Effect of computers on economics and education

Two very interesting pieces.

Nicholas Carr on why computer memory is no replacement for the biological one:

The shift in our view of memory is yet another manifestation of our acceptance of the metaphor that portrays the brain as a computer. If biological memory functions like a hard drive, storing bits of data in fixed locations and serving them up as inputs to the brain’s calculations, then offloading that storage capacity to the Web is not just possible but, as Thompson and Brooks argue, liberating. It provides us with a much more capacious memory while clearing out space in our brains for more valuable and even “more human” computations. The analogy has a simplicity that makes it compelling, and it certainly seems more “scientific” than the suggestion that our memory is like a book of pressed flowers or the honey in a beehive’s comb. But there’s a problem with our new, post-Internet conception of human memory. It’s wrong.

Paul Krugman thinks that in the computer age, education (or what we give in the name of) might not be the key to economic success:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that education is the key to economic success. Everyone knows that the jobs of the future will require ever higher levels of skill. That’s why, in an appearance Friday with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Obama declared that “If we want more good news on the jobs front then we’ve got to make more investments in education.”

But what everyone knows is wrong.

Take a look!

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