Monday, April 24, 2006

New technology may be changing the human brain

Oh, NOOooooooo! my brain is warping from all this techno-stuff! At least according to the Guardian's account of the words of neuro-biologist Susan Greenfield: She thinks it might be a bad bad change in humanity. Ove the course of the past couple of generations, we've gone electronic, and as a result we're developing a high dependency upon icons and images in order to communicate with each other. We're losing the ability to follow a single thought from beginning to middle to ... um... uh... where was I going? Oh, yeah... you know, like reading a book from cover to cover. After all, everybody in our great-great-granddad's day read as many books as I do (average 7-10 per week). Uh huh.


Worse than the concerns about reading skills dropping, we're surrendering our analytic abilities, to grave consequence:
Politicians should be seriously concerned. Parliamentary democracy has depended on a citizenry prepared to think logically about policies, to remember promises and to follow arguments.

Maybe she should read a few older books before she goes into panic mode. She's probably right, though, about one thing:
Greenfield's feared world without context is therefore also a world more prone to political illogic and fad.

We do seem to have a superabundance of people with really short memories, limited attention spans, and tendencies toward faddishness involved in politics.

1 comment:

EclectEcon said...

Whew! I was really happy you DIDN'T link to me in that last paragraph!