Acad. Boyanov, the smart phone allowed technology to be in our hands, but what is it doing with us?
In his book “The Shallows: How the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember”, Nicholas Carr gives an answer to what is happening with our brain. According to him, with the increase of the volume of information and through the social networks, changes in our perceptions take place, and the conclusions that we make are more and more unordered and unstructured. Our consciousness gets used to working with partial information, with separate facts and data that are not connected with each other. As a result, it gets more difficult for a person to deal with bigger texts and larger compositions. The ability to concentrate and memorize gradually decreases. Social networks significantly weaken established habits. Throughout the history of mankind, obtaining more information has enabled people to increase their knowledge.
How did people in Antiquity perceive
memory and thinking?
At the time of Plato, it was
believed that memory should be used to increase knowledge and improve the
ability for constructive thinking. According to him, memory is a super gift of
nature, which allows constant improvement of knowledge and the processing of a
large amount of information. Practically, in the cultures before script, memory
was associated much less with the character of a person than with the social
and cultural functions of the individual as a member of society. Plato preached
that the development of memory allows for perfection and enables the
development of ideas both for the accumulation of wisdom in the individual and
for the growth of their role in society. In ancient times, mnemonics had gained
special importance as a technique of memorization. This technique had to be mastered
by every Greek who claimed to be a poet, philosopher or politician. For them,
speech was an important condition in order to be present in the public space,
since their contemporaries were mistrustful to a priory-written speech. Script
as an “external memory” was spread widely in the society of those days. Its use
in the past, however, was not considered a particular advantage. For the
Greeks, one of the forms of “external memory” was a group of people who used
mnemonics and worked as live reference books. They had the task of memorizing
legal, personal or religious information.
often say that the Internet is a click away and we do not have to remember.
What are the consequences of that?
The Internet very quickly
divides people into those who look for entertainment and those who enrich their
knowledge. The first group will quickly form the class we call “consumer”. The
other group will be the so-called “educated elite”. We expect a “digital”
division of people, and time will show when the possible destructive social
conflicts will arise. The widening “scissors gap” between the poor and the rich
will speed up this process. The other scenario of improving people’s skills and
abilities by changing genetic material also doesn’t promise anything good.
Human senses cannot be perfected indefinitely, and a moment will come when
deformation will begin with possible unpredictable consequences. No matter how
much an organism is perfected, it has a limit: a hundred meters cannot be run
by a person for a second. Here comes the conclusion that for the future
development of society, the information flow is becoming more and more
important, if not essential.
What will happen to humans in
the digital society?
The subject of the research is
the intellectual and cultural development of humans in the context of a
constant increase in the volume of information and the possibilities for its
application. The human being is also connected to the environment and must
develop their physical qualities for survival in the surrounding reality.
Whether, however, with the addition of more external memory with quick access,
the difference between the human being and the super intelligent robot will
disappear? To what extend would human abilities stretch in perceiving the vast
amount of information and whether the increased technological possibilities,
accessible to mankind, will allow everyone to further develop their intellect?
Whether one day we will reach a rupture between people working with their
intellect and those who have devoted themselves to physical work? These are all
questions from the future.
Social networks are becoming
too popular. But what is their influence?
They bring people into a
virtual world without them being prepared for the risks that arise as a
consequence in real life. In many cases, the sensitive private world is invaded,
which is sometimes the cause of family conflicts. There
are prerequisites for financial frauds against naive people. In a number of
cases, intentional harm is done to a proper business, for example through a
deliberate complaint about the quality of food in a restaurant. The percentage
of Internet users who believe that some social networks should be banned is
growing, since they lead to company bankruptcies, damages to the reputation of
popular figures through slander and false information, and financial
such a rapid dynamics of change, what approach should be applied to education?
Special attention should be paid to technical and economic education institutions since the dynamics in technology and business processes is significant. Of course, computer technology is becoming more and more widespread in almost all areas of modern education – from natural, humanitarian and social sciences to arts. But their widespread use has both a strong positive effect and certain shortcomings. The problem is that education is a conservative system, and the digital world imposes very different paradigms.