Head in the Cloud : Why Knowing Things Still Matters When Facts Are So Easy to Look Up

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The less you know, the more you think you do. Studies indicate that the general public is rich in factoids but desperately poor in basic knowledge. Technology enables the immediate garnering of factual data; however, if the brain lacks the basic framework to attach meaning to these random bits of information, then these details become meaningless. Prolific writer William Poundstone, author of fifteen books, uses Big Data survey techniques to gauge the knowledge of the average citizen. The results reveal basic ignorance in topics ranging from history, geography, politics, world events, and even down to basic difficulty in interpreting food label particulars. Millennials especially, who have been nurtured and raised with technological assets, appear to live in the cloud and reflexively use their devices for instant fact-finding. The problem is that they become rich in trivial data but poor in concept development. The chapters keep repeating survey and test results, indicating the loss of cultural literacy and common knowledge as the public relies less on their brains and more on the encyclopedic content buried in the cloud; you only have to Google the gadget to get the answer. It seems that in this age, ignorance is indeed bliss, an observation that the author relentlessly pursues.

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Author William Poundstone
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 340 pages
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date 2016-07-19
ISBN 9780316256544
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue October 2016
Category Current Events & Politics


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