Monday, February 09, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Joanne has a great post that starts with this question: Can students use technology to learn new things if they lack a base of knowledge?

Go read about the poor endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus if you want to be both entertained and saddened at the same time. It will come as no surprise to my readers that I fall into the "you've got to teach them something before they can think critically about it" category. Remember, technology is not a replacement for having your own knowledge and judgement.

Just as entertaining as Joanne's post, though, was this comment:

KateC wrote:

> The internet has made us stupider.

Oh, I’m sorry but as an elder statesman from a time before the Internet I can assure you that the quantity of stupid hasn’t changed.

Think of the Internet as a “stupid” telescope.

Previously inaccessible examples of stupid are now instantly transmitted across time and space. This gives the illusion of an increase in the volume of stupid when in reality stupid is neither created nor destroyed merely passed, like a treasured family heirloom, from one generation to the next.

But the power of technology now allows us to feel smarter then people from countries we’ll never visit and whose language we don’t understand. So while the principle of conservation of stupid is inviolable the forms in which stupid is expressed are ever changing, ever evolving.

This modest satire brought to you by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust whose motto is “we’re better the you”.
I liken this situation to calculator usage as well. If the only way you get the answer is "that's what my calculator says", then you've learned nothing.

2 comments:

allen (in Michigan) said...

Well that was a gratifying surprise. Maybe I ought to consider a career change?

Darren said...

As long as you continue contributing here.