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Luddites are right

Timothy Geigner (giggling fool) gets a good titter in at Techdirt

I love luddites.

Those examples aside, I have to admit this is a new one for me. Apparently there once were radios that you had to wind up to use and Trevor Baylis, the guy that invented them, says Google is making younger generations brain dead.

“Children have got to be taught hands-on, and not to become mobile phone or computer dependent. They are dependent on Google searches. A lot of kids will become fairly brain-dead if they become so dependent on the internet, because they will not be able to do things in the old-fashioned way.”

Let’s see if I can break down the pure wrongness of this kind of thinking with a couple of fun little analogies.

  1. Children have to be taught how to tend to their horses and not become dependent on automobiles or public transportation, otherwise they may not be able to ride horses any longer.
  2. Children have to be taught how to use an abacus and not become dependent on calculators, otherwise they not be able to use abacuses in their adult daily lives.
  3. Children have to be taught how to unhook a chastity belt, otherwise they may not be able to have sex once they are married and somehow chasisty belts come back into circulation because….yeah, because.

If a student always relies on a google search to solve a problem – they never deeply understand the answer. As a result, they never understand if the answer supplied is correct for their QUESTION.

They never learn to think analytically.

I hire many developers. My first interview question is to ask how the operating system handles multi-threaded applications. The best developers know the basics of an operating system. The mediocre developers – the ones that produce race conditions, code with security vulnerabilities, bloated data structures and crappy db access are all people like Timothy (the author) that laugh at “luddites” like Trevor.

Posted in management, social commentary.

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