Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

Every time there is an increase in freedom and access to media (like the invention of movable type) average quality of the medium goes down, but society responds to the challenge with new institutions. That’s this generation’s challenge, writes Clay Shirky.

 

Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

By CLAY SHIRKY

[CovJump1] Charis Tsevis

Digital media have made creating and disseminating text, sound, and images cheap, easy and global. The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media.

Instead, these amateurs produce endless streams of mediocrity, eroding cultural norms about quality and acceptability, and leading to increasingly alarmed predictions of incipient chaos and intellectual collapse.

 

One gem in this article:
“Edgar Allan Poe, writing during another surge in publishing, concluded, ‘The enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age; since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information.'”

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About Scott Hunter

Editor of The Star newspaper in Grand Coulee, observer of life, history, patterns in things that matter.
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