Let's zoom in to the Internet, that magnificent new world for latter-day explorers, so much more vast than any realm discovered by Columbus or Magellan. Zealous enthusiasts point to how much more knowledge the average person can access, predicting better students, better workers, better minds and citizenship. Pessimists perceive a dumbing down that spread users too thin, resulting in shallowness that could be lethal to politics, to clear thinking.
Is Google making us stupid? Let's weigh the evidence and ponder whether it may be possible to profit from this revolution of vision and memory, as we did from others that came before.
I love the way David Brin takes his ideas and knowledge and weaves it all into stories that let me soak up the knowledge and explore the ideas subconsciously while I’m consciously following the characters and the trajectory of their adventures and challenges.
I thought I would love his essays that just distill it all down to the main points, but I’ve always seemed to get lost among references I can’t quite keep up with when reading his essays and I’m finding the same experience here. It reminds me of sitting in on a lecture for a class with prerequisites I haven’t done yet - I have a lot of background catching up to do before I can get much out of these.
I’ll go back to reading the science fiction for now where the assimilation process is more gradual. If an image can replace a thousand words, a well crafted story can replace a thousand essays.