Linked in several things this morning on facebook. I guess I’ll put them here too.
Is Google Killing General Knowledge? by Brian Cathcart on www.moreintelligentlife.com
This article made me think of a conversation I had with my Medieval Music prof at Notre Dame. I had done poorly on a test because I hadn’t memorized tons of obscure facts. He asked me about it. I told him I didn’t plan to keep that kind of stuff in my head. That I would (and do) rely on reference books for that sort of thing.
Since then I have noticed that older profs seem to think that retention of empirical facts is the same thing as understanding and wisdom. Time and time again I watch educated people fail to analyze, synthesize and reason. Substituting instead quick flashes of details and small facts for reasoning.
But on the other hand, some knowledge is necessary to connect ideas and form understanding. This article (which I haven’t finished reading) addresses the concern that young and old people are too trusting of the “facts” they find on Mapquest and Google. Some funny stories in it.
I also linked in The Virtual Campfire: An Ethography of Online Social Networking by Jenny Ryan. This seems to be an online book length work about its topic. I think Ryan is an anthropologist.
She strongly advocates online communities. I tried Tribe and have so far not found any ACTIVE (read posted within the last month) tribes in my areas of interest.
Lastly I linked in this lovely little online picture book by Shaun Tan.
Shaun Tan rocks.