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Culture of Knowing Vs. Culture of Looking Things Up

This is a question from Librarian- blogger Karen Coyle about the whither and whether of reading and knowing something, or simply thinking that knowing is knowing it’s findable online represents a gulf:

Maybe I’m making too much of this, but I see two conflicting cultures here: the one of knowing things, and the one of looking things up. It makes me wonder if in a few years there will be a hit TV show where contestants vie to see who can look it up the fastest. Heck, I don’t know why we don’t have such a show already. Knowing is definitely “old school,” and as a librarian I am firmly ensconced in the “look it up” culture. But I have a strong gut reaction, a negative one, to becoming totally dependent on a network connection for knowledge. It could just happen that I could find myself out in some wilderness area with no satellite signal and a life-or-death need to know the half-lives of certain elements on the periodic table. And then what would I do?

Perhaps, finally, human memory is the ultimate library?

~ by pdoty on March 1, 2012.

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