In decades past, we all admired that one friend who had an amazing array of facts at ready recall. It seems to me that that's a little less impressive today. We all have easy access to a limitless supply of facts, if not wisdom ... we get those facts any time, anywhere, on the Internet. Some of them might not be accurate, you say? That's okay. I was never sure about all those facts that impressive friend was always talking about. The point though, is that quick research on any topic is as nearby as Google, Wikipedia, and IMDB.
I don't have to remember anybody's address, phone number, or even the names of their kids. I have an address book application on my computer.
I don't have to know my "times tables" as long as I have a calculator handy. And of course I always do, since it's built into my smartphone (which is never far from my hand).
Every journal paper, every blog post, every email message I've ever written could be stored together and still fit on a cheap USB thumb drive looped onto a key ring, ready to be searched.
The point is that technology has extended and partially externalized our brains. No matter how smart you are, I'd wager that you are more effective when you have your preferred technology tools at the ready.
Is this really all that different than tools and machines extending your physical abilities? Is it different from a shovel helping you to dig a hole faster or a bike helping you to cover distance faster and more easily? I'm not sure, but in my experience most people think of it as being different.
Will this trend of externalizing your brain continue? Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing?
I have a feeling that I may have more to say on this, especially if some of you tell me that you like this topic. So I'm calling this the end of part 1.
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