Last summer, Nick Carr kickstarted a meme by asking Is Google
Making Us Stupid? His argument is that Google by collecting and organizing
all of the world’s information, mechanizes our intellect and makes us stupid. He
argued that the distractions in the net scatter our attention and diffuse our
concentration, increasing the plasticity of our brain.
When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image.
It injects the medium’s content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital
gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it
has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as
we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to
scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.
Well, this started a hailstorm in the tech blogosphere with millions of
opinions from millions of bloggers, forcing the Google numbed brains in us to
rely either on Google or Techmeme to grasp what people were trying to say. Nick
Carr’s thesis did piss off many people as they thought he is grossly
underestimating the human brains.
Finally, Google has jumped into this debate and offered their conclusion
based on some solid research by their User Experience Team. Neither Nick Carr
nor his detractors are right. The human brain is neither plastic and stupid like
Nick Carr wants us to believe nor extremely elastic and versatile as some big
egos, who take themselves very seriously, wants us to believe. Google’s verdict
in this case is
Humans search the web unconsciously
This is a truly amazing discovery by Google (well, they didn’t hire so many
Ph.D.s without any reason). According to them
The supreme power in this world,
God Google, has spoken and, finally,
this brings the debate to an end. Thank you Google for making us understand how
we search the web. I only wish they had informed us about it when we are
PS: People always thought I am a bit too serious with my posts. Hence, my late
night parody on an innocent mistake by a Google blogger. Nothing personal and it
is not an attack on anyone. Just plain timepass.