In Brief: “Remembering is traditionally a social enterprise. One partner in a couple knows how to cook a turkey. The other partner (or a friend) knows how to fix the link in the sink.
The Internet changes everything. With nearly ubiquitous online access, many people may first perform a Web search rather than calling a friend.
Being online all the time changes one’s subjective sense of self as borders between personal memories and information distributed across the Internet start to blur.”
That’s the article’s summary. As a further definition, the authors write: “The Internet may not only eliminate the need for a partner with whom to share information, it may also undermine the impulse to ensure that important, learned facts get inscribed into our biological memory banks. We call this the Google effect.”
The authors (the late Daniel M Wegner and Adrian F. Ward) support their thesis with plenty of experimental data, then conclude: “Yet perhaps as we become parts of the “InterMind,” we will also develop a new intelligence, one that is no longer anchored in local memories housed only in our own brains. As we are freed from the necessity of remembering facts, we may be able as individuals to use our newly available mental resources for ambitious undertakings.”
With a final fanfare, the authors announce, “But this shift does not mean that we are in danger of losing our own identity. We are simply merging the self with something greater, forming a transactive partnership not just with other human beings, but with an information source more powerful than any the world has ever seen.”
So there you have it, my friends. What do you think about this?
As George Santayana wrote in 1905 in The Life of Reason, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
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