Google and Your Memory – Online Colleges

the key passage in this interesting summary is:

“Our Recall is flawed. Every time we recall a memory we also remake it. Google acts like a fact checker, helping us avoid many errors.”

It’s not quite that simple because google gives you access to the wrong answers just as easily as the right ones, but with a bit of practice, you can learn how to assess the validity of the online sources. (The shortcut is to use wiki, which is now at least as reliable as the “professional” encyclopaedias)

Nevertheless, that key function is rapidly changing the world at micro and macro levels. Arguments over trivial facts (who sung that song, starred in that movie etc) were the first to go. Not because of google but rather because of broadband. Once we had a permanent online connection and it became trivial to fire up the browser and look up the answer to the question, many people, rather than argue the toss (and, perhaps more importantly, rather than be made to look foolish) started saying “why not look it up on the web”. Google’s dominance arose later, when it made itself the superior search engine.

Nowadays, the same functionality is available on any decent smartphone so the same access to instant answers is available wherever we have a decent signal.

The social and political significance of this technological achievement is even more important than it’s potential for changing our psychology and brain function. It means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for politicians and other manipulators to lie to us. This is the root of the authoritarians’ battle to control the internet. Whether they’re conservatives, communists or creationists, they’d all prefer you to see only the messages they approve.
Google and Memory
Research and Design by: Online Colleges Site

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10 Awesome Online Classes You Can Take For Free

by interesting coincidence, I “stumbled” this site immediately after blogging my previous comment about how the web is helping with the “ignorance” problem…

10 Awesome Online Classes You Can Take For Free.