“Does it actually even seem to you as if you have a detailed model of the world around you in your head? Be careful. Yes, it seems to you as if the world is there for you. But not in your head. It’s there. Around you. In reach. And we are made — through evolution — to get the information we need, when we need it.
We have evolved not to be representers-of-the-world, but to lock-in and keep track of where we find ourselves. We use landmarks and street signs to find our way around; arithmetical notation makes it possible for us to calculate with big numbers; we wear wrist watches so that we can know the time without needing to know the time; and we build libraries so that we have access to what we need to know, when we need to know it.
The so-called Google effect is merely the latest expression of a cognitive strategy that is almost as certainly as ancient as our species.
There is no question that the new technologies are changing our lives. But here we need to remember: The more things change, the more they stay the same. All tools extend what we can do, and so, all tools have the potential to extend our minds.”
☞ Does Google Make Us Stupid?
☞ Steven Pinker on the mind as a system of ‘organs of computation’