to region (see, for example, the exchange between evgeny morozov and clay shirky in prospect, nov-dec 2009). the intermittent rewards can become addictive, hijacking your dopamine neurons that predict future rewards., seriously, i find it utterly impressive how the notion of information is becoming more and more important in our society., in the internet age, the "complete extinguishing" never really happens, especially for prominent or prolific users., the internet is brain candy to me and, i suspect, to most of us â€” it slakes our appetite to keep our brain occupied. we have to base our use of the internet on both trust and scepticism. in the immediacy of this early 21st century moment the internet revolution may look more radical than it actually is, it could merely introduce the real revolution. my thinking is better, faster, cheaper and more evolvable because of the internet. one stifling evening in a rented apartment in downtown dakar my photographer and me disassembled a phone line and a modem to circumvent some incompatible jacks and to get our laptop to dial up some node in paris. "we can't change our minds without changing the world," cage said. but not least a the response of david weiss who answers this years edge question with a new question asking if our thinking can influence the internet. to the internet, for the first time in my life i feel that i have a chance to compete on a level playing field. it appears, then, that over the course of millions of years of human history our brains have been tuned to the social opportunities and threats presented by groups of 150 or so. what makes the internet fundamentally new is the many-to-many topology of connections it allows: suddenly any two internet-equipped humans can transfer essentially any information, flexibly and efficiently. don't even know if the internet changes the way we read. i no longer have to go to the library; i can access the sci and the online journals via the internet." is a difficult one for me to answer in an interesting way; the truth is, i use the internet as an appliance, and it hasn't profoundly changed the way i think, at least not yet. simultaneous availability of different registers of time made manifest by the internet also creates a continuous archive of our online presences and inscriptions. who study the real world, including historians and scientists, may find that the reality of the internet changes how they think. information has become cheap, and spend more time on-line than in libraries, but there's been no biological evolution: human brains remain human brains, with a finite capacity for absorbing information and host of cognitive biases that impair our judgements. this recognition that my own thinking is not so different from, or better than, everyone else's, is one of the internet's great moral lessons. are a collective of three people who began thinking together, almost twenty years ago, before any one of us ever touched a computer, or had logged on to the internet. than that, over a long period, many of us are genetically disposed to lose our capability to digest sugar if we consume too much of it.
the internet is the decisive technology of the information age, as the electrical engine was the vector of technological transformation of the industrial age. for the specific question of how the internet is changing my thinking, online apps facilitate the statistical analyses that are expanding my sociological interests and conclusions further than i ever thought they would go, leading to unanticipated answers to some fundamental questions about popular religion that i am delighted to uncover. it speeds up the retrieval and dissemination of information, partially eliminating such chores as going outdoors to the mailbox or the adult bookstore, or having to pick up the phone to get hold of your stock broker or some buddies to shoot the breeze with. maddening side of all this is that neither i nor most others can convince ourselves to ignore these worries, neuroses, narcissistic beliefs and poor assessments of risk â€” to ignore our wrong thoughts â€” precisely because the internet has not changed the way we think. we oldies, as we become less mobile, will be able to immerse ourselves â€” right up to until the final switch-off, or until we lose our wits completely â€” in an ever more sophisticated cyber-world allowing virtual travel and continuing engagement with the world. the question "how is internet is changing the way we think? we can do this using our communication skills (verbal and written) to persuade other people to alter their behaviour for mutual benefits. with one thing and another, now here we are: the internet and the world wide web that runs on it have struck our species' informational ecology with a similarly explosive impact, their shockwaves rippling through our cultural, social, economic, political, technological, scientific, and even cognitive landscapes." i felt that the playing field was level because in a pure sport such as cycling (this was before the days of sophisticated doping programs) it doesn't matter what your last name is, what schools you attended, how much money your parents have, which country clubs you belong to, your politics, religion, or socio-economic status, or any other social conventions. retrieval from the communal exosomatic memory will become dramatically faster, and we shall rely less on the memory in our skulls. was rather stumped by this question because i have little experience of work or play without the internet. the internet has given me more things to think about, but that doesn't fundamentally change the way i think., like most everyone else, i've wasted huge amounts of time wandering around the internet. something that is already changing us in our deepest core. the closest haptic experience we have is with our keyboards or the magical glass of an iphone. with the internet, we just have a much louder megaphone with which to scream who we really are. a century later, telegraphy provided an even faster pre-internet text option. without a discipline of knowing what matters, we will merely amuse ourselves to death. access to the internet could have an exceptionally important contribution to make to future political developments. the proclamations and legal decisions of the ruler (or television producer) parallel the reproductive edicts carried by hormones within our bodies: commands issued to all, which all must obey. rather, what has changed, and is still changing, is my relationship with the internet â€” from unabashed infatuation to disillusionment to a kind of armed truce. the internet means that there is nowhere to hide and no way to shirk responsibility when the whole tribe makes informed decisions (as it now must) about its shared future." such systems do not need to operate face-to-face, and it's clear to me that the internet is expanding the range of my social prosthetic systems. my interests and the way i think, work and play have evolved alongside the internet. often it is an amateur, outside journalism or academia, who just happens to have a piece of knowledge to hand. the internet has given me a new paintbrush that i can use towards the making of singular things. our digital grandchildren will view a master reader with the same nostalgic awe that we now accord to a master hunter or an even more masterly mother of six. with its unique time-/space situation — the fact that it is possible to physically be in one place, and, simultaneously, have access to the entire world —the internet can potentially have a huge impact on our understanding of our surroundings. someday soon we'll need our 20th century experts and interpreters to be replaced by 21st century creator-pilots. they are less likely to appreciate when they are using the internet while talking on the telephone, watching television, or flying on an airplane. the ash drifted over the vatican's ancient walls, morphing into a messaging cacophony of italian cellphones, and clattering keyboards in heaving internet cafes. suspect i am not the sole victim of internet-induced "present self bias. in the long run, these are applications of the internet that will have the greatest impact on who we are and how we think. i am much more tempted to contribute to internet discussion forums, blogs, and media which may not persist. complexity of the online world means that when i use the internet today, even for the most mundane of purposes, i find myself drawing on skills that i first learned in doing research â€” evaluating many different observations and interpretations of the same events; asking how people's underlying perspectives, tools, and ways of behaving have served to shape their interpretations; and reflecting on my own decisions as part of this process. might compare the internet to a biological system in which new antibodies emerge to combat new pathogens. the luxury (far beyond the usual "he says, she says, they-say gossip") of the internet leads us (both nearby and geographically distant associates: graduate students, family members, et al. that's just enough to keep me checking my inbox, but that means perhaps only 10 of the 1000 hours i spent on emails this year were actually wanted. it's as if my cognitive resources are shifted from my hard drive to my ram. these changes occur at all levels of your brain, from the earliest perceptual levels to the highest cognitive levels. despite its breadth, and the fact that i can be so readily distracted, i still use the internet in a targeted fashion. the most important way the internet has changed the direction of my attention, and thus my thinking, is that it has become one thing. when i first used an internet search engine in the early 1990s, i imagined myself dipping into a vast, universal library, a museum vault filled with accumulated knowledge. online chatting is only one source of disconnect, of breaking the human physical bond. this was remarkable in that the research being recognized was not submitted to any journal. but these sources were other people, and the skills were social, such as the art of persuasion and conversation. they amassed book collections and introduced the habit of exchanging volumes. something i did not anticipate is howâ socialâ the internet would become., corporate culture, economy, innovation, internet, labor market, reinventing the company, technology. to live is to be able to share your waste. internet dating sites, chat rooms, social networking sites provide these details, enabling the modern human brain to pursue more comfortably its ancestral mating dance. on the flip side, as the master of distraction, it seems to be further reducing our collective attention span from the depths to which television had brought it. maybe it ultimately changes how our brains process written information but we don't yet know. platform manager; facebook; internet entrepreneur; co-inventor, facebook platform and facebook connect. what we have today, the internet could easily become invisible high school, with a modicum of educational material in an ocean of narcissism and social obsessions. on the contrary, i cherish a good wasting of time as a necessary precondition for creativity, but more importantly i believe the conflation of play and work, of thinking hard and thinking playfully, is one the greatest things the internet has done. although the supporting research may still be years away, it seems likely that a lifetime of daily conditioning dictated by the rapid flow of information across glowing screens will generate substantial changes in brains, and thus thinking. all of this makes me wonder whether i can trust my selves on the internet. the internet is changing not just the way we use the giant, but also how the giant grows with the accretion of new knowledge. internet opens the gates of education to anyone who can get her hands on a computer. the cycles of adoption of internet-related technologies are even shorter – facebook acquired 100 million users in 2 years. would like to add one more note to what the internet has done to me. the internet has made quickly available much obscure, scientific literature relevant and invaluable to me. is entirely possible that the internet is changing our way of thinking in more ways than i am willing to admit, but there are three clear changes that are palpable:The first is the increasing brevity of messages. the internet magnifies and specifies what we know already about mankind, or if we don't we're rather naã¯ve. billion years, and life appeared very early, almost 4 billion years ago. prose, poetry, and theorems posted on the internet are no less insightful and brilliant than their paper predecessors: they are simply less edited. simple-sounding ideas matter more than ever, because the internet is now needed more than ever, but in places its never been. we show inordinate levels of altruism on the internet, wasting hours on chat room sites giving advice to complete strangers, or contributing anonymously to wikipedia just to enrich other people's knowledge. before the internet, even your immediate family knew nothing of you within four generations. in addition, however, we require a shift in worldview that re-configures our relationship with non-human nature. be sure, many aspects of the life of the mind have been affected by the internet. in the right circumstances, this headstart could provide the extra hours that save us. to the extent that our time is thus directed by social networks, engaged in collective deliberation, then we are subjugated to a "collective will," something like rousseau's notion of a general will. increasing frequency, people around the globe seek advice and social support from other individuals connected via the internet. then somehow the creature became autonomous, an ordinary part of our universe. the internet stole my body, now a lifeless form hunched in front of a glowing screen. this is a part of how the internet is changing the way we think. if we blunder onward on our present courseâ€”increasing populations, poverty, greenhouse gas emissions, and habitat destructionâ€”we face no less than the collapse of civilization and the decimation of the biosphere. dimensionality of the internet has yet to be defined, and the principles outlining its space are constantly negotiated through our use of it. this would have been very difficult and daunting in the pre-internet days and not something that the ordinary man in street would have taken on. although the initial response from my facebook friends was fear of disconnection, more considered responses appreciated the internet for the incredible resource it is, and that it could never be replaced with traditional modes of information storage and transfer. as such, it makes my thinking go towards the production of parallel realities, bearing witness to the multiverse, as the physicist david deutsch might say and for better or worse, the internet allows that which is already latent in the fabric of reality to unravel itself and expand in all directions. the internet, what happens there is as exactly close as anything else i want to understand or communicate, give or take the slow phone line, or cell phone reception. ironically, electronic social networking has made the christmas letter otiose; your friends hardly need an account of the year's highlights when they can be fed a stream of reports on the day's events and your reflections on logical positivism or lady gaga. the real work, of course, goes on elsewhere but we want the internet to brings us the results. many of my decisions in life are shaped by my ipbs around the globe, and these decisions range from advice on software, computer problems, health issues, and emotional concerns. and, of course, no tv, no telephone and no electricity. if the internet can potentially become an alternative medium of human consciousness, how then can a cognate presence inspire the properties of infinite memory with the experiential and the reflective, all packaged for convenience and pleasure in a mickey mouse like antenna cap? this line of thinking, it is possible that a generalized internet may even be definable with sufficient care as a kind of failure of the physical world to close as a self-contained system. but the continuum of the cybersphere will emerge from today's bumpy cob-web when virtualization reaches the point at which the internet develops its own emergent properties and systems: when we stop looking at the pixels (the many separate sites and services that make up the web) and look at the picture. instead, i feel encouraged to use networks not just to access information, but to access other people, and to grant them access to me â€” wherever and whenever i happen to be.
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