A few posts ago I
ranted about gave a carefully reasoned analysis of
an article about how computers were destroying our brains or
something. Now Cory Doctorow makes the same points in a slightly
different context. He even mentions the old “calculators are
destroying our ability to do math” silliness and explains why that
argument is not just wrong but the actually misses the point that by
liberating us from spending years developing a facility to do arithmetic
in our heads we are free to learn to think about mathematics at a more
abstract and useful level.
The link takes you to an 11 minute video interview of Doctorow that is well worth your time. Doctorow's main thesis is that technology frees us from worrying about many of the mechanical details of writing and mathematics and allows us to concentrate on their more important aspects.