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David Weinberger

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13 ways the Internet is making us smarter

Posted: 01/23/2012 6:03 pm

Now that knowledge is moving onto its roomy, new, hyperlinked medium, we're beginning to see how much of what we took for granted about knowledge was really due to the limitations of its old paper medium. Knowledge is going from limited to unlimited, from settled to unsettled, from content to connection, from libraries to networks.

This is not an unmixed blessing. But we hear enough about how the Net is making us stupid and is the destroyer of civilization. So, here are thirteen ways the Net is making us smarter.

1. Let's get the obvious out of the way
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• You can look up just about anything you want.

• Sites like WolframAlpha, and increasingly plain old search engines, compute answers to complex questions.

• You can find pages, people, and communities that let you dive deep into just about any topic.

• You can make everything you know, think, or invent available to the world for free.

Not bad for starters.

Flickr photo by jacobms
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