Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?

As with *any* resource, it's what you do with it that matters. If the internet is your sole source of information, and particularly if you limit yourself to a few "popular" sites, and form your opinion along those lines; well, you get what you pay for.

If, on the other hand, you can still retain your ability to read between the lines and compare notes across multiple resources, take it all with a grain of salt and maintain a healthy skepticism...then the internet is just another resource to draw from. It's not Gospel, it's not the Bible, it's not an unquestionable fact or is just another tool in the toolbox. If one has a good mind to start, one should be OK as long as one keeps exercising that muscle. If one has an...easily manipulated...mind to start, then nothing I said will make any sense anyway, and one will continue doing what one wishes to do anyway.

A good example would be the divide between those who truly think that what gown a popular actress is wearing at some gala premiere actually qualifies as news, and those who can see that such is not as important as the hype suggests.
I thought this would be a naughty thing to say, so I will say it. This discussion is making us stupid.:D:eek:
Hey guys . . . I was only fooling around. Please continue.

I think the Internet is great. It has opened my eyes to the world around me. I wouldn't know so much about this planet of our's if it weren't for the Internet. It has made me less ignorant.
Clive Thompson wrote this article: (Clive Thompson on How More Info Leads to Less Knowledge) suggesting that the amount of false information (repeated on multiple sites sometimes to intentionally cover up facts) we get flooded with on the internet is leading to less knowledge. In light of some of the types of websites that have been shared here recently, what do you think? Do we know less because of the internet?

This is a quote from the above article:

This actually pertains to one if the deeper inner meanings of Noah' Ark. It is through becoming a conscious being (the Ark) that we can stay on top of this flood of information and retain a conscious perspective rather then just be sucked down into it and become lost in all this "water."
I am in two minds about this. It is instant information, rather than days trawling through books trying to remember where you saw such and such.

But you have to want to study, find out the source of the information and it's reliability, cross reference that with written material etc. Without that, yes the amount of mis-information on the net will make people stupid.

It is also so easy for me to set up a site as an expert on mental health ... now there is a scary thought ... what damage could I do, oh so much.

A good example is Islamic sites, they rarely have Sunni or Shia or Wahabbi scrawled across the home page so a non-Muslim looking for info on Islam may be learning something that is specific to one sect.
The Internet is a phenomena unprecedented in human history. I can`t think of a single time in history where an individual could instantly publish information that could in theory be reached by millions for less than $20/month.

I started a thread a while ago called "Jesus in the Internet", stating that the Internet was kind of like a modern day miracle, a gift from God.

If that is true, then implying that the Internet makes us dumb, implies that God makes us dumb. No, every time. People make people dumb.

Got mis-informed? happens all the time in places especially other than the Internet. On the Internet at least there is a chance to find the other side of the story, at least up to now.

Want to regulate the Internet?, I say just regulate it specifically towards those individuals who want it to be regulated and they should stay away from those who don`t want it regulated. I`d have to tell them to keep their control freaking nature to themselves.

Some just don`t want to play it fair (e.g. China), and when they are given control powers they make it into "have and have not`s" then in such environments the Internet will make people dumb.

Some prominent companies even have similar practices too for business purposes and wrap everything up and as a result make people dumb (e.g. phone companies utilizing Internet phone networks and making it available on their land-line phones at 5 times the price of Skype).

Positive :
  • The Internet allows you to contact people and information on the other side of the world with the click of a button.
  • The Internet allows you to access information that is being suppressed by the mainstream media.
Negative :
  • Information on the Internet is often quite superficial in comparison with information in books.
  • Information on websites is often without references, making it sometimes impossible to verify claims.
  • The Internet is filled with the most disgusting pornography and other rubbish that makes it a dangerous place for the unprepared mind (especially impressionable minors).
When I weigh the positive next to the negative, I still believe the positive prevails. The Internet allows anyone capable of unprejudiced logical analysis to discover information on pretty much everything and from pretty much all possible perspective which you will never be able to in a library. The lack of quality can often be overcome when you focus on articles from online magazines or e-books. These often have a qualify far superior to the average blog page and are often more reliable.

The Internet is pretty much the only place today where there are still corners of true intellectual and spiritual freedom. Let's all enjoy that as long as we can.
A word on the subject from Stephen Fry...

"(Stephen Fry - wit, writer, raconteur, actor and quiz show host - is also a self-confessed dweeb and meistergeek. As he confesses "If I added up all the hours I've sat watching a progress bar fill up, I could live another life."
His Twitter feed is the world's second most popular, pipped at the post by one Barack Obama.)"

BBC NEWS | Technology | Stephen Fry: The internet and Me

It is also so easy for me to set up a site as an expert on mental health ... now there is a scary thought ... what damage could I do, oh so much.

Web sites where someone claims to be an expert will mostly fool people who are inferior in knowledge and experience. An "expert" who has more knowledge and experience than the person claiming to be an expert could reveal the fraudulent nature of that web site.

Having said that, people who are themselves experts will fool the most people. You have to be knowledgeable and experienced on the subject on which you want to fool people. Web sites like that will more likely fool stupid people. But it won't fool everybody. People can say what they like, but it doesn't mean they're always right.
Some just don`t want to play it fair (e.g. China), and when they are given control powers they make it into "have and have not`s" then in such environments the Internet will make people dumb.

China's got a Big Brother . . . His name is the Chinese Communist Party. Little brother can't look after himself and is prone to falling. Someone needs to watch Little Brother. Little Brother can't make his own decisions so Big Brother has to help him.