Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Information Overload

Today, the Internet provides most people with services and information.  It has changed the way humans learn, communicate, and conduct everyday life.  It has certainly caused an information overload, but is this overload good or bad?

Nicholas Carr's article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" suggests that humans are not immersing themselves in reading and are becoming "stupid" because of Google.  He believes that it has changed our way of thinking.  I have to disagree with Mr. Carr because Google hasn't changed our way of thinking.  We use "keyword" searches to find our goal, but isn't this analogous to the way the mind works?  Certain patterns in our environment prime our memories to retrieve relevant data.  This is exactly the same technique Google uses when returning search results.  Granted Google's specific approach may be different than the mind's, but from a top-down perspective they are attempting to achieve the same process.

In my opinion, the Internet has led to a constructive information overload for the human mind.  The brain is a highly parallel and distributed system which manages every aspect of human behavior.  It requires information from the environment to learn and perform tasks.  Without this information, the brain could not perform basic or "intelligent" processes.  Logically, we can infer that with more information, the brain has more potential information to process.  With more information to process, the brain is destined to become more "intelligent."  Google has stated that its mission is "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”  To make this information useful, it has to be returned quickly, so if you want to read, grab a book!  In summary, Google is providing our minds with more organized information.  By providing humans with quick, organized information, Google increases human intelligence.



  1. More useful information that is organized and instead of scrambling around in a book. Not to say a book is not good but this does help. Nice post.

  2. Google does provide us with quick, organized information. But it still relies on humans to give it that information so it can only help us as much as we want it to.

  3. Nice post. I definately agree with you. I do not believe that Google is making us stupid, but only helping us get our information more quickly and efficiently instead of wasting time struggling with books that are difficut to read. There are many reliable sources on Google that help us get to our information just as good as any book would do. Google lets us do keyword searches that will bring us to thousands of sites that contain what we put it. It breaks down our searches to exactly what we want and is significantly useful. Google is a great source for information that can actually make us smarter, if we know how to use it.

  4. i like the approach you took. very interesting.
    "We use "keyword" searches to find our goal"
    this is very much so true. i love Google. but think about how we put in questions now too on google. like google will literally give us the answer. more or less.