2010: HOW IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK?
Marissa Mayer: It's not what you know, it's what you can find out. The Internet has put at the forefront resourcefulness and critical-thinking and relegated memorization of rote facts to mental exercise or enjoyment. Because of the abundance of information and this new emphasis on resourcefulness, the Internet creates a sense that anything is knowable or findable — as long as you can construct the right search, find the right tool, or connect to the right people. The Internet empowers better decision-making and a more efficient use of time.
- There was an "abundance of information" available before the internet, too, yet somehow nobody thought that the presence of a World Book Encyclopedia in your house meant you didn't have to know anything.
- Interesting that Mayer sees "memorization of rote facts" as something you might do as a form of "mental exercise" or for "enjoyment." She's right! Learning stuff is fun! Thinking, on the other hand, is not fun. Not for the most part.
- Better decision-making and more efficient use of time...I have no way of guessing whether either of those things is true (I'm skeptical of the first claim), but the internet is beyond fantastic for writers. Ed is writing his textbook now, and he can't believe how easy it is to find the sources and information he needs. As a historian working with primary documents, he hadn't really joined the JSTOR revolution. Now he has, and he's amazed.
- Speaking of JSTOR, the general public needs access, too.