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> The Web Is Making People Stupid, TWIMPS And Getting TWIMPSER
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 12th December 2009, 2:22pm
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It's all a plot by Alien Wiki-Φungi …

Or maybe Ripofflichens …

Or Groople …

Some truly evil force like that …

The fact that Sarah Palin gets any press at all is proof that the condition is terminal …

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post Sat 12th December 2009, 2:39pm
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The web is just facilitating things for those who don't want to check facts in a library.

Obviously many people don't even stay 2 minutes on a page to read something, maybe they read the first 3 lines and then change page. TL;DR

Internet is making people lazy, not necessarily stupid. Although there are people who believe things without checking in depth. But the same goes for other media, the radio, the television.

But without doubt, reading books helps absorb more information, as opposed to the net where things circulate quickly and are more graphic.
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Cedric
post Sat 12th December 2009, 3:22pm
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 12th December 2009, 3:28pm
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QUOTE(Text @ Sat 12th December 2009, 9:39am) *

The web is just facilitating things for those who don't want to check facts in a library.

Obviously many people don't even stay 2 minutes on a page to read something, maybe they read the first 3 lines and then change page. TL;DR

Internet is making people lazy, not necessarily stupid. Although there are people who believe things without checking in depth. But the same goes for other media, the radio, the television.

But without doubt, reading books helps absorb more information, as opposed to the net where things circulate quickly and are more graphic.


Plausible things to say — in 2002 maybe — but it's gone far beyond that today.

I actually considered saying it this way —

QUOTE

The Web Is Letting People Become As Stupid As They Secretly Hope In Their Heart Of Hearts To Ever Become

TWILPBASATSHITHOHTEB


And that does contain an almost-truism or two —
  • You can't sell a sucker what a sucker ain't buying.
  • You can't con a person with rational expectations.
Those truisms apply to the single player — at the beginning of play.

But the sad fact is that you can play a mass of players in such a way that the options of each single player are gradually reduced to the lowest common dumbinator of them all.

And that is what we are seeing on Dubya³ today.

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GlassBeadGame
post Sat 12th December 2009, 3:46pm
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QUOTE(Text @ Sat 12th December 2009, 9:39am) *

The web is just facilitating things for those who don't want to check facts in a library.

Obviously many people don't even stay 2 minutes on a page to read something, maybe they read the first 3 lines and then change page. TL;DR

Internet is making people lazy, not necessarily stupid. Although there are people who believe things without checking in depth. But the same goes for other media, the radio, the television.

But without doubt, reading books helps absorb more information, as opposed to the net where things circulate quickly and are more graphic.


Odd that I would be saying this to someone with your username, but I disagree. Radio was a move away from text. So was the telephone (but not the telegraph.) Television was a move away from text. The internet, and especially web 2.0 is resurgent text. The videos, images and sounds are ephemeral and tangential. The core of this technology is based on the digital computer's hand-glove type of relationship with the manipulation of text. Because this parallels the human minds hand-glove relationship between thought and language/writing it is going to last after your uncle puts away his video camcorder, your daughter gets bored with the digital camera in her phone and Durova tires of whatever it is she does with images.

The problem is that internet culture has placed this gift into the hands of idiots. There are reasons for this. Most likely it has much to do with first placing the technology into the hands of geeky nerds with skills needed to access the first clunky applications such as BB and Usenet. They basically have nothing to say but lots of ability to say it.
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Moulton
post Sat 12th December 2009, 3:53pm
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The Internet also tends to make some people intolerant, rude, and combative. As more and more people engage in episodes of intolerance, rudeness, and combativeness, it lures others into imitating such incivil behavior. On balance, online antisocial behavior grows like a cancer.
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Somey
post Sat 12th December 2009, 4:01pm
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What I see happening is that the interwebs are taking away the financial, and to some extent the career-advancement, incentives to document general knowledge and either not replacing them at all, or replacing them with political, ideological, or narcissistic incentives. None of these replacement incentives are long-term, and all of them are likely to attract people who are biased and, frankly, care little about the truth.

Moreover, as reference information becomes more easily and freely accessible, you might actually have a slight short-term increase in knowledge acquisition by the average person, but IMO you also foster a culture in which people get out of the habit of acquiring knowledge for its own sake, simply because the need to have it "at the ready" is lessened, or even eliminated.

Another point that isn't often made is that reading information on a computer screen is inherently more distracting than reading it out of a book. You've constantly got e-mails and other alerts popping up, you might have MP3's or videos playing at the same time, you're almost certainly playing Freecell in a background window, and in general you're probably thinking you should be doing something else (i.e., work). And even with a website like Wikipedia, which doesn't have advertising, there are still links everywhere, and you're thinking "should I click this?" when you should be trying to retain facts.

Finally, I think we can mostly grant the idea that writing and researching a fake-encyclopedia article has a positive effect on one's own knowledge-retention and thought-organization capacity, at least with regard to the subject being written about. (Editing alone, not so much.) But the result of that is that the people "building" sites like Wikipedia get a false idea of the effects of their own efforts - it's making them smarter, so it must be making everyone else smarter too, right?

Ehh, maybe not.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 12th December 2009, 4:04pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Sat 12th December 2009, 10:53am) *

The Internet also tends to make some people intolerant, rude, and combative. As more and more people engage in episodes of intolerance, rudeness, and combativeness, it lures others into imitating such incivil behavior. On balance, online antisocial behavior grows like a cancer.


It's the same dynamics in either case —

Lowest Common Dumbinator = Lowest Common Dominator

It is not just the instinct to imitate — Monkey See Monkey Do — otherwise people could just as easily imitate the best among them.

The mass action, and the forces that control it, are biased toward the worst that is possible.

That can happen only because people see the worst content and the worst conduct being rewarded.

So they increasingly imitate the worst.

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post Sat 12th December 2009, 8:12pm
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QUOTE
The Internet also tends to make some people intolerant, rude, and combative.


Remember that these behaviours may also be fake... someone who acts like a guy with antisocial personality disorder on the net may be a very calm person in the real world, and just uses the net to play that role for fun to pull people's legs. And through text, it's impossible to tell whether one is faking or being serious.
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post Sat 12th December 2009, 8:28pm
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QUOTE
That can happen only because people see the worst content and the worst conduct being rewarded.

So they increasingly imitate the worst.


Since in a hobby the most tangible reward is the fun that comes with it, people will drift away from what they perceive as annoying or boring. On Wikipedia, someone may start making a page and putting it on the site. Then as time passes he will notice that things change, and generally the pages don't improve and get worse, and at that point where's the fun in making pages and maintaining them in a "cooperational project"? Therefore, if that someone decides to continue by his free choice, another way to have fun can derive from "grinding", repeating the same action over and over to attain more "power" (or cookies, brownies, bronze stars, ribbons, wikitutnum books, wikipetan dolls, shiny medal of the supreme master editor...). Even more fun in being an abusive character to others, spamming death threats, faking his credentials, moving pages to random titles...
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 12th December 2009, 9:18pm
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Text,

You provide a few examples of different ways that the truth of my thesis is actualized in practice. Your scenarios are exemplary but far from exhaustive or even very explanatory.

The phenomenon is far more widespread than what we see in Wikipedia alone, though I would hardly deny the near supremacy of Wikipediot stupidity in all matters of both content and conduct, especially when you consider the scale and stubbornness of it.

The question we have to keep asking is why — what is there about the current SocTech Architecture of the Web that is making it such a race to the bottom of human potential on almost every front?

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post Sat 12th December 2009, 10:11pm
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QUOTE
The question we have to keep asking is why - what is there about the current SocTech Architecture of the Web that is making it such a race to the bottom of human potential on almost every front?


The "why" people do things at the bottom of human potential with the web architecture... maybe boredom, narcissism, lust for power, something that hits their psyche and that makes them feel well?
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 12th December 2009, 10:24pm
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QUOTE(Text @ Sat 12th December 2009, 5:11pm) *

QUOTE

The question we have to keep asking is why - what is there about the current SocTech Architecture of the Web that is making it such a race to the bottom of human potential on almost every front?


The "why" people do things at the bottom of human potential with the web architecture … maybe boredom, narcissism, lust for power, something that hits their psyche and that makes them feel well?


The thrust of my assertion is not merely that Dubya³ allows isolated individuals to becomes as vapid as they wish to be — I am saying that there is an amplified entropism, a grubitational distraction, a selective devolutionary pressure that is dragging the whole mass of participants down into the depths, even those who are governed by other wishes, even those who resist as best they can.

That is the systematic part of the dynamics that demands to be explained.

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RDH(Ghost In The Machine)
post Sun 13th December 2009, 12:33am
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How can you possibly think weez bein stupified by the infobahn, when it contains such jewels of enlightenment as this?!

Actually das Internet is more like unto a garbage dump; tons o trash, some odd, interesting junk...but if you dig through it long enough, you might find the occasional, rare treasure.
It could, and should, be so much more...so much better.

Indeed, I think it was, back before it became (circa 2001) a mass medium cum corporate cesspool.
As a result today, it is far richer in refuse but poorer in real, quality content.

WP is, in many ways, a microcosm of this, as well as one of its major symptoms.

But the interwebs still beats the hell outta TV IMHO.
(Except for Turner Classic Movies, of course...first Lion In Winter followed by The Mouse That Roared, I could not have planned a better double feature!)

This post has been edited by RDH(Ghost In The Machine): Sun 13th December 2009, 12:57am
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Sun 13th December 2009, 3:31am
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They are all in league with the Devil. Its Satan's Plot to distract and unintegentalize humanity.{{WP:OR}}

It started with Texas Instruments making personal calculators, in order to destroy basic arithmetic skills, and now His Dark Majesty has moved on to possessing ex-pornographing bond traders and boy scout masters in order to erode and destroy humanity's capacity of intellectual comprehension and collectively coordinative abilities by filling it full of errors and kinky pictures.

Jimbo and the Wikipedia Foundation are the Anti-Christ's fluffers.{{WP:POV}}

It is a three step programme.

1) The sum of the world's knowledge is removed from the effort of being sustained in the collective consciousness and physical objects by being transfered to digital form.
2) Humanity is seduced into believing it does not need to think, remember, or work collectively any more because "all knowledge" is all safe on some server or another and instantly accessible from anywhere; and instead spends its time enjoying kinky pictures.
3) The energy grid fails, the servers are unplugged, the network collapses, all knowledge is lost, and humanity is plunged back into the dark ages.

It is basically a high tech re-run of the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria where Satan, working through his primary instrument of the Church of Rome {{fact}}, set back the evolution of humanity hundreds of years.
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thekohser
post Sun 13th December 2009, 3:59am
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Wasn't there talk of an Internet II, which would be just for universities to populate with content? Or something? What happened to that?
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Random832
post Sun 13th December 2009, 4:30am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sun 13th December 2009, 3:59am) *

Wasn't there talk of an Internet II, which would be just for universities to populate with content? Or something? What happened to that?


No, it was to replace the normal IP backbones, and was for universities to use to share research data (and for dorm residents to use to share pirated copyrighted data) - nothing to do with content.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 13th December 2009, 4:47am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sat 12th December 2009, 10:59pm) *

Wasn't there talk of an Internet II, which would be just for universities to populate with content? Or something? What happened to that?


Oh, you remember, don't you?

That was back when all the scientists and other smart people uploaded the Sum Of Civilized Knowledge (SOCK) into Internet 2.0 —

It was just in time to down-givvy the whole darn SOCK into cryomagnetic storage on a rag-tag fleet of spaceships so that the Alpha Intelligentsia of Planet Earth could escape the coming comet and reseed the galaxy with the remains of humane civilization —

Only they decided not to tell the great masses of dumb people who got left behind people because …

Oh wait …

Nevermind …

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dogbiscuit
post Sun 13th December 2009, 10:47am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 12th December 2009, 10:24pm) *

The thrust of my assertion is not merely that Dubya³ allows isolated individuals to becomes as vapid as they wish to be — I am saying that there is an amplified entropism, a grubitational distraction, a selective devolutionary pressure that is dragging the whole mass of participants down into the depths, even those who are governed by other wishes, even those who resist as best they can.

That is the systematic part of the dynamics that demands to be explained.

Jon hrmph.gif

It is interesting, and I agree that it is not Teh InterWeb per se that is the problem, it just makes it all rather obvious.

I can see the same thing on TV, where once there was a creative zeal and it was seen that TV was an important medium of education and entertainment, but now - well, we don't do documentaries because there is no demand, people want to watch manufactured X-Factor pap, even though they know it is manufactured X-Factor pap and so on, people have time in their lives to watch several nightly soaps of despair & ignorance with no redeeming features.

Look at the music industry - if you went back to the hey-day of music creativity in the 60s and 70s, although there were cynical money making operations, a lot of bands were really in it because they felt it was important in its own right. I don't think Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, The Who, The Beatles or whatever were driven by financial motives so much as the desire to make music. It was fascinating to see a documentary on the German Krautrock movement to see how much it was politically driven. That creative urge seems to have been much diluted. There are still talented musicians, but they get subverted into the industry.

I think it comes down to a fundamental loss of direction of being unable to cope with leisure time. Perhaps we need a good world war or something (bring on that Global Warming!), but I think in the first world, the population has it fairly easy and is just looking for ways to fritter away the time. If life was more challenging, people would value their time more and be more demanding.

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Milton Roe
post Sun 13th December 2009, 7:16pm
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Sun 13th December 2009, 3:47am) *

I think it comes down to a fundamental loss of direction of being unable to cope with leisure time. Perhaps we need a good world war or something (bring on that Global Warming!), but I think in the first world, the population has it fairly easy and is just looking for ways to fritter away the time. If life was more challenging, people would value their time more and be more demanding.

I mentioned Farm Town on facebook which might be the posterchild site for this. People laboriously planting and harvesting electronic crops for electronic money to buy electronic farm implements. It approaches mental illness.

As for societies, they do seem to have more problems when they lack a clear unified national war. They go looking for wars in times of peace. Poor Bill Clinton. And poor GW Bush for his first 8 months in office. No good wars. The best we could do between Gulf Wars, was turn back to the old War On Drugs (see War on Our Underclass). We tried the War on Cancer and the War on Povery, but they certainly weren't very exciting, since they didn't involve the Bread and Circuses of Dallas SWAT and Bad Boys, or the Smart Bombing or Preditor-drone-zapping of Sand People (a great videogame; it's better than Farm Town). In fact, there wasn't anybody to shoot or catch unhappy.gif Killing a tumor or vaccinating some kid? That's never going to make prime time.
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