Speed Reading, Using Google, and the Future!!!

It was quite ironic how I was reading Nicholas Carr’s, “Is Google Making Us Stupid” with a speed reading app and he discussed issues with skimming and being able to retain information. Most people would be skeptical of Google and its ability to make us think and retain much more information than we ever had before. I like to think and believe that Google has allowed for those wanting access to material to comprehend, discuss, and disseminate, a place well beyond what a library could ever offer. However, as the article noted we seem to just skim through material rather than actually read and process the information. Maybe it is safer to say that we skim through in such ways to rid of the unnecessary material. Why waste time with things we don’t need. There is way to much information out there to comprehend it all anyways.

The author mentioned Taylor’s System and compared it to today’s practices. Google continues to make the internet more efficient for it users, which allows us to live a much more productive life. However, we can not let Google be a single driving force that turns us into robots consumed with information overload. Perhaps this will not happen for another couple hundred years. Nonetheless, the question remains does technology like Google makes us more stupid? The simple answer is no. Most are quick to dismiss new forms of technology as mentioned in the article. Is it perfect? No. Does it make our lives easier? Yes. Can we collectively collect all the information the universe has to offer and answer all of life’s questions? Maybe. Should we be skeptical of such technology? Absolutely. Should we completely dismiss it because we don’t know all the answers after a couple of years? No. We need to realize that all the answers are not so simple and in the mean time we just need to wait it out and see what happens.

Google brings us the most interesting, relevant, and informative material on the net for us to read. The closer we can get to the material we want the faster we gain intelligence. Google allows us not to waste to much time with irrelevant information. Actually, maybe it just gives us more time for irrelevant information because we have access and can consume the material we want in a relatively short amount of time. If we need to do research on a paper Google helps us locate and consume that information at an extreme rate of productivity. Thus, we would have more time rather than going through the catalogues of a library, finding the material, and then reading and comprehending the right information. Since we have Google we have more time to do other luxurious things like play games or surf through thousands of vines and youtube videos.

Perhaps we have not maximized our productivity like with Taylor’s System. ┬áMaybe we need to spend more time reading and learning after reading and learning, and then read and learn some more. Living in the digital world can be more than confusing at times, and we most certainly should be skeptical. However, we should realize that technology is here to stay and with it we will advance beyond our wildest dreams. Look what the printing press did in 500 years, now imagine what the internet will do in such a long time frame.

2 thoughts on “Speed Reading, Using Google, and the Future!!!”

  1. Jack, thanks for this reflection. Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at UNC Asheville called “Creating a Mindful Campus.” The theme of the conference this year was “Adjusting our Default Settings.” It was all about embracing digital technology while leaving time for contemplation and trying to maintain some focus. Your musings have added to my food for thought. I look forward to meeting you and your colleagues so that we can talk about this more.

  2. Great thoughts! I like to think that we can learn from just about anything we do, and even if our attention spans are a quarter of the length of those from previous generations, (squirrel!) we can always be learning and growing.

    It’s easy to be misguided by incorrect digital information if we don’t check our sources, and it’s easy to watch mindless videos because we are almost constantly in a state of information-overload, but we can’t give up on what technology is becoming. We have to grow with it, learn about it, and use it to shape our future – we have to make technology work for us.

    I will now get off my soapbox . Good post, though. It made me think. :)

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