The debate erupted again recently, incited by a column from NY Times editor Bill Keller and a Wired article by Nicholas Carr, both of which suggested that the Internet is deteriorating our mental capacity.
Both men are serious people, who write well and thoughtfully. They give voice to something we all feel. From senior citizens at the Apple store to high-tech hippies collecting music on vinyl, we all take comfort in the past while we parse the future. However, the evidence is clear: Technology makes us smarter in meaningful ways.
Socrates liked to be a “gadfly”. He went around ancient Athens arguing with everybody he met. He would play possum, asking seemingly innocent rhetorical questions and then berate his victims with ever more queries. It’s no wonder they made him drink hemlock!