Why bother the brain with dross when technology can pick up the slack? But deeper thought, too, seems to be skipping away in a ready stream of information.
Neil Postman once asked if we had known the impact the motor vehicle would have on life, would we have embraced it so thoroughly. Robert Fitzgerald says it's time we asked the same question of computers.
Technology might lead us two ways. Children might become so accustomed to immediate, on-screen information they fail to probe for deeper levels of insight, imagination and knowledge. Or the need to multitask and prioritize vast pools of information could see them develop equally, if not more valuable, skills.
Fitzgerald: "We're really in the very early days in terms of the development of new internet technologies. While we have seen quite remarkable developments in the rates of blog use or wikis, I suspect five years down the track we will not recognize those technologies we're currently using — they'll be more intuitive, more integrated, more intelligent."
Will you consider yourself a Luddite if one day soon you find yourself Romantically recalling the clickety clack of the keyboard and the glow of the big screen?