Thursday, January 3, 2013

Memorization, Technocracy, & the Lens

Google offers the public a plethora of easily accessible knowledge bits and slew of web 2.0 tools to ease our online experience. On the other hand, Google does pose several potential problems. Three potential issues from the Googlization of knowledge include the lost art of memorization, Google’s expanding reign of technocracy, and Google lens effect.

The first potential Google issue involves the concept of memorizing facts. Vaidhyanathan (2011) shares a story about his grandfather who fulfilled his Brahmin expectations. By memorizing all of the Sanskrit text, Vaidhyanathan’s grandfather never could fathom many commonly accepted scientific facts. Vaidhyanathan (2011) illustrated a perfect point of how strict memorization is not a good solution to increase knowledge. However, completing ignoring memorization of information also takes a person to the other extreme which is also very bad. If people rely too much on Google and do not have the basics of information memorized then they could be in trouble. What would they do if there was an Internet black out and they couldn’t access information. What happens if something happens to Google? Google is a vast repository of stored knowledge that answers our questions in an instant, but we still need to acknowledge that some information needs to be memorized.

Secondly, we must watch Google’s technocracy reign as it expands. Google does profit from its services. Nothing from Google is truly free. We are exposed to targeted ads that influence our purchases and reviews of products. As cliché as it may sound we must not let Google become a skynet or the borg. We must recognize Google for what it is – a tool that assists with lightening our workload. We must not let it become us or become our workload.

Lastly, we must realize that we peer through the Google lens for most of online experience. As we complete our dissertations, we need to use our library’s ejournal database to find peer reviewed academic articles to support our research. Yes, Google scholar is a useful tool, but it only shows us part of the academic realm. We need to search out other resources like our library’s ejournal database and others like it. We must be well rounded in our search efforts. Google can do the heavy lifting for us, but we must refine with other available resources.

In conclusion, I believe Google offers many great services. However, sometimes Google is not always the correct entity for the job like the Google Books project. Potential issues linger around the corner, and remember Google is a for profit organization. Altruism is sometimes second on the list of priorities.

Vaidhyanathan,S. (2011). The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry). University of California Press. ISBN-13: 978-0520258822

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