No, The Internet Won’t Make You Stupid

Nick Carr is worried the Internet is making us stupid. It’s not so much our preoccupation with LOLCat photos or videos of fat girls flying off of swings that concerns him as it is the way we read and consume information on the Internet itself. He thinks the Internet is rewiring our brains, perhaps for the worse, and he’s written a book to warn us all about it called The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. Carr also finds links to be too distracting.

Carr raises some good points worth contemplating, but his arguments also strike me as incredibly self-serving. After all, he is an author who makes money writing books. Of course he is going to argue that they make you smarter than the Web, with all of its neurological distractions. Carr is the master of technological alarmism. It sells his books and provokes debate, and this time is no exception. Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker wrote in the New York Times on Friday that “cognitive neuroscientists roll their eyes at such talk,” and NYT Bits blogger Nick Bilton marshaled some other counter-evidence as well. Carr then responded to Pinker’s Op-Ed at length, claiming that Pinker has an “axe to grind here” because Carr’s point that experiences can change the brain on a cellular level “poses a challenge to Pinker’s faith in evolutionary psychology.” Of, course, Carr has his own axe to grind. Remember, he’s the one pushing the new book.

Read more here…(TechCrunch.com)

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Facebook Facts (some of which) You Probably Didn’t Know

Love it or hate it, you have probably heard of Facebook. You have visited the site, seen if it’s for you, and made the decision to either try it out or dismiss it as a fad or worthless time-drain.

Regardless of your feelings, here are some facts that are interesting to some, unknown by most, and will enhance your knowledge of the largest social network in the world.

  1. Facebook was originally bankrolled by a co-founder of Paypal for $500,000
  2. There is evidence that founder Mark Zuckerberg stole many of the ideas and much of the code from ConnectU. They sued Facebook and settled for an undisclosed amount.
  3. 400,000,000 people log into their profile at least once a month
  4. Half of those people log in every day.
  5. 70% of Facebook users live outside of the US.
  6. 44.1% of Denmark has an active Facebook profile.
  7. Only Google gets more traffic.
  8. Yahoo! tried to buy Facebook in 2006 for $1,000,000,000.
  9. 8,300,000,000 hours are spent on Facebook monthly.
  10. The fastest growing demographic in America on Facebook: Women 55+.
  11. FAD is a mental disorder – Facebook Addiction Disorder. FAD. Ironic.
  12. Court notices and summons sent through Facebook are legal and binding in Australia.

Click here for a visual of those facts as well as more info…(Socialblade.com)