What is the web doing to our minds?   no comments

Posted at 2:03 pm in Uncategorized

My exploration stems from the question as to how the web is changing human cognition: The way we think, they way we understand, the way we learn and reason. This is primarily resulting from a very enjoyable reading of ‘The Shallows’ by Nicholas Carr, which has sparked many debates, both internally with myself and with others, sometimes beocming quite heated. It is indeed a controversial topic, with very interesting arguments being raised from numerous different perspectives.

The questions are not just the if or the how in a psychological or physical sense but also a philosophial consideration of the greater impact and entering the terriroties of cognitive extension and the web. Is this a dangerous notion or a good one and should we encourage it or discourage it? If we are truly outsourcing not just our memories but our thoughts and indeed, our thinking processes themselves, where does this leave us in ten years time? This of course leads back to the psychological concerns of what is actually happening internally within ourselves, are certain facilities for thought being replaced by others? What have we given up when we pick up a SatNav system or an iPhone to help guide us rather than a map and a compass (particularly relevant after having spent a weekend doing Duke of Edinburgh learning to navigate without such technology!) or when we let Facebook decide what it thinks is important for us and intersting to us so we don’t have to?

To begin this journey of explanation, I shall thus be diving deeper into the realms of both psychology and philosophy to explore the question – what is the web doing to our minds?

Written by Oliver on October 25th, 2011

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