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Thursday, 9 February 2006
Googled out

Not long ago I came across the coinage "googlebuggered", defined as "the realisation that there is no website which is going to back up your point". How terrible that must be. You may have to refer to a book, or even make your own case.

Google is a Good Thing, in many ways, but am I alone in finding that it makes your brain lazy? Instead of trying to remember things, you google them.

I was pondering on this in the light of a new survey of university students:

The study, by Oxford University's educational studies department and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, interviewed academics from 250 universities. It says that today's students, even those with top grades at leading institutions, are likely to "lack independent thought", have "a fear of numbers" and prefer the internet to books.

In some ways it is too easy to find information. Perhaps when we had to make more of an effort, we were more discerning about the quality of the information. Of course nobody wants to turn the clock back to a time when there was no internet, least of all someone posting on a blog. After all,  time saved, by, for example shopping on the internet, could be spent reading books. But there have been stories of plagiarism, and this starts in the schools, with children cutting and pasting for their projects. Even copying things out was better than this - there was a chance that some of the information would lodge in the brain on the way from printed book to exercise book.

In some ways, those who benefit from, and appreciate the internet the most, are those who have not grown up with it. One thing is for sure, the internet is a good servant but a bad master.

Posted on 02/09/2006 6:09 AM by Mary Jackson
22 Feb 2006
Send an emailjohn williams
the internet is a good servant but a bad master That same sentiment used to hang in Yate's wine lodge, but as 'Wine is a good servant but a bad master.' I have to confess that I would be lost without the net. Remember all of those inconsequential but nonetheless annoying arguments about things that couldn't immediatley be proved or disproved? Well no more. Google it and it's the end of the argument.