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Cognitive Inequalitiy

Kevin Drum, in Mother Jones, Feb 17, 2012 says:

The internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. If you don't know how to use it, or don't have the background to ask the right questions, you'll end up with a head full of nonsense. But if you do know how to use it, it's an endless wealth of information. Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality.
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nice article! i never considered how this endless sea of information could be intimidating rather than empowering to some people.
I wonder if printing in the West was considered as much a corrosive to the intellectual have-nots, between 1450 and, say, 1800? Pamphleteers spewed garbage, smut and "penny dreadfuls"... I really do thank you for bringing this article to my attention, +Kevin Kelly , the matter is gnarly.
Article was unfulfilling and did not live up to expectations - merely a fluffy anecdote, rather than some interesting formal analysis, psychology or proof. Would not read again C-
IMHO... (you can stop reading now)

I believe the ratio of dumb people to intelligent people who use the internet shrinks with every passing day. (No stats to back this, of course.)
just ask all those teens sexting everywhere - u dnt need 2 spel 2 gt sx
+Randall Goya You offended the hell out of my 15 year old self. I don't think adults are too much better.

EDIT: OK, so maybe you didn't. I admit it. Most kids are idiots. Most people are idiots.
i'd like to know if it makes people dumber / smarter exponentially.
+Gregor J. Rothfuss Probably more 'exponentially' than population growth. More and more people are using the internet, so it's only logical this effect will multiply. Smart people won't be eliminated, but there will be a hell lot of 'dumb people'.
No more than newspapers, broadsides, yellow journalism, snake oil pamphlets, fine science writing and books on tech. Folks always could choose their 'pisen'.
Libraries were/are intimidating too. Especially when all the books were scrolls organized (if you were lucky) based on the first letter of the first word in the text. Not even alphabetized, alphabetization hadn't been invented -- just grouped.
"... you'll end up with a head full of nonsense"
If you’ll notice the end of the article where it says UPDATE:

” Via comments, it turns out that if you type "How much does a gallon of milk cost?" into Wolfram Alpha you get the nonsense above. But if you type "price of milk" instead, you get a nice chart showing the price of milk. Live and learn.”

This is where the author shows which side of the Cognitive Divide he is on. You need to have the basic knowledge and intelligence to properly use the resources available on the internet. No tool is useful unless you know how to use it.
That could have been a better article
me am broke pls boost my falling bisiness
@ big Don't we will just get use to the internet
The same could be said for TV, Radio, Books, Magazines, People in the Pub... Garbage in, garbage out.
... unlike in face 2 face reality, I find that even the most mundane corners of the web increases a person's chances of encountering ideas and people they might otherwise never engage with. Public discussion forums such as DigitalSpy, for instance, might be a lot of people talking about the latest reality tv, but it is also the place where I first encountered someone telling me about strawmen and ad hominem etc etc :)
Yes but how could it make dumb people dumber? Ability to distract and mindlessly entertain? Methods for that already exist .... the article's just opinion, and mine is that the internet is universally useful, or at worst neutral.
As a sexigenarian, I don't have very many little grey cells to work with, but wouldn't it be better to post here AFTER you read the BOOK Hey at 66% off it's a cheap fix compared to believing in a blurbblurb, and I bet the author would appreciate the income.
As a sexigenarian, I don't have very many little grey cells to work with, but wouldn't it be better to post here AFTER you read the BOOK Hey at 66% off it's a cheap fix compared to believing in a blurb, and I bet the author would appreciate the income.
Technology is always helping the upper level people to get higher.
Thank you for posting. Extremely relevant to the education system, especially in schools that consider media studies a "frill".
This is something that's easy to fix, especially for those of us with a bit of know how when it comes to technology. We can create Facebook like spaces where we support the highest quality information being shared, by offering not just peer-to-peer sharing, but also pumping in high quality, edited stuff into people's streams. Sort of like what Google is doing (or what Facebook does with ads) but using actually top quality information as offered by teachers in a variety of fields, rather than "popular" (mainstream) stuff (like G+ does) and rather than "paid" stuff (like Facebook does).
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