There’s not much doubt that the Web has shortened my attention span; I want to get to the point now and be able to bypass things that don’t interest me. I read far fewer books than I did just a few years ago even though I read much more content. And, yes, I almost certainly store less trivia in my head than I once did.(via Normblog)
It also occurs to me that this is the Americanization of intelligence. As both a student and a teacher, I noticed that European, Asian, and African undergraduates seemed to have a much better storehouse of knowledge about a given topic, having memorized much more information about it, but that American students were better at processing given information and providing novel responses. Whereas their system encouraged rote learning, ours emphasized understanding and deduction. With Google largely obviating memorization, it stands to reason that what will be prized in the future is the ability to access information and do something with it.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
From Outside the Beltway's James Joyner: