Weekly Wringer #86: Recent Reboot Roundup - LIVE

Hello and Happy Holidays from the Clan of the Gray Wolf! This week, the Weekly Wringer will be a little bit different than usual as we (super secretly) taped the Wringer DURING our 60-hour SNES marathon for charity! No flash, no banners, not even a sexy logo, but the Wringer is here. We’ll get back on regular schedule next week. So what are we talking about today? Well reboots of course! Watch the Commodore, the Duke, Roo, and even Mrs. Roo chime in as the Commodore goes through your favorites of late. Then the question for next week arises which will undoubtedly lower the IQ of many of you listeners. It’s the Weekly Wringer!

34 Comments

  • The Bowtie Guy The Bowtie Guy
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    The internet is indeed making us stupider (see: The Google Effect), but I’d say that many studies, even the one I just cited, are rather exaggerated. The internet is slowly making us stupider and more reliant, like almost every new technology does. It’s not firing magical stupid beams at our heads. Humans are, by nature, hunter-gatherers, and every new gadget that makes our lives easier technically detracts from our intrinsic value as a species. The internet doesn’t do anything special to lower our IQ’s. It simply brings out our innert stupidity.
    In the early days of the internet, it seemed like there was complete anonymity. This meant that there would be almost no consequences for one’s actions. Of course, a decade of drama, Facebook and BACKTRACING taught us differently, but by that time, there was no going back. The internet had already built up its reputation as the place to act like an idiot. You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand that people will act like those around them, and when one enters a world of poor grammar and 4chan, how do you suppose one will act? A bad community fosters a worse community, and this is to be taken for granted. I’ve seen some of the smartest people I know writing like they’re absolutely illiterate once they get on the internet. The nature of the internet doesn’t necessarily make us stupid, but the content very well may.

  • Mr. K Mr. K
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    I post on Reddit, so yeah, it is making us dumber.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted December 28, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      I should really refrain from making comments when I’m in a hurry to leave. By the way, The Hobbit is definitely worth seeing.

      Onto the topic at hand. I’m not entirely sure the Internet is making us “dumber,” but it definitely is making us lazier. Loss of intelligence is nothing more than a byproduct of that laziness.

      As a teacher, at the beginning of the school year, I tell my students that to quote from Wikipedia means the loss of one entire letter grade. I explain why, yet they still think it’s unfair. When I explain that Wikipedia is a content aggregator and nothing more, they don’t understand the concept that there are LINKS at the bottom of the page that can take them to the SOURCE material. Yet they still quote from Wikipedia and I get angry calls from parents when they don’t like junior’s grade. That’s not to discredit my fellow Alabamian and University of Alabama alumnus-in-arms Jimmy Wales, but that’s all Wikipedia is– an aggregator.

      I remember a specific example from last year, on the day Wikipedia, Reddit and a few other sites blacked out in protest of SOPA/PIPA. One girl came up to me the next day and explained that she didn’t do her homework because “Wikipedia was broken.” When I asked her why she didn’t get the information from her book, she said, “It’s too hard to find the information in the book.” Even though I could point to the exact page, paragraph and sentence to find the information with her standing there, due to context clues in the section and adjoining paragraphs.

      Certainly, this can spawn a new versus old media question, but the point is, her laziness is directly impacting her level of intelligence. But now is not the time for that.

      It isn’t just children. I can look to my adult friends as well. For instance, the day after Christmas, I needed my buddy’s help to haul a futon back to my house that my parents got me as a gift. On the way home, we got into a discussion about gas prices. My friend was completely mentally unable to separate the concept of the value of crude oil and petroleum production costs. My argument was that the price of crude oil commodities is based on a global value, regardless of it being drilled in the US. When we disagreed, he said he’d send me a link proving his point. The link I got was from Fox News and was regarding Democratic legislators who were holding up a bill that would allow more refineries to be built in the US.

      Now, I have worked in the media. His inability to discern the difference between crude and petroleum came from a classic case of MEDIA CONDITIONING. When I worked for one of The New York Times’ subsidiaries at The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, we had a “better” term for conditioning. We called it the editorial process. As the community’s gatekeeper, we decided what was and what wasn’t fit to put into the paper. We were conditioning our readers to value certain things.

      The problem you encounter is that eventually people reach a point where they are unwilling or unable to separate themselves from their exposure to this level of conditioning. Commodore, you’ve said this many times in many different Wringers, but the reason we’re all here is because of our unique perspectives. I argue that is because, in whole or part, we have all rejected media conditioning.

      To tie it back into my first caveat about Wikipedia and laziness, the problem is that the pertinent information is out there, but not readily available. People are looking to places like Fox News and Wikipedia because the information they desperately need is hidden behind a paywall– like at the NYT or the Wall Street Journal. Or behind an academic firewall– like Lexis Nexis.

      As a Redditor, the site frequently quotes from Wikipedia because it’s fast and easy. But that doesn’t necessarily make it correct. Neil Degrasse Tyson has legal complaints against Jimmy Wales because there are errors on his personal Wiki. When NDT changes them, the Wiki partners change it back to the incorrect information. NDT can’t do anything about it, because only the moderators can change pages, and you can’t moderate until you participate in the site’s discussion.

      So in the case of places like Reddit, a lot of (mis)information is quickly proliferated to people around the world because of the ease of use. Regardless of the fact Wikipedia is only a content aggregator.

      As another example, in the last six months, I’ve lost 40lbs. I’ve done it through calorie counting and accountability partners via a specific subreddit. One of the moderators is a nutritionist and doctor. People quickly discredit what he has to say because most people don’t know he’s a doctor and the plebes are much more willing to view a Wikipedia article about the positives of ketogenic diets than they are Harvard Medical research on the dangers of liver failure related to keto.

      So in summation, decreased intelligence is simply a byproduct of how lazy our world has gotten and how media outlets continue to condition people in their viewership.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted December 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

        I completely forgot to mention the Sarah Palin/Paul Revere flap. That’s another example.

  • KuraraII KuraraII
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know if I would say “dumber” it is certainly affecting the way we remember things. The best comparison I can bring up is what Plato has to say about writing:

    “If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder. And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance, for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing, and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows.”

    • Mog Mog
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

      “I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.”

  • Posted December 28, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    The internet is not a thinking creature. Neither is a computer. It’s only as good as those who use it. There’s culture and counter culture present on the internet, and there’s also internet culture.

    I think “internet” culture in its distilled form promotes lazy grammar, and highlights and (even glorifies) stupidity.

    LOLcats alone have made me lose what little faith I had in humanity. The “kthxbai” l337speak is also a factor. For older people who know how English is supposed to work, an occasional LOL or stupid image isn’t a big deal. I more or less worry how the younger generation is going to view things….

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    the internet is in no way making me stupid. it would have to be doing the opposite. i can’t even look up one thing on wikipedia. by the time i’m done reading one article, i have at least five more tabs open because i want to get more in depth with different topics i’ve come across along the way. it’s so easy to come across more information about things, that i feel like i’m constantly learning about something. if i’m reading a book or a newspaper and come across a word i’m unfamiliar with i’ll usually skip it. i’m not going to search for a dictionary to look it up. but when i can easily google it with the same device i’m using to read, boom: new word learned. i looked up how to spell diuretic and read a little about applesauce while i was typing this.

  • NightWolf
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    If by “making us dumber” you mean losing the knowledge and information we already had prior to opening up a web browser, then no, the Internet is not making us dumber. However, it does have a negative effect on our attention spans, as does much of today’s mainstream media. Like what Mr. K said, people want their information and entertainment as quickly and efficiently as possible, even if they have all the time in the world to waste. I once lent a friend a book just over 100 pages long, and when I later asked her what she thought of it, she said she didn’t finish it because it was “too long and boring”. A lot of people seem to think that, with so many short video clips, articles, and jokes available on the Internet, why bother committing yourself to something that takes longer than a half-hour to finish when you could have watched/read ten other small things in the same amount of time?

    This becomes a problem when people try to learn this way. You could read 5 short articles in the span of about 15 minutes (depending on the length of each one), but how much of that information would you actually retain? To truly grasp and understand a subject, you can’t just do a quick Google search and expect to become an expert on it. Real learning takes time and dedication, something many people nowadays are not willing to give.

    On the matter of 4chan and LOLcats, I would agree that those sites might make you ACT dumber when you’re communicating with others on those sites, but actually becoming dumber is another matter. Personally, I think the LOLcats pictures can be funny, and visit their website once in a while to get a few good laughs. Yes, their content is ridiculous and stupid, but reading their bad grammar does not in any way influence my own grammar.

    Anyway, the Internet does not just make us dumber or just make us smarter; there’s a mix of both, and it all really depends on the way it is utilized.

  • TreuloseTomate TreuloseTomate
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Shamefully I have to admit that sometimes I look up a word in an online dictionary only to find out that I had already visited that site several months before. Thank you very much, internet! 😮

  • Jerome Flintsteel Jerome Flintsteel
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    The Internet does not make us dumber or smarter, but the way we use it DEFINITELY has an effect on us. To think, or not to think, that is the question. For example, I can come to a site such as CotGW and enter into intellectually stimulating conversation with people. Or, I can go to YouTube and watch clips of people’s cute pets. Now, there’s nothing wrong with watching a cat jump through a hoop, but it’s probably not making me think about things in a deep way. Here, however, I’m challenged to think deeply, and share my thoughts. I can use the Internet for pure entertainment, and we all agree that everyone needs some of that. But if that’s the bulk of what I’m using the Internet for, and spending a lot of time at it, I am in danger of the dumbing effect. I can also choose to use the Internet in ways which stimulate deep thought, and there are a lot of ways to do that as well. It all comes down to how I choose to use it.

    I definitely agree with MR. K, Sonic Rose, and other commenters on laziness, and that fits in with my point about choice. Many technologies other than the Internet are similar in that how we choose to use them that largely determines their effect on us. For example, I can choose to be lazy and use a calculator instead of doing simple math problems in my head or on paper, and eventually forget how do those problems without a calculator. But it’s not the caluculator itself that makes me lazy. Sadly, Western culture and general human tendencies are moving us toward increased laziness as a society. Technology has given us ample opportunities to express and indulge this laziness, but it has not created it. I applaud you, MR. K, for towing the line with your students’ use of Wikipedia. We need more people like you in society who are willing to stand up to the onslaught of laziness. We must not allow ourselves to loose the skills that enabled us to build computers and construct the Internet in the first place. We must be masters of our own technology, and not allow it to master us.

    Thank you, Commodore, for bringing up this excellent topic. It is something I have thought much about. I feel the reality of being careful in my own life how my use of the Internet affects me. And for all of us, let’s not allow ourselves to fall victim to the laziness that plagues our society, but rather, lets use the technology we have been graced with to sharpen ourselves to be ever more productive and positive. Don’t forget to think!

  • JoshKetchum1 JoshKetchum1
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    I think that if you are a fan of the original series and or next generation then it is more likely that you are not a fan of the new star trek reboot. This is just my opinion, however.

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    The internet doesn’t make people stupid. The truth of the matter is that often stupid people happen to use the internet. The internet didn’t make these people stupid or lazy, those trait were already apart of their personality to begin. The ease and functionality of the internet allows these negative traits to come to the forefront creating an illusion that the internet is somehow degrading the intelligence of society when it’s just a tool to transmit and share information. If a person is lazy and uneducated in real life that will probably be reflected the same way online, just as people of smart and hardworking ethics will likely carry over those traits in how they present themselves online and utilize web resources. Sure, the relative anonymity of the internet does allow for people to be maybe a bit more candid on a subject than they might be in a real life conversation. However, instead of blaming an informational and entertainment tool, people need to look at the users themselves and their actions as the source of the problems associated with the internet.

  • VeryCleverUsername VeryCleverUsername
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    Theres also the fact that new media likes to focus on the negative aspects of things. Like how video games cause violence or how the Internet makes us stupid or lazy. News media rarely focuses on the positives.

    • VeryCleverUsername VeryCleverUsername
      Posted December 30, 2012 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

      Also to answer the question the I do not believe the Internet makes us stupid. I agree with the points Red Mage brought up.

      Another point to bring up with news media and the like is that they are always looking for something to blame for peoples problems, instead of blaming the person themselves, or the persons friends and family.

  • Maze Maze
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think the internet is responsible for making people stupid. We love our scapegoats. It takes the focus off the real culprits and allows for the continuation of the status quo. Almost every entertainment medium or outlet for entertainment has been accused of this in its time. TV, Popular Music, Comic Books, Video Games, Movies.

    Do I think people ARE getting stupider? Well, not really. There is a difference between poorly educated and ignorant and actual stupidity. In the US we have been taking money away from education and putting it into building prisons for the last 40+ years. Universities have been dumbing down College curricula to compensate for unprepared undergrads for almost as long.

    In Europe Austerity cuts have hit education hard. Around the world leaders are always willing to pay lip service to education, but it is always the first thing to suffer.

    Who wants a well educated electorate anyway? They tend to want things and to know when a policy is harmful, or a bill is unconstitutional. It’s much better to have an electorate of the half educated that can be easily divided and ruled by propaganda and fear.

  • MegamanX4321 MegamanX4321
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    I find that that people across the planet are rapidly losing intelligence and that the internet does affect this however it is indirect. The problem is not the fact that people have access to a world of information at their fingertips and in the blink of an eye, or that people can communicate so easily and have instant self-gratification. The problem is that there is less appreciation for standards these days.

    Think back to the days before the internet. Most of the information you can access so easily today had to come through other sources such as tv, newspapers, magazines, radio, books, all forms of media. These were all controlled by private or public entities that had some form of standards for what they would publish, even if those standards could be considered a joke to some. Even then you knew what you could expect from a certain source. The same is true today for many of those well established media but the internet is in a world of its own. So many people looking for things online couldn’t care less about whether the information is accurate or if it even has a point. Many who post things online or publish in other media aren’t looking for what’s important or true, they want whatever will get attention.

    Back to my point about why the internet indirectly makes people stupid: in the past, most information was filtered in some way through traditional media outlets. Today the internet is the Niagara Falls of useless, pointless, and inaccurate information that is only filtered by the consumer if at all.

    The reason education is suffering is because we’ve shifted the focus from excelling to inclusion. People are too afraid to tell their children that they’re not as good as the other kids so we tell them that they’re all the same and that no one is better than anyone else. Kids who excel at what they do get the same amount of recognition as the kids who just showed up to be counted. People no longer have a reason to try to improve themselves. Instead they focus on whatever easily catches their attention rather than trying to actually learn something beneficial.

    • Maze Maze
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

      Filtering information IS a function of the intellect. If one cannot separate bad from good information independently, that is not the fault of the internet.

      I had a friend in College who took an Ancient NE History class w/ my academic advisor William O’Neal on my recommendation. One day Dr. O’Neal asked my friend if he watched the news. My friend, the rebel, said, “No. All they do is lie.” Dr. O’Neal replied, “You have to learn to read between the lies.”

      That was pretty much his perspective for teaching too. Read everything. All the available accounts. All the available info. Assume bias. Assume misinformation. Filter. Find what stays consistent and what makes sense. Read between the lies.

      Not being able to filter information again seems more of a consequence of faulty education, not native intelligence.

      I don’t think I could disagree more. I think education is something that SHOULD be as inclusive as we can make it. Not everyone learns the same way. That doesn’t necessarily mean someone is “better” than another person. Just different.

      Some people can’t spell for shiz but can do complicated Mathematical computations in their heads. Others are extremely gifted artistically but are basically innumerate.

      Either way shouldn’t the goal of education be for EVERYONE to achieve to the fullest extent of their abilities whatever that may be?

      I went to Montessori based schools until halfway through Intermediate, we didn’t even have a grading system. You worked at your own pace. If you got a concept the first time, you never had to learn it again. If you were 5 and working at an Intermediate level, you went and sat w/ the Intermediate kids for that subject.(This worked conversely as well.)

      That’s more of a reward for excelling than I ever got in later years where so called Honor’s classes translated into more homework, and never into more challenging work.

      FTR Montessori students consistently test at higher levels on standardized tests than students of traditional educational institutions. Partially by starting out focusing on things that capture their attention. They don’t do it for the grades. They do it for the love of learning something new.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

        “Some people can’t spell for shiz but can do complicated Mathematical computations in their heads.”

        Dad lets me drive slow on the driveway every Saturday.

  • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    No the internet is not making people stupid it is computer technology in general that is. Technology today is designed to automatically do stuff like auto-correct spelling, auto-complete words (which is annoying), automatic setup software & auto-updates and so forth.

    With software that auto-correct and auto-completes people will not know how to spell since they are relaying on the spell-checker to fix mistakes. Also something that I call ‘Internet English’ is that people will type words how they sound to shorten them when typing instead of spelling them how they r suppose to be spelled since some of the popular websites limit the number of characters that a post can have.

    On the subject of modern operating systems and technology everything is automatically setup and “user-friendly” to the point that folders are hidden and settings are hard to find that when people are looking for their .minecraft folder they can’t find it.

    One final thing, why does one need to setup a reminder on their phone to take the trash out?

  • Mog Mog
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Personally I would define intelligence as a physical trait governed by genetics. So doubtful the internet has any effect at all. Smart and dumb alike use the internet.

    Most of you seem to be defining intelligence as the presence or lack of knowledge. If so the internet is massively affecting intelligence in a very positive way. Take a small child. Deprive them of any socialization whatsoever. They will not even be able to speak. Which is the better source of knowledge? A twenty year old textbook or all the latest research? When it comes to knowledge more is always better than less. Even spell-check is teaching you how to spell.

    Lastly is defining intelligence in terms of the ability to memorize. I’ve not seen evidence to suggest that a person can increase or decrease their brain’s ability to memorize, but assume you can. If you’re less likely to “practice” memorizing things due to the availability of information, you’re also probably increasing your overall laziness and thus making it more likely for you to memorize things to avoid the task of looking up information.

    • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

      How does spell-check teach you how to spell when English-US is the default and sometimes English-Canada is not even a choice. The thing with picking English-Canada when it is a choice programs assume that your keyboard has French-Canadian characters on it.

      • Red Mage Red Mage
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

        That sounds more of a problem with Canadians spelling certain words differently than the US in which the software was originally developed. Spell check can most certainly inform users how to spell words correctly in their native country.

  • DTX180
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think technology is making us “stupider” per se, but it is just taking things that we might of defined as “smart” and trivializing them. Spelling is a huge one, man remember the days when we had to use dictionaries?

    Honestly, in many ways I’d argue that the internet has made us smarter. I for one know that being a member on cotgw has made me more intelligent with 16 bit “gems”!

    While we used to define “intelligence” as potentially knowing things like the top 10 rushers in NFL history, the population of Boston, how to spell subpoena, and the general life history of Archimedes, I think the internet has perhaps made knowing these facts as less important to being smart.

    With that said, I do frequently post on places like gamefaqs, reddit, and facebook. If you don’t keep your opinions to within a couple hundred characters people will immediately gloss over what you have to say….that is making us lazier, and possibly stupid.

  • Maze Maze
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Archimedes: Citizen of Syracuse, Scientist and Scholar, killed (kinda sorta not on purpose)by the Romans during the Punic Wars.

    Thanks for trivializing my life’s work internets. =(

    Or it’s making us better at encapsulating our ideas/opinions succinctly?

    • DTX180
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

      I play a ton of team trivia at restaurants with people aged 16 to 65. I’m 26 (barely old enough to remember life pre internet), but its really funny when everyone who don’t remember life pre-internet say things like “this is what the internet is for” and “why can’t we use our cell phones” throughout the game.

      • Maze Maze
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

        It seems like some of the people you play w/ have failed to grasp the entire concept behind trivia games. I would TOTALLY rawk at open book Quiz Bowl FTR. Unstoppable.

        • Red Mage Red Mage
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

          Yeah. The point of trivia games is to test knowledge and facts one may know not if they can look up and find the answer on wikipedia.

  • TheBeerNinja TheBeerNinja
    Posted January 5, 2013 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    The anonymity of the internet fosters stupidity in people. Sometimes it may manifest in ugly troll behavior which comes off to me as nothing more than a dumb guy shouting nonsense. Other times people may engage in overly silly behavior that amuses only the individual while being an uninteresting mild irritant to others. I am definitely guilty of the second and there are plenty of poorly communicated or unrelated comments I wish I left in my head. Sometimes the silly stuff can be fun. Linsanity!!! (Thanks to the person that started that on CotGW.)

    • MegamanX4321 MegamanX4321
      Posted January 12, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

      Linsanity did not start on CotGW, it simply spread to it.

  • JohnC911
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    Hi Commodore,
    I usually enjoy most of your questions for the week but this question is a little flawed. The question is being implied that there is only one answer. Either the answer is yes the internet is making person x stupid or the internet is not. One can blame the problem or problems on one thing or group of things such as the internet but does not see it as more the affect not the necessarily the cause. Example would be when bad people do horrific things it is easy to look for scapegoats. These things can be any from the tools that they use for the crime, to the things that they enjoyed. People that do this think that by removing these items that the trouble or troubles will go away. What one should look for instead is what has driven these people to become way they have i.e. their childhood, any major injuries, the society that they lived in, things that have altered their minds. Now if people are getting dumber the first thing that should be looked at is the measurement for the question, has it been done wrongly or flawed in any way. If the answer is no then you must question as to what has changed, is it peoples DNA, or has the environment change. The internet is only a tool the only different between it and a book or TV is only the size and the complexly of it. If people use it for learning then they can enhance their knowledge. It is only how one uses the tools available.

  • Rooben Rooben
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    Hi folks,
    Newly registered from Glasgow (that’s in ‘Scotchland’ for all you USA residents out there). I’ve just been working my way through all the old ‘Wringers’. Great stuff guys!

    As for the question: I agree with the majority of the previous posters in that the internet is not making us ‘dumber’, lazy probably, and possibly has an effect on memory/recall.

    No form of media can be held accountable for the overall intelligence of the human race. Some mix of nature and nurture is most likely responsible; genetics, education and upbringing?

    We all actively seek out what interests us via the internet but if I don’t already possess the desire to develop, grow, create, learn, I will likely just click onto the latest hot celebrity gossip page rather than something like TED talks.

    As many an RPG tells us – the tools (read enchanted weapon/books/TV/internet) can be used for good or evil (or sloth), and it’s the inherent character of the weilder which will determine how things play out.

  • MegamanX4321 MegamanX4321
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    It appears we have a general consensus on one point: the internet (or technology on general) isn’t inherently good or bad. It doesn’t make people smarter or dumber, it all depends on how people put it to use. I think the real question we’re looking for is whether society as a whole is using the internet for beneficial purposes or superficial ones. I personally have learned a lot of useful information online. Even this series of commentaries has been beneficial. Engaging in an intelligent conversation is definitely a good thing. However I also peruse facebook and other social media, which is rarely an IQ booster. What it really comes down to is whether most people are using the internet to benefit themselves or are they mostly looking at cats?

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