Write a supporting response of this content accepting that google…

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Write a supporting response of this content accepting that google us making us stupid with the author’s point of view as well as personal experience.
How Google is making you stupid
By Larry Getlen
In 2012, Monty Python comedian John Cleese posted a video online in which — citing the research of a friend named David Dunning — he explained the following: “If you’re very, very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you’re very, very stupid? You’d have to be relatively intelligent to realize how stupid you are.”
Journalist William Poundstone uses this research — known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — as a springboard for his new book “Head in the Cloud: Why Knowing Things Still Matters When Facts Are So Easy To Look Up” (Little, Brown and Company).
In it, he argues that Americans are lacking a shocking amount of knowledge in the age of Google. It may even be because of it.
Denning, a psychology professor, and graduate student Justin Kruger discovered the Dunning-Kruger Effect at Cornell.
In one experiment, they subjected students to tests of knowledge in various areas, then asked how they thought they did.
Those who did the worst thought they did the best; those who scored moderately well had the most accurate perception of their results; and those scoring the best underestimated their performance.
“Those most lacking in knowledge and skills,” writes Poundstone, “are least able to appreciate that lack.”
This is especially true today in our information age. Because everything we need to know is readily available on our computers, we are less likely to learn things we think we can find online.
This is known by scientists as the Google Effect.
In a 2011 study conducted by Harvard’s Daniel Wegner, volunteers typed 40 trivia facts into a computer.
Half were asked to remember them, and the other half weren’t. Also, half were told their work would be automatically saved, the other half that it would be “erased immediately.”
The volunteers were later tested on what they typed, and the results were surprising.
“Those instructed to remember the information scored no better than those who hadn’t been told to do so,” Poundstone writes. “But those who believed that their work would be erased scored much better [than] those who believed it would be saved.”
Poundstone regards this as “consistent with a pragmatic system of memory.”
“The brain . . . apparently it recognizes that there is less need to stock our minds with information that can be readily retrieved,” he writes. “Facts are more often forgotten when people believe the facts will be archived.”
But rather than just freeing our minds from information overload, our failure to learn new things makes us susceptible to the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which leads to all sorts of negative consequences.
How much don’t we know? It’s a lot.
A 2010 poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion found that a quarter of American respondents couldn’t identify the country from which we fought to gain our independence.
When Newsweek asked 1,000 Americans to take the US citizenship test the following year, “about 40 percent didn’t know the countries the United States fought during World War II.”
Yet another study found that “barely 50 percent could identify [Thomas] Jefferson from a picture, despite the fact that his face has been on the American nickel since 1938.”
The findings for millennials were even worse, Poundstone writes, than for the public at large.
While noting that “millennials are the nation’s most educated generation,” he cites a 2015 report by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization that creates the SATs, with some discouraging findings. “[The ETS] compared the verbal, mathematical and digital-media skills and knowledge of US millennials to those of their peers in 22 other nations,” Poundstone writes. “The US scores were among the lowest in all categories.”
“These young adults on average demonstrate relatively weak skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments compared to their international peers,” the report reads.
“Equally troubling is that these findings represent a decrease in literacy and numeracy skills for US adults when compared with results from previous adult surveys.”
Poundstone lays out a full page-and-a-half list of facts that over 50 percent of US millennials can’t cite, including “anyone who shot a US president . . . who formulated the theory of relativity . . . [and] the largest ocean on Earth.”
Our horrible knowledge of geography, to name one example, can have tragic implications.
That’s because broad geographic ignorance shapes public opinion and, at times, policy.
“In 2014, as Russian troops entered the Ukraine and America debated how (or if) to react, three political scientists took a survey to see if Americans knew where Ukraine was. Asking people to find it on a map, only 1 in 6 could.”
This ignorance drove political perception.
“The researchers found that, the farther a person’s guess was from the actual location of Ukraine,” Poundstone writes, “the more likely it was that the person supported a US military intervention in Ukraine.”
But ignorance of facts doesn’t just lead to potential disaster for world events. It can also spell doom for one’s bank account.
Throughout the book, Poundstone cites evidence of how ignorance of certain facts correlates to lower income, poorer health and decreased happiness overall.
Poundstone asked those taking his survey to name seven elected officials, including “at least one of your state’s two US senators,” and “your city or town councilperson.”
“This question is a predictor of household income,” Poundstone writes. “Those who could name all seven offices made about $43,000 more a year than those who couldn’t name any.”
Another significant indicator was correct pronunciation of words. In a survey of people’s ability in this area, there was “a $55,000-a-year household-income difference between those who did best and worst on the survey.”
There are findings like this throughout the information spectrum. Do you know the second digit of pi? Congratulations — your household earns $32,000 more per year than those that don’t.
And knowledge of sports trivia, regardless of gender, means a huge increase. Know who Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams is? If so, you make $23,000 more a year on average than someone who doesn’t.
Scientists have yet to determine exactly why these correlations occur, but Poundstone offers some likely theories.
“One is that survey performance reflects the quality of education,” he writes, comparing a degree from Stanford to “a less distinguished school.” But the results might also reflect “the quality of the student.”
“Some students buckle down and learn; others coast,” Poundstone writes. “The survey results could reflect how engaged the participants were with learning, in school and beyond. If that’s the case, the results certainly suggest that it pays to be engaged and to retain what you learn.”
Income is only one area of life found to be improved by greater knowledge of facts. Surveys found statistically significant differences in both overall health and likelihood of being married based on possessing information.
There is one less-surprising area of knowledge that correlates with increased income, and that is knowledge of personal finance — those who scored high on a quiz on the topic earned an average $18,000 a year more than those who scored low.
Here, there is a clear correlation between real-world knowledge of basic math and ability to manage one’s money.
Poundstone quotes a 2010 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta showing that “poor numerical skills (measured by ability to answer simple survey questions) correlated with being unable to pay a real-world mortgage.”
“Borrowers who did poorest on simple financial math questions,” Poundstone writes, “were more often late with their payments, more likely to default and more likely to be foreclosed upon than other respondents.
“This was true regardless of income, ethnicity and other demographic factors.”
Quoting studies by Olivia Mitchell and Annamaria Lusardi, of the Wharton School and the George Washington University School of Business, respectively, Poundstone states that “a third of the nation’s wealth inequality can be attributed to a ‘financial knowledge gap.’ The more knowledgeable save more and invest more intelligently than the less knowledgeable.”
One piece of financial knowledge in particular was “a notable predictor of income, wealth, and happiness.”
Since we’re firmly entrenched in a way of life that is dependent on Google and social media, how do we ensure that we remain commonly knowledgeable?
The trick, says Poundstone, is to read general sources of information, not just those in your particular area of interest or obsession.
“My findings suggest that those who aspire to be well-informed should not overdo the customization of news,” Poundstone writes, recommending instead an amalgam of topically broad sources.
While those who rely on 24-hour cable news are generally the least informed, people who watched network nightly newscasts know more because of the general, world-spanning nature of the information they absorb.
“Cable-news viewers may regard network half-hours as quaint and obsolete. But those shows present a reasonable summary of the world in 30 minutes,” Poundstone writes. “Cable viewers — who often spend more time watching news than viewers of network news shows — miss the curated overview as they flip from channel to channel.”
The only news consumers as poorly informed as cable-news viewers are those who rely on social media or a search engine — specifically, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and AOL.
As it happens, the very customization touted as the source of social media’s greatness is also making us stupid, as those who jump from link to link rarely stay long enough to absorb information at any depth.
Poundstone notes a Pew Research study finding that direct visitors to a news site visit 25 pages on average, while those guided there from Facebook or Twitter “visit fewer than five pages and spend less time on a page.”
“The social-network users are scooping up the cherries and whipped cream of the news,” Poundstone writes. “Then they move on to whatever catches their birdlike attention.”
However we do it, Poundstone believes it’s essential for internet users to remember the importance of retaining knowledge and to endeavor to stay sharp in this regard, despite the ease of the Google search bar, always ready to show us the world.
“Learning improves cognitive abilities that are useful in almost any task, including a career,” Poundstone writes. “Learning causes better brain function, which in turn causes higher income.
“Our brains need the process of learning to function at peak performance. That facts can be looked up elsewhere doesn’t change that.”

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