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The Impatience of the Google Generation

Glowing Fish A note, and the main point: (366 comments)

The first obvious note to make is that this is an article about how the behavior of students doing academic research, which is why the reference to google, besides being trendy, might be a little off the mark. I think a good deal of google searches are for simple pieces of data (the phone number of the nearest Chinese restaurant), not for serious research purpose. Even wikipedia is generally consulted for simple facts (what is the population of Montreal?) rather than research as such.

The main point is, I think that students naturally become impatient when dealing with data, because there is so much out there. I certainly do. But there is a big difference between how data and knowledge are gained. If I am dealing, say, with a glossy pdf full of buzzwords and generalities, I will gloss over it impatiently. If I find something that is full of actual knowledge, and concepts that aren't described in bullet points, I can be very patient while reading it.

more than 6 years ago


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