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Old Intellectual Technologies and the Reign of Machines
Default 09-13-2013
Hells Sniper
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So, it's a topic for an essay I'm doing. And I generally already know what I'm going to talk about/say. But it does raise a very interesting topic. The question is as follows..

How do our “intellectual technologies” shape the kind of world we live in? Why is the threat posed by the Internet to deep reading and concentrated thought potentially so troubling?

Now, I have a feeling of what I'm going to say, we have to uses examples and quotes from the article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" by Nicholas Carr.

I'll post my essay once I'm finished, but I open it up to you guys.
I'm not going to say anything just yet...but here ya go.

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Default 09-13-2013
Naked Crook
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For starters, let me say this: Withhold your essay until you have submitted it and it has been graded.

Second: All ideas in this thread from this point forward are no-ownership ideas for brainstorming reasons.

Alright, so with that said, let me say a few things:

Lets me talk about how a simple Google search can shape how I think, shall we. Let's invent a hypothetical person. We will call him Bob. Now, Bob, is an average male, socially liberal, left leaning, and an Atheist. Seems like a nice well rounded guy. Now, lets pretend that Bob is, in fact, a very militant Atheist who REALLY hates religion, no matter what brand it is. As a result of this, Bob is a self-proclaimed open-minded and rational person. Bob is also a 17 year old teenager, who has no academic credentials WHAT SO EVER, and as such, has no basis for his stance other than the fact that he can follow three simple steps:

1. Open a web browser.
2. Go to Google.
3. Search for things that support his views.

Bob likes to read blogs, view vlogs, watch YouTube videos, and cherry pick quotes and facts to support his world view, and brand himself as a quasi-intellectual. Bob does this EVERY day, non stop, in his eternal quest against anything that does not meet his world view. Bob can assimilate and regurgitate facts, quotes, and ideas, but totally lack the wisdom to comprehend them.

The word I just used was quasi-intellectual. This is a word that I like to use. I use it to define people who like to THINK they are open minded, free thinkers, rational, and down to Earth, but are actually keyboard warriors who replicate and regurgitate OTHER people's ideas that they read on the Internet, that they agree with. There is no critical thought in what they read, and they never EVER stop to analyze what they are reading. If it feels good in their belly, and it makes their pants tighten, it is right, and it is for them, and it is irrefutable. They are very superficial in their research, never EVER trying to look for counter-arguments or possible explanations to the ideas that they agree with.

This Phenomenon STARTED with the Internet age. We can now actually cherry pick the ideas we want, to the point, where we can destroy all context to the fact we are looking for, and totally change the meaning of anything we look at. The internet is so fast, quick, and convenient, that it has convinced us that our information should ALSO be be quick and convenient. Let me give an example of what it means to have quick and convenient information.:

I want everyone to take a look at this website:

That is a PERFECT example of what I am talking about. Information, like the kind on the above website, is what has CREATED the quasi-intellectual human. It is information that lacks context, and as a result, had polluted the intellectual pool with filth. Let me demonstrate:

For the record, I am using the Christian Bible as an example NOT because of my own Christian Background, but because this is a very COMMON example that can be found ANYWHERE. This has the majority SHARE-HOLD on quasi-intellectuals.

1 Corinthians 11:3 *

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.

(Head of every woman is the man)
That is the first example on that page. Let's look at it. We have ONE LINE, nothing proceeding, nothing preceding, and a very general assumption in brackets.. One context...opinion based...and just words that sound bad when put together, and stood alone. I will admit, that sounds bad...that sounds VERY bad. To the quasi-intellectual...this is ALL THEY NEED for their crusade, no pun intended. Now...let's see what happens when we get context, when we critically analyze that page, and we really think about what is posted there. Let's expand our scope and analyze the surrounding areas. LETS READ.

First, lets take a look at the preface on that FULL.

Comment: - According to the Bible a woman is definitely inferior to the man.
I can't see how a self respecting woman can be a Jesus-worshipper [1]. I cannot see
how a woman with self-esteem can believe the Bible is inerrant. The Bible accords
women a status much lower than men. Primitive [2]! The same goes for the Koran.
This is unfortunate for men as well as women.

The 'Holy' books are not a source of inspiration for women that are interested in
elevating their status to that of a man's. The God of the Bible often considers
(sometimes ignores) women to be inferior to men [3].

To me this is still one more reason I cannot believe the Bible or the other 'Holy' books
are anything but man-made [4]. Not a message from a God of the Universe.

I have noticed that church attendees tend to be women rather than men. However,
men tend to be the leaders. It is interesting to note that early church fathers debated long and hard
if women were intelligent enough to have immortal souls [5]
. I'm not sure when this problem was resolved.
You may notice that I have highlighted a few areas of that quote. Let's take a closer look. I am not even going to touch the lack of context yet. I wanna look at the person responsible for allowing quasi-intellectuals to flourish.

1. This person calls Christians "Jesus-worshippers" That is not what we are called...we are called Christians. THis COULD be taken as very derogatory, and imply a very serious bias which is CONTRARY to ideas of critical and fair analysis that true educated people hold in high standard.

2. More derogatory statements by calling the Bible primitive. Again, this implies bias, and even personal malice. Again...very contrary to the notions of critical and fair analysis.

3. Oh, well, if that is true, can you please explain to me why Jesus Christ, himself, a man, personally intervened on behalf of Mary Magdalene, a woman, to stop her from being stoned, a practice that was a man-made law at the time? That seems to imply that the God of the Bible DOES care about women. So not only are you cherry picking facts, you are one-upping the crime by cherry-picking fallacies, and trying to pass them off as facts.

4. are blaming God for what you believe to be man made? You are blaming the wrong guy. Blame humans for what humans write. Should YOU be blamed for what I write in your name? No? So why are you allowed to blame God for what humans write in his name? Oh, that's are a hypocrite. Nevermind. If you believe the Bible to be written by men, then by those beliefs, you cannot blame God for squat.

5. Again, who cares what Humans think. We are talking about God. Don't blame God for what we do.

Already, I have managed to do serious discredit to the information on this page, just based on the bias, mallace, and misinformation in the opening block. This is not scholarly work...but I would feel good betting money on the fact that SOMEONE has used these quotes in an essay, at some point or another, in the effort to discredit, attack, or otherwise, sling mud at the Bible. I literally googled "The bible is sexist" and that was the first result. Lazy, quasi-intellectuals would GRAVITATE TOWARDS THIS because it is easy, requires very little thought, and it is sorted out in such a way that very little blood-flow has to go to the brain to find what you are looking for. This is what the overall issue is talking about.

How do our “intellectual technologies” shape the kind of world we live in? Why is the threat posed by the Internet to deep reading and concentrated thought potentially so troubling?

The ability to quickly call up non-scholarly shit, like the webpage above, has demolished, destroyed, violated, and down-right flogged the ideas of concentrated thought and deep reading.

The point I am trying to make, if it is not clear, is that EASY access to horribly constructed, horribly built, horribly biased, horribly mallice, horribly misrepresented, and horribly twisted "facts" has made this world a pretty shitty one by filling it with Quasi-intellectuals. I didn't even TOUCH the Bible quotes yet, and I have already made a good argument for this idea. However, I will save that for my next post. I want you guys to think about this, debate this, and think about it. HOpefully, this sparks some ideas of how modern technology has shaped our world for the worst, in terms of our intellect.

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Default 09-15-2013
Hells Sniper
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That is a very good point to make Jon. Although I went in a completely different direction with it. I do enjoy what you are saying.

My main reasoning, and this is a REALLY SHORTENED VERSION is that the Net has become so widely used, reaching all corners of the globe, that it controls a lot of people's lives. The internet is constantly updated, maintained, and acclaimed my millions of people daily. In doing so, they lose their ways. Instead of reading full length pages and books, they must constantly be doing something else. They briefly read headlines, skimming articles, and become focused on whats the main subject.

Instead of thinking about it, they just read it and move on. Especially with my generation, we must constantly be doing something and this is how we do it.

The Net is literally changing our lives, our society, our way of life, etc. It really is an intellectual technology that is destroying our intellect.

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