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    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2010 edited
    The Internet is mangling culture in general.

    Have you ever found that you can't find a certain something
    on the internet and then tried the American English spelling
    instead of the British English spelling and then found it?

    Or Google "suggests" the American English version?

    This Search engine weight ranking is influencing a lot
    of non English speakers who pick up English instead of
    studying English at a college for 4 years.As you should.[!!]

    It's influencing people that Googles search engine
    weighted version of the word is the correct spelling
    of the word.

    Whats more interesting American English is so different but diverted
    from people who spoke English in the first place.
    (Yes I know there were Germans and French American settlers too)

    But the Majority of the new English speakers in the new century
    do not have it as their first languageand they
    will out number everyone.Their versions will mash it up even more.

    So expect to be corrected in your own language.

    Heri Mkocha
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2010
    There really aren't that many instances of that, and dropping a u from color isn't exactly the biggest deal. Not to mention it'll be taught a certain way regardless, and that is where people will pick it up. Being Canadian, I actually tend to use a mixture depending on how I feel like writing it, and only very prudish brits seem to care at all.

    Also, just out of curiosity, why are you posting like that?
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2010
    The point that "memory is a muscle" is well-taken...but I would just echo comments upthread that not having to remember one thing means you can remember other things instead. Illogical extension of this line of argumentation might lead someone to assert "Books makes us dumber." Or some such.
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2010
    The internets just makes stupidity more visible. Cloistered academics react as if this is some kind of sudden surprise invasion of lollygagging imbeciles when in fact, they were there all along but most people were too embarrassed to let their stupid hang out in public. That particular bar has dropped.

    I do chuckle at the inherent assumption that people are either "intelligent" or "stupid" and never the twain shall meet. I mean, it's not like smart people ever do the most godawful dumb things now is it? "Intelligent" as an adjective to describe an individual person is basically meaningless. As an adjective to describe individual behaviours, it works much better.

    our brains are moving away from being focused on data retention and selection, and are moving towards being focused on data analysis

    Do computers have "intellectual capacity"? They sure can store and retrieve a lot of information... Not very good at argument though.
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2010
    What I'm curious about is why it is that a focus on "data analysis" rather than "data retention and selection" is inherently a bad thing.

    I mean, isn't it good that we're moving away from being mindless parrots?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2010
    It's a bit of a tangent, but I kept thinking about this thread while reading this Kotaku article, and figured I'd throw it into the blender for your consideration.
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2010
    The ability of the internet and modern communication to bombard us with information, information, information, can be a good thing. A new study from cognitive scientists at the University of Rochester suggests that video gamers make faster and more accurate decisions. They conclude that video-game players "develop an enhanced sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this may help with activities such as multitasking, driving, reading small print, navigation and keeping track of friends or children in a crowd."

    Also, and not to be overlooked. There is a marked relationship between intelligence (within the nature v.s. nurture argument) and happiness that suggests that one's ability to process information, not only to understand it but to retain it is linked to social factors like happiness. A happier child is generally better able (or at least faster) to understand a problem/argument/etc than an unhappy one. I refer you to the TED Talk on the Global Happiness Index which ends by making a short reference to social intelligence. The approach to intelligence, or to what makes people geniuses is based primarily on analytical tools within the brain, which in turn therefore ignore emotional intelligence, social intelligence, physical intelligence, etc. The approach to intelligence by many implies that a man or woman who is the greatest dancer ever (for example) would not be considered highly 'intelligent' despite their ability to do with their body that which no one else can do. First we need to get beyond this tendency to consider human beings as mere machines (though on some level we are) and accept that intelligence comes in many forms, only then will we be able to see that that a tool like the internet (if used responsibly... I doubt 4chan is going to breed intelligence, though you never know) brings us more than analytical support can can help us to connect with others and enlarge our social and intellectual spheres. That can only be a good thing right?

    Lastly, on language, yes the internet is leading to a shift in language, where soon speakers of second of third language English will massively outnumber fluent English speakers (if they don't already). A good case in point is a country like Singapore which has developed Singlish, a form of English mixed with Hokkien Chinese, or India where Hindu speakers pepper their dialogue with English words. Soon I imagine fluent speakers of Shakespeare's tongue will need to pick up English language guides so as to understand the majority of English speakers around the world (I am reminded of languages referred to as 'common' within roleplaying games, or perhaps what is spoken on the streets of Blade Runner). Thus, English as we know it will one day become the minority dialect within the future international English. That, just like many other fields of social interaction/engineering is but an acceleration of what has already been taking place for thousands if not millions of years. We, like our tools and morals and beliefs, mix and merge and evolve. All the internet has done has been to accelerate this process a hundred fold. Information that once took years to travel the world now takes seconds, mutating and changing as it goes, splitting like the tree of life into branches of social knowledge that merge and dance around one another, creating at the end of the day new ideas, new thoughts, new embryos of possible new societies.

    Bring it on I say.
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2010
    Just came across the following link, and I'd thought I'd add it for your consideration. It's reminiscent of the idea by Thomas Hobbes of the “war of every man against every man.”... which the internet enables in the most fascinating way.

    Duty Calls


    And for the record, even though the article uses religious doctrine within the Angelican church as an example... I'm an atheist. I just found the argument well laid out and thus, illustrative of one way in which the internet makes us all douchebags.
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