Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rewire Redux

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.

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