Are we becoming a world run by computers? Are computers doing all of the thinking for us? Are we constantly relying on some form of technology? According to the articles in this weeks assigned readings it would seem this is where we are headed if we aren’t already there. The main idea from each article is that technology is quickly increasing along with our dependence on it bringing about concern for the wealth of our own knowledge.
The ideas in the two articles by Nicholas Carr point out a drastic concern regarding technology which has opened up the world to us more than people could have ever imagined years ago. Carr points out in “All Can Be Lost” that “…in recent years, as the focus of labor-saving technology has shifted from machinery to software, automation has become ever more pervasive, even as its workings have become more hidden from us” (2013). In “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Carr drastically says “Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory” (2008). As humans we are constantly growing, learning, and changing but our brains aren’t computers as Carr implies.
We have a natural desire for knowledge. The type of knowledge we seek depends on us. Our jobs and lives depend a great deal on technology whether we want it to or not. Living off the grid is becoming almost impossible for us. We are constantly connecting by the use of technology in some way everyday. The idea of unplugging is for people to unwind, relax, enjoy nature or whatever constitutes as a vacation from technology for an individual. In the article “The Pointlessness of Unplugging” Casey Cep explains “it’s strange to think of these unplugging events as anything like detox: the goal isn’t really abstinence but a return to these technologies with a renewed appreciation of how to use them” (2014). Just like with a vacation we take a break to enjoy other aspects of life and hope to return relaxed and ready to take on the world we hope for that same vacation feeling when we unplug.
Technology is a powerful and amazing tool that allows us to use, stretch, and collaborate our knowledge in ways that wouldn’t be possible without it. It’s good to have a healthy fear of something and to be aware of what it could become. We are responsible for making sure we don’t lack the knowledge we once had by becoming totally dependent on technology. Instead we can use it to increase that knowledge.
Carr, Nicholas. “All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines.” The Atlantic. November 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-great-forgetting/309516/>.
—. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. July 1 2008. <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/>.
Cep, Casey N. “The Pointlessness of Unplugging.” The New Yorker. March 19 2014.