Once self-copying memes had arisen, their own, much faster, kind of evolution took off. – Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
Dominic Basulto imagines that digital devices are a kind of primordial soup in which “digital bits” of Big Data will propagate to the point where “they don’t need us anymore.” He speculates upon Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes:
Where things become both exciting and creepy is if the data replicators (data memes) become truly “selfish” and start to challenge the classic genetic replicators (genes). It’s not just that Big Data wants to become Bigger, it’s that it may eventually want to out-compete our genetic material.
Continue reading “Big Data will destroy you: Techno-jitters”
Research suggests we’re less likely to memorize much from the “influx of information,” simply because it’s so readily available online.
“Thinking with computers is a natural extension of that. In the same way you depend on a friend, now you depend on Google,” Daniel Wegner at Harvard, told TechNewsWorld.
Instead, the brain will more often remember where the information can be retrieved, rather than what the information actually is.
“We’re a lot smarter now, and that’s why we use it. We’ve become somewhat addicted because it really extends mental capacities. It’s kind of like a mental prosthetic device that’s better than what you’ve had before,” Wegner said.
According to Paul Reber, professor and director of brain, behavior and cognition at Northwestern University, our brain is wisely strategizing.
“There’s no evidence we are forgetting things more rapidly now than before the Internet. It seems likely that with a much larger amount of information generally around, we are probably trying to remember more. In addition to studying what we forget, it would be important to look at how much we remember,” Reber said.