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Saturday, March 31, 2012

According to Carr, IQ test scores have been gradually rising since before World War II. However, "other measures of intelligence don't show anything like the gains we've seen in overall IQ scores. In fact, even IQ tests have been sending mixed signals"(Carr 145). Given that internet use has dramatically increased during the years between 1999 and 2008, scores on tests like the PSATs went low. For example, the average critical reading score fell from 48.3 to 46.7 and the writing score dropped by 6.9 percent. The internet therefore must be a factor to why "literary reading aptitude suffered the largest decline, dropping twelve percent."(Carr 146). Before the internet was invented, like in between the 1970's and 90's, research in countries like Norway and Denmark  have been going south. Carr insisted that James Flynn concluded that the internet isn't necessarily decreasing everybody's intelligence, however, it is transforming the way people think about intelligence. Flynn said "we weren't more intelligent than our ancestors were, but we had learnt to apply our intelligence to a new set of problems"(Carr 147). Rather than smarter than our ancestors are or were, we are equally as smart in a complete variety of ways. Basically no one has a better brain than another. Every one has different brains than another. Since I've started using the internet, and since my parents have made statements which includes "It is bad for you." and "It is not productive in any way.", I have always wondered what intelligence and IQ really means other than how fast a person learns. I am sure that many people today are forming their own opinions of what intelligence really is because of the many theories people including Nicholas Carr and James Flynn have concluded. I think that sometime later this century, the college board, along with testers of what is called the IB program will make renovations to their testing system because they will have a much more thorough understanding of how intelligence has evolved and is currently evolving. It is just another change of how things function in eras just like the change before this one and the change before that. For example, during the era where there was slavery, masters had no idea what cause slaves to slack from their work. Like they never even thought of them the way we would normally think of people. As the centuries went by, more and more people began to realize the horror of slavery and racism towards African-American. Before the internet was invented, people in culture usually used text and print as a source of intellectual growth. As the internet is a new source of intellectual growth today, it is likely that it will take time for more people to realize what the internet is really doing to our brains. Just like how it took a long time for people to view slavery as horrible. When do you think that the standardized testers will renovate their methods of measuring intelligence? Do you think they ever will? I have a feeling that right now, many people in today's society think that the internet is messing with intelligence, should be banned, and I am sure they are thinking many other opposing opinions. I think Carr should find more proof of how the internet is changing the way intelligence is thought about rather than just say what the internet is doing to our brains. How is it changing the way we think?

-Drew Theran 3/31/12

No Cell Phone? No Internet? No life.

                                                  No Cell Phone? No Internet? No life.


Carr once stated that without technology an individual from this new high-tech era pretty much becomes nonexistent. If you asked any high school or college student their thoughts on the matter they would definitely agree. Starting as early as middle school if not sooner every kid has a cell phone.  As cell phones have become more popular over the years the number of families with house phones has decreased dramatically.  Therefore, in order to get in touch with anyone now a days you must have a cell phone. Without a cell phone a kid has no way to interact with friends or family unless internet is available. Moreover, without a cell phone making plans with any friends becomes very challenging, and almost like a chore. You have to go out of your way to talk to anybody rather than just speed dialing your closest friends.

The internet has also become a heavy influence on the lives of many individuals. “The cloud,” the internet, is filled with countless social media websites. These sites have become a part of many people’s everyday lives. They impact how people interact with one another, the friends we have, and individual’s social lives altogether. The internet has become as important as the cell phone when it comes to interacting with friends. People meet on the internet, and make plans here. One of the most popular sites at the moment is said to be Facebook. People are judged on their Facebook accounts and can even lose a job over the information they post on their pages. Without a Facebook, or any other social media account individuals again will have a hard time contacting anyone or making plans for that matter. Without both a cell phone and no internet access a person’s social life is at a very high risk for being nonexistent if it already is not. 

        I have to say I also agree with Carr’s idea that without technology we can become invisible and nonexistent pretty much. I am even testing this out myself. I have deactivated my own Facebook to see this for myself. However, I have not turned my cell phone off which makes a huge difference in the whole theory of becoming nonexistent. I cannot bring myself to turn it off; turning off my Facebook was already hard enough. Since I have turned it off a few of my close friends almost immediately started asking what was going on with me; as if turning my Facebook off was the end of the world. Other than that I have not talked to too many people recently. It has only been a week so far but not having a Facebook is just weird to me. Due to the fact that it has only been a week I cannot say how much more invisible I have become since I turned my account off, but if I see any results I will be re-editing this blog. I do already feel out of sync with the rest of the world a little I am not going to lie. Facebook was my way of easily seeing what was going on with my friends and family. Now, without Facebook I am just out of the “the loop”. This is easily bearable since individuals have been living without social media websites since the dawn of time, but for me living in this day and age it is just awkward not to be a part of social media websites.

-Britney Villafane