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Johan Oakes

Senior, Austin High School

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Is the ease of retrieving information minimizing growth in our young population?

Back in the old days, technology didn't exist, apart from your light bulb and radio. Research was solely based on either asking a professional or going to the local library. Is the ease of retrieving information minimizing growth in our young population? Student do not really have to try anymore. Why take out a book and learn when you always have Google in your pocket? Does this hurt our youth?


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    Dec 21 2011: I think the threat is actually more to memory and retention as opposed to minimizing growth. I think the win is huge... Google is amazing... When someone bullshits me now... I can literally look up what they just told me and find out if it's true. I don't think we'll ever raise a generation where intellectuals can recite Shakespeare from memory anymore though... and that is a bit of a loss.

    I think the greatest threat to youth, is the feeling that we don't need to remember things anymore, because they're there... In the cloud... If an EMP took out our power grid I think most of us would be dead in a couple of weeks because we don't remember any of the important things anymore... but luckily, that probably won't happen.
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      Dec 21 2011: Very true, but the problem is that a loss of memory is a loss of time. If we always have to look up things, because we couldn't remember how to do them, then time would be lost. Time is also the most valuable commodity. In turn, a loss of memorization power and ability has led to great losses in intellect and speed.
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        Dec 21 2011: And even more so, it's making subtle connections between complex ideas harder to find, because we no longer maintain a full understanding of those ideas, in the parts of the brain we have easy access to. There is a great loss of time, and creative thinking, but I would still argue that there are positives balancing out this trade as well. It's harder to spread direct dis information. It's easier to check your work... And we're getting almost as fast at googling as we are thinking... but it will never be the same. I'd like to hope, that as we learn to use technology better, the cummulative effect will basically be a wash.

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