Does The Internet Really Make Dumb People Dumber?

HardOCP News

[H] News
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
0
I didn't know the internet supposedly made "dumb people dumber." I thought the internet just made everyone dumber. :D

Unsurprisingly, Gates agrees that the internet can make smart people smarter. By analogy, the printing press also made smart people smarter because it gave them cheap, easy access to far more information. Since they were capable of processing the information, they were effectively smarter than they used to be. It's equally unsurprisingly that he disagrees about the internet making dumb people dumber.
 

PCunicorn

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
1,638
It works both ways. If you're trolling the dumb sub Reddits or YouTube comments, you're definitely not gonna get any smarter.

But if you're using the internet as a tool, to look up information, of course it can make you smarter. I've learned so much on the internet that I never would have known without it.
 

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,595
I can agree. Those that can't take a lot of information and process it properly (believe everything they read) will just find more BS. Those that can filter through the BS and analyze things better will do better.

I could read a lot of 9/11 conspiracy theories. I could filter the BS and see that some things just aren't reasonable. Others - they believe every thing they read and 9/11 was an inside job and the planes were flown by members of the Bush family.

That, and like it says - smarter people will seek out more information. They won't read something and just believe it. They'll look for sources.

(Of course, who's the idiot.... I read the quote and didn't even read the linked article.... :) If I'm wrong in my assessment above - the article is true.).
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
6,871
In before the mob of people who insinuate they're smarter than everyone else through a thoughtful seeming comment about the intelligence of individuals and the variable impact of Internet usage on their intellect. :)
 

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
Four posts in and nobody has noticed that it's linking to the wrong article? I guess it's true.
 

Youn

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
5,939
I try to counter internet usage with something like mit opencourseware... oh wait, now I merely THINK I know shit.... ugh, there's no way to win ;(
 

Comixbooks

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
18,511
Working hard is the only thing that makes you smart that doesn't mean walking around in a 3 piece of shit suit making power moves.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
6,871
Four posts in and nobody has noticed that it's linking to the wrong article? I guess it's true.

You've obviously forgotten that there's a website, hardocp.com, that has a link to the article and this thread which makes it possible to have read an article and posted about it without caring about the contents of the opening post. :p
 

kbrickley

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
7,514
In before the mob of people who insinuate they're smarter than everyone else through a thoughtful seeming comment about the intelligence of individuals and the variable impact of Internet usage on their intellect. :)

I am not really smarter than everyone else ... they are just dumber than me :cool:
 

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,595
Four posts in and nobody has noticed that it's linking to the wrong article? I guess it's true.

Nope. Links to the right article. I had to click the forum link which took me to the wrong article - so you're partially correct. However, via the front page - it links to the correct article.

Internet, bitches.
 

Thermite Paste

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
5,651
I agree that the internet is similar to the invention of the printing press, in that it greatly accelerated the ability of people to share and obtain information. The "smart vs dumb" argument doesn't make much sense though. People can definitely become smarter by absorbing information, however you would have to be extremely ignorant to the overwhelming contradictions to false information to actually lose intelligence as a result.

Basically the internet has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence, but what it does effect is the ability of people to find false information if they are looking for it.
 

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,595
Basically the internet has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence, but what it does effect is the ability of people to find false information if they are looking for it.

And allows that false information to propagate faster. Look at all those fake Facebook posts and the like. It makes Snopes a relevant site because of all the BS.
 

flashoverride

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
496
Oh god why did I read the comments?

Maybe the title should read, "Does the internet make liberal people who agree with me more awesome or people who disagree with me totally more dumb and stupid rethuglicans who are racist and hate babies?"...

The internet does neither, of course. The internet is a series of inter-connected networks operating on the Internet Protocol. On top of that, services run that make available a vast amount of information. Not all of the information is valid (or even coherent), but resources and methods exist to verify the validity of data accumulated from these disparate sources with varying degrees of confidence. This data can then be utilized by people in forming thoughts and beliefs, and in making decisions.

The "internet" can't make people smarter or dumber, it can only transport information.
 

mynamehere

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
1,763
Oh I believe it!

I've seen too many idiots that have a world of knowledge at their fingertips, yet are too dumb to put it to use and in the end still know nothing. Oh, they can look up dumb crap on FB or YT, but seem to be able to look up important things like answers to questions or a "how to" guide...probably not even with a "LMGTFY" link. :mad::confused:

With such an abundance of knowledge there is a dearth of wisdom.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
3,771
The internet just lets people turn it up to 11. Kooks are kookier, crack-pots are more cracked, smug assholes are twice as smug. It also allows people of a single mindset to gather and avoid any opinions or information that might assail their preconceptions of the world. The whole situation works to make people seem less intelligent, maybe they are, maybe they aren't. The internet community is certainly more polarised, polarisation of a community always leads to hostility warped perceptions.
 

sfsuphysics

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
15,232
I don't think the internet makes people dumber, it just gives everyone a voice and now you can actually hear all the dumb people tell the world what's on their mind. Where as before all that dumbness, hatred, etc stayed within your local community.
 

schizrade

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
4,885
The internet allow me, and other smart people, to not need to memorize a bunch of shit we don't need to access all the damn time to free up our memory for shit that matters.
 
D

Deleted member 204526

Guest
If you're not by nature intellectually curious, having a wealth of information to hand isn't going to help. All you'll do with it is OW! MY BALLS! with it all day.
 

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,595
The "internet" can't make people smarter or dumber, it can only transport information.

It's a word thing. Internet (capital I) is the network and everything contained within it. Be it on FTP servers, http servers or anything else. internet (lowercase i) is considered the inter network of devices transporting bits to and from...

If you're not by nature intellectually curious, having a wealth of information to hand isn't going to help. All you'll do with it is OW! MY BALLS! with it all day.

Similar to books & magazines. Some people go for non-fiction and others go for Entertainment Tonight or Us Weekly or other tabloids. Or TV - some were watching Discovery, TLC, etc (before they went to shit) and others watch American Idol or Kardashians....
 

flashoverride

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
496
It's a word thing. Internet (capital I) is the network and everything contained within it. Be it on FTP servers, http servers or anything else. internet (lowercase i) is considered the inter network of devices transporting bits to and from...

LOL WUT

"The Internet, referring to the specific global system of interconnected IP networks, is a proper noun and written with an initial capital letter. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet

I'll just leave this here for your reading enjoyment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect
 

Jagger100

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
7,698
But if you're using the internet as a tool, to look up information, of course it can make you smarter. I've learned so much on the internet that I never would have known without it.
Maybe is makes you smarter but doesn't do much for accuracy.
 

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,595
LOL WUT

"The Internet, referring to the specific global system of interconnected IP networks, is a proper noun and written with an initial capital letter. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet

I'll just leave this here for your reading enjoyment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

Ok, swap it around. Capital I is for the network. It may not be official, but that's the way it's been referred to the past couple decades. I always thought of it as the network you refer it to, but I was shown the difference many years ago. At that time (mid-late 90's) there was the network (Internet - internetwork of connected networks) and then there was the content + network (internet - collection of data on various servers throughout the internetwork of connected networks). It didn't include just the WWW (which many call 'the internet'). It was the information on the networks.
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
The article mainly talks about the people who don't question what they read/hear. The second they hear something that supports their train of thought they are immediately drawn in.

Before there was limited media to do this on; printed news/magazine, then tv and now an unlimited resource that is the internet.

Stupid people now have an unlimited resource to keep themselves stoopid. :D
 

nightfly

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Messages
3,367
The smartest thing I ever learned was that I'm simply not that smart. I'm a dumbass like everyone else.
 

dr.kevin

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,053
the internet allows dumb people to look at an exponential amount of dumb shit, so they get dumber at an exponential pace
 

kamxam

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
1,883
I tend to browse the wiki for stuff that's interesting myself. :p
Did help my mom and my step-dad out when they couldn't get their Kia Sedona to shift. Looked up similar problems on the net, and found out it was just a fuse for the gauges that was stopping everything. They were about to get it towed to the dealership. Popped in the fuse and everything was okay.
Kicking and screaming i'll eventually drag them into the 20th century...lol
 

punisher

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Messages
6,266
Smart people can discern valid information from garbage so...net plus. Stupid people can't....so net loss.

Stupid people find, and believe, bad information posted by other stupid people, or people with an agenda. There is such a volume of information no matter how insanely stupid you or your views are, damned if you can't find something out there that reinforces your belief(s).
 
Top