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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is Google making us stupid? (Via MeFi.) It's certainly true that in my daily life I find myself using a indexing logic to process most new information, remembering what I'll need so I can find It again if I need It rather than just remembering the thing itself. Just one example: I recently spent a few weeks aimlessly trying to retrieve the terms studium and punctum. Google searches describing what I remembered of the concepts were completely hopeless; unusual for me, I'd remembered bad keywords. It was only when I somehow dredged up the name of the theorist who coined them (Barthes) that my search became possible—and after that it over in fifteen seconds.

Also in the Atlantic, a classic Canavan hobbyhorse: traffic signs make us less safe.