I always wanted to present my version of the Great Search Engine story, hence this letter. I hope this open letter puts an end to all the blame game doing the rounds.Let me start on an amusing note. Well, I just read the following news item and almost fell off my bed, laughing.
‘Falling classroom standards and a shift towards creative learning have led to school children in UK believing that ‘Winston Churchill is an animated dog, called Churchill from a TV advertisement, rather than one of Britain’s greatest wartime leaders’. Other students even struggle to differentiate between France and Paris, says a former deputy head teacher. She claims that teaching basic knowledge, facts and figures is fast disappearing from class rooms as it is considered old-fashioned’.
Seriously, how lame is that! You can’t shun basic general knowledge, can you? Fine, you are hooked on to the internet, but then you need to jog your memory or it will dodge you one day. The day is not far when you will need me to search for the name of your President, or the capital of your home state. I often wonder whether I am stifling general knowledge, just as calculators choked mathematical skills?
Undoubtedly, there is something about me that has changed the world. And how! Only yesterday when a mother was reprimanding her five year old son for his illegible handwriting, her elder daughter intervened, “Why are you mad at him mom? When he grows up, no one will write. Teach him keyboarding instead.”
Now, this worries me to death. I fear that after the gradual withering of memorizing abilities, writing skills might soon become decadent. What then happens to those calligraphy books, which school children have to complete during summer holidays in order to perfect that faultless ‘g’? With calligraphy becoming redundant, the spelling bee contests which Indian students win repeatedly will become meaningless too. I mean, why would anyone need to memorize spellings when the spell checker is at your service? And what’s more? You send documents with embarrassing mistakes that the spell-checker fails to pick up. Like, “She took up her new position in pubic affairs.” One lazy dude almost ended his marriage when he typed, “I love you my previous wife.” The moron wanted to say ‘precious’ not ‘previous’.
But honestly, am I making folks lazy? Or stupid? Or both?
Lazy, perhaps! Stupid, I’m not sure.
Little surprise then, that the present day writers do not visit libraries any more. And why should they? Just a few clicks, links, and hyperlinks and almost magically any information is available. How difficult it is for you to comprehend the fact that I can only dispense information. Wisdom and intellect are not my forte! Indeed, I have registered a tight slap on the face of the system of rote learning. Remember that certain degrees of memorizing abilities are required for social sciences, general knowledge and languages. How else can one memorize preambles and texts based on religion?
Let me move on to my pet peeve. What's this obsession with the three letter word? I fail to understand why you relentlessly search for it over and over again? I am sick and tired of searching related videos and pictures. At the very kernel of the maddening search are two ladies Sunny Leone and Katrina Kaif.As recently as last month, all I did was to run after the sassy simpering pictures of both girls.
Returning back to the 'stupidity debate' it would take someone more than a little naive to believe that I the root cause for the rampant stupidity. If anything, you are complicit in numbing the grey cells. I simply alter the way your brain functions.
After all, wasn’t it a concoction of intellect and knowledge that led to my birth? Remember, a lot depends on how you use me.
Dude, now don’t go looking for answers by typing ‘Is Google making us stupid’.