Monday, May 18, 2009

Is the internet & Cram sites encouraging cheating & Stupidity?

A New York Times Article examining whether or not online “study aides” are actually hurting the education of those who use them, basically helping/encouraging them to cheat. I have had a similar thought recently, when going to the internet for an answer.

You have to question, why is the answer on the internet accurate? Or rather, why would anyone bother to learn anything, if you can just “google it” and have the answer? How long until the knowledge is only held by one or two people? Or hell,
no one? I took this example:

Say I look for an answer to a
greywater installation issue. I type the query into google, and it links me to some yahoo answers forum where someone asked a similar question and someone answered it. See here’s the issue I have: we go to google to get answers to the questions. Right now say there’s 10 sites that answer the question because there’s 10 people that have done the legwork and figured it out. But say in a few years, since there’s an answer in yahoo answers forum that shows up on google as the first hit… well, we stop doing the legwork. Everyone just types it into google and accepts that answer. Now there’s just the one site with the question and everyone just diverts questions about it back to google which just links back to the one post, which is then I guess given “God Status;” it’s on google therefore it just is.

Who’s making sure that information is accurate? Who’s
learning anymore? The internet was supposed to free the information and give it to everyone. But I think about it, and I feel like there’s a possibility we’re just leading ourselves down a path to common stupidity. “Google” will be the smarts, and whoever has the link on google will just be right, just because it’s on google. Go watch Idiocracy. Gaaaah… I can’t believe I’m recommending that movie. But watch it, and you’ll understand what I mean here.

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