bp's science: recalling facts

I recently read an article about the game show Jeopardy.  It is right there behind Wheel of Fortune as one of the longest running game shows ever.  The article mentioned that people enjoy it today almost as much as they did in the past, but the novelty of recalling facts is losing its coolness.  Because we can Google anything we want at pretty much any time we want, having the skill of remembering tidbits is no longer required or valued as highly.

Is this a good thing? Or a bad thing? Or does this even matter?  I certainly have not put any facts to long term memory recently.  I have memorized about eleven telephone numbers, but more than half of them I learned before age 15 and some are obsolete now.  The sharpness of our brains depends upon our working it.  We learn more vocabulary by reading. We become better problem solvers by routinely thinking creatively.  We hone our ability to recall things when we put our memory to the test often.  With so much info at our fingertips are we really smarter?  Or is Googling making us dumber?  I cannot say that I have read anywhere that this deluge of facts is making us less smart, but I have to wonder how it does affect our brains.

No science here, just questions. But isn't that where science begins?  Okay, enough with my philosophical questions.  I'd better get to memorizing a quote or verse of scripture or maybe even a poem from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.


Chap said...

What an interesting thought. And I don't know the answer. Being able to google things is such instant gratification. When I am at my dad's without a computer at my fingertips I store up things I want to google later when I return home.

jo said...

Wow, I hadn't thought of this before. What a shame you know how much I love recalling facts. I think I should exercise my brain too I'll get started right now!