Technology Making Us "Smarter Than You Think"

Friday, September 20, 2013


With every advance in technology, skeptics lament the loss of a more meaningful and simpler time, arguing that attention spans are shrinking and critical thinking is corroding. But in his new book, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better, journalist Clive Thompson offers a different take. Brooke talks with Thompson about how all of the YouTube videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, Wikipedia pages – from the mundane to the informative – have produced a unique human intelligence. 

Brad Mehldau - Blackbird

Comments [3]

Kevin Mandel from Brooklyn, NY

Dear Brooke Gladstone,

Thank you for invoking and referencing the late great Marshall Berman.

In a smarter world he would be a lot better known than he currently is. I encountered him in Ric Burns' documentary New York and was for some reason drawn to know more about him. Doing so has been one of the enriching activities of my life. In short, I've read his books and as a result see and, more importantly, engage the world a little differently.

May his ideas and spirit live on!

Kevin Mandel

Aug. 04 2014 02:11 PM
deserthackberry from Texas

I listened to this on my laptop, but only because I live in central Texas and can't receive either of the local NPR broadcasts on my radio, even though they're only 40 miles or so away. I'd prefer the radio, which is loud enough to hear on the other side of the room, not to mention in other rooms.

I sent my family a link to an MP3 of one of the stories, but only because the transcript isn't available yet. Normally I'd send the transcript as well, because it's quicker for them to read it than it is to listen to the story.

So the newer technologies aren't necessarily better, just different. I for one would like to continue to be able to choose which I use, rather than losing access to old technologies by forced obsolescence.

Sep. 22 2013 02:10 PM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

Broo, Clive,
It's utter nonsense that there no direct and ordinary solution for the web having a business model of making ever growing profit from having ever growing control over our personal information. It's a **business model** not a **mind warp** for heaven's sake.

The key many people have recognized is that the business model defines its users (us) as the "product" it sells to businesses, not as the "customer". If we were the customer we'd get the internet like we get public radio, i.e. tailored to the best service it can provide us for the dough we caught up! The software is even "there" for doing it.

All that's missing is the perversely daring and hard working "seed community" that "get's it", that paying $.20 an hour toll, plus the ISP fee could really give us a general subscription to an entire web full of content *MADE FOR THE USER*, and an end to our literally being treated as farm animals asked to give ever more blood...

Sep. 20 2013 09:08 PM

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