When’s the last time you had a question that you actually thought hard about before you Googled it? If you’re like me or anyone else the first thing you do when a question pops up in your head is to head over to google and see what it says. Even for a simple question that we might know the answer to the natural reaction is to google it and see what turns up. Even for programmers, these days an integral part of being a good programmer is to know how to use google and use it well.
Google is not just an extension of your brain but for a lot of people “it is your brain”.
On one hand, you have some of the world’s best knowledge at your disposal. Taken in a good light, you can now concentrate your attention to the more difficult problems that require more energy. However, for the general population I think the long-term effect might be diminishing our ability to think for ourselves and go beyond shallow thinking. It’s permeating everything we do from work to school. The average person can get by without really thinking too hard even as a so-called knowledge worker.
It’s interesting to see the evolution of technology. We’ve gone from systematizing the production of food, clothing, and shelter; vehicles to shrink the boundaries of distance and time; appliances to liberate us from manual household labor; and now the final nail in the coffin: to liberate us from unnecessary thinking. Larry Page recently spoke at a conference that Artificial Intelligence is the next logical step in the search giant’s revolution. How much longer before the world is clearly delineated between the thinkers and drones? It makes you wonder.