If my IT people did not have Google handy, and the ability to ‘ask the forum’, I would not have half of my issues solved. The answer is always there. Somewhere. They don’t consult a manual, they Google a question.
‘I am going to do a bit of research’ does not mean anymore a trip to the University library, but half an hour on your laptop with a late.
Google is now a verb. Re-Google and Development is a new function.
The guys who ‘want to organize the world information’ and their servers have answers to your questions, even the ones you did not have yet. ‘It’s all there’.
I am told that physicians in some places will Google for answers. I am not saying they will tap into a particular web-based medical database, but, ‘Google it’.
There is a new type of Research which consists in re-search, which means largely re-Google.
In the Old Analogue World, one book took you to another, you took notes, perhaps you went back to Ms Smith, the lovely librarian, who could also point you into the direction of other books. It was not research. It was a long and eventful intellectual pilgrimage.
In the digital world, when you type a few initial letters of your question, Mr Google knows what you want and completes the search for you. Not only that, it lets you know how fast he knew. I have just Googled myself and I’ve got, Mr Google says, 18900 results on me, in 0.47 seconds. 0.47 seconds to find me! Wow! Considering that supercalifragilisticexpialidocious took 0.42 seconds and Barack Obama 0.53, I am not doing that bad.
I bet Ms Smith could never beat these
If this is how it is, how education is (my teenagers do homework in school- compulsory iPad), how we get to things, we must learn how to think critically. In the Old Analogue World, a key skill was ‘how to find’. In the Digital World, a key skill must surely be ‘how to filter’.
After filtering, distinguishing between noise and signal, and deciding that the information basket is full, and a new re-search (sorry, a new re-Google) does not lead to anything new, the next skill is Sense Making,
In the Old Analogue World, one of the risks of intellectual shortcut was to rely on ‘one book’. Thomas Aquinas knew this: ‘hominem unius libri timeo“, that is ‘I fear the man of a single book’. I suppose, Aquinas would say today ‘hominem unius Google timeo’. To take Google answers as a face value is the equivalent to the ‘one book person’.
Rambling? Not really, it’s all out of fear and restlessness about the progression towards ‘not thinking’. I can’t help it. I see it more and more anywhere. Automatic pilot everywhere. Homo Googlin is Sapiens with an iPhone.