Cognitive Prosthesis

While reviewing my notes from the first day of my programming class, I came upon this jewel from the professor”

“The personal computer is a cognitive prosthesis“.

Before today, I thought of my pc and internet access as my drug of choice, but I now realize it is more than a drug. It is not a cause of dependency, but, rather, a tool that allows me to do more than I can do in my natural state. It is an artificial attachment to my being that provides that which I did not have before.

A brief example: While checking e-mail in the college library this very day, the young lad sitting at the adjacent terminal turned to me and asked if I was a professor. “No”, I said, “I’m a student, too. But what do you need?” “Well, I’m writing this paper, and I don’t know whether to use lay or lie.” Quick as a wink, I went to my Google home page, typed in “lay lie” in the search window, and in a micro-second got the search results. I showed the grammar web-site, with the correct usage, to the fellow and concluded the lesson. In about 30 seconds. Could I have done this 2 years ago? I don’t think so.

Cognitive prosthesis…………hmmmm.


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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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