Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Google Effect?

I found this little piece on Slate the other day, suggesting that the way our memory is structured based on our ability to access information on the internet. Basically, we try harder to remember if we don't think we can find the info again all that easily, and tend to remember where over what if we think we will have to dig up the information again.

Frankly, this hardly seems like rocket science. I've long been an expert in the lazy art of getting by, and so don't think this is an entirely new development. Having just taken an 'open book' test for an online class, rest assured that those days are not entirely behind me.

Do, if  you get the chance, watch the videos of the charming Betsy Sparrow which I link to below:



I tried to just embed the video, but Google is messing with me. Apparently dissing Google even in a mild way is not advised...


  1. I remember a snobby-sounding magazine article a few years ago, around the time computer makers were putting great emphasis on ease of use -- computers that even eejits could use. The article was called something like "In praise of difficult computing."

    My v-word: inatomic
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  2. I think the advent of email may actually be a memory enhancer. At least, if I don't deal with an email at the time I open it, it slides quickly down and off the page, and I have to remember many things that I would have had a physical document staring me in the face to jolt my memory in bygone days.

    Not that there's any dirth of papers about the place.

    Inatomic is good, though hard to visualize.