Monday, 16 September 2013

mmm mmm mmm mmm or tip of the tongue

As part of its weekly digest of innovative and new ideas, the excellent blog Brain Pickings features an interesting review of a new work from Clive Thompson about how technology are collaborating in positive ways to augment how we remember, learn and triangulate novel and familiar concepts. The book, “Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Minds for the Better,” smartly covers a lot of emergent and age-old praises and cautions and is by no means swerving to avoid the counter-argument or discussion, neither a retreat into apologies for new standards of etiquette and work-ethics nor a luddite bemoaning short attention-spans and information overload, but rather presents an extended thesis that certain aspects of on-line resources can prove to be transcending, proving one knows how these tools function.

Knowing how to use the Google seems rather basic, and a chore made progressively easier with each software update, and while being an accomplished mechanic is not prerequisite for being licensed to drive, most probably could better articulate the input and output of a car than the gullible crash test dummies we are for herd-mentalities and the whims of the tool-makers. One intriguing idea that the review puts forward is the tip-of-the-tongue syndrome—certainly not a new phenomena itself, strangely modernized by the internet, which allows one to reverse-engineer any escaping memory. Connecting the dots, however as the author cites, is only good as the dots one collects. The internet and its dynamic interface is certainly more than just a scatter-shot consultant but can be rather a constellation-maker.