Sunday, January 18, 2009

Google blows your mind

Nicholas Carr's article in the Atlantic about the impact of Google on human intelligence has already been discussed in several posts here.  In a recent article in Discover (Is Google making us smarter?)  Carl Zimmer contests Carr's thesis and says no, au contraire, Google makes us smarter!  Or more accurately, Google expands our minds. Zimmer's argument is indebted to two philosophers who in 1998 published an article called The Extended Mind. They posed the question“Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?, and challenged the commonsense answer, “At the skull.” "Clark and Chalmers set out to convince their readers that the mind is not simply the product of the neurons in our brains, locked away behind a wall of bone. Rather, they argued that the mind is something more: a system made up of the brain plus parts of its environment." 

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