No Right Answer: Is the Internet a Bad Thing?

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Is the Internet a Bad Thing?

Thanks to the internet, people know less, yet have access to more. Is this a bad thing? Chris and Kyle dive into a question that truly fits this show's title.

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People scoffed at farmers long before the internet; after all, working in the fields for a living was far less genteel than writing poetry or being an artisan. People also use the internet to learn to farm and to buy and sell things produced on farms. There are also people on the internet who look down on farming, and all manual labour by extension.

It's just like an avocodo: There are good things and bad things about it, but generally having an avocado, and making sure everyone else has one, is better than no avocados at all.

It's mainly because of people communicating over the Internet that the Arab Spring happened. It's also thanks to the Internet that I learned how bad things were in Argentina.

it was for me i had a videostore:(

Technology is advancing too fast while humanity is barely grasping maturity.

Son of a Farmer here - to answer the question as to "How" the internet helps Farmers:

1) My Dad is able to keep track of minute to minute changes in the weather - which is a huge deciding factor in whether anything (or one particular task) gets done that day.

2) Easy access to publicly available maps (such as Google) allows my Brother to create nutrient and GPS maps of my Dad's field. This allows my Dad's self-steering tractor to pull an automatic planter that manages seed dispersal to maximize yields operate basically on its own with very little direct intervention.

3) This relates to my first point, but there is now a localized weather map that tells my Dad what times and what days he should be running the dryer on his grain bins. He just goes to a modified Google Maps interface and clicks on where his dryers are and this website will calculate based on current relative humidity and/or wind speeds to determine if turning on the dryer fans is a good idea.

4) Instant access to commodities markets allows my Dad to figure out how his crops would sell without the need for a broker or anyone else to figure that out for him. There was a time when these markets would be featured once or twice per day either on radio or on the local news broadcast.

5) Email, and community websites allow my Dad to connect with other farmers and analysts on an unprecedented level. Before you'd go to the coffee shop and listen to other local farmers talk about their strategies or what they thought was the best, these opinions were often fueled by family tradition or just personal anecdotes. This wouldn't necessarily result in the best crop yields for every farmer.

That is all I can think of off the top of my head.

Human condition determines everything that's good or bad because good and bad is a human construct. The internet is neither good or bad, it's like a rock or dirt or a tree. It's just a thing and it's there. How people use it and how other people judge how it is used is what determines the good or bad.

The reason why someone perceive the internet is bad is because people really do suck, yes! Kyle was right.

This idea that True Wisdom might be hindered by easily available information, is the same thing that Socrates said about writing itself:

http://www.units.miamioh.edu/technologyandhumanities/plato.htm

At the Egyptian city of Naucratis, there was a famous old god, whose name was Theuth; the bird which is called the Ibis is sacred to him, and he was the inventor of many arts, such as arithmetic and calculation and geometry and astronomy and draughts and dice, but his great discovery was the use of letters. Now in those days the god Thamus was the king of the whole country of Egypt; and he dwelt in that great city of Upper Egypt which the Hellenes call Egyptian Thebes, and the god himself is called by them Ammon. To him came Theuth and showed his inventions, desiring that the other Egyptians might be allowed to have the benefit of them; he enumerated them, and Thamus enquired about their several uses, and praised some of them and censured others, as he approved or disapproved of them. It would take a long time to repeat all that Thamus said to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts. But when they came to letters, This, said Theuth, will make the Egyptians wiser and give them better memories; it is a specific both for the memory and for the wit. Thamus replied: O most ingenious Theuth, the parent or inventor of an art is not always the best judge of the utility or inutility of his own inventions to the users of them. And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

And guess what? Socrates was wrong. Literate people are not stupider than illiterate ones.

Yes, information without wisdom can be misused, but it's benefits are still so tremendously huge that the potential for misuse is dwarfed by the benefits. It's possible that SOMEONE will not gain true Wisdom from books full of information, but the information that people do gain is still enough to greatly improve society compared to neolithic standards.

The same applies for the Internet. Sure SOMEONE could take badly presented memes at face vale, but the same Internet can also be used by many others to reveal these as myths. The same Internet that told me the story of panty wending machines in Japan, has also told me serveral times over how it is a myth. And I'm ultimately better off knowing both sides of this trivia, than neither.

The same applies to greater things, about how it effects politics, science, arts, etc.

Knowing more stuff might be not as great as being more wise, but it sure beats knowing less stuff.

More information is better than the lack of information.

What a massively unintentional racist. Almost hilariously so, but you know, not because of unintentional racism.

It really was more than a little repulsive to watch a white american focus so heavily on how the Internet 'is bad' because it might possible have had some negative impacts on some people - and also because it drew attention to how stupid they can be. And because it made them entitled! And entitlement is bad! Listen mate, in some parts of the world 'entitled' means having clean drinking water, and access to basic human rights. How 'entitled' of them. Not everyone gets that.

"The internet made Russia look bad!" That because Russia is a shithole place to live for a huge number of people you dumbarse.

Some of us are actually old enough to remember life before the internet. I don't want to go back to a world where I have to wait 6-18 months to see tv or films from America, only to get charged twice as much for an inferior product, just to subsidies US ticket prices. I like a world where digital piracy has given us the tools to fight back against crap like that.

Plus the positive things the internet is doing to Africa. Very rarely can you say that a western influence has been almost universally positive for that part of the world.

I disagree with the point about increased entitlement regarding media and piracy.

After all, the Internet created digital filesharing itself, it was a new thing, not a pre-existing thing that people suddently felt more entitled to do than before. Traditionally, media was commercialized by performances, by selling objects (like books, tapes, discs), and by advertisements. And these are still going strong. No one is feeling more entitled to shoplift, or to sneak into theatres, than before piracy.

What the internet changed, is that now there is this NEW area of interest as well, that both copyright holders and Internet users want to have a claim on, personal file-sharing: "Information wants to be free" vs. "copying is theft". And yes, it creates resentment and conflict, but not quite "entitlement".

Whoever ends up winning that struggle, will have just gained an extra ability that didn't exist pre-internet, instead of depriving someone of their pre-internet abilities.

This is an age old argument that has taken many forms. I maintain that the morality of a tool is neutral (amoral) and that the use of the tool is what is moral or immoral. The internet is a tool, a complex tool, but a tool none the less. It enables good behavior and bad behavior in equal measure: it is a method, nothing more. I think a more salient question would be, "Is the world a better or worse place because of the Internet?"

In my opinion the world is a better place; we cannot hide humanities crimes any more. The revolution will be televised, uploaded to You Tube, Tweeted on, and finally rendered into a GIF on tumblr. Things like the Arab Spring and the crisis in Ukraine did not happen in a vacuum the way it would have 30 years ago. Especially in the Arab Spring, we came together as a world and watched and supported the people in Egypt and other countries try to become free. The outcomes notwithstanding, we offered them ways to access the internet when they were cut off my their own government, we kept them connected and in so doing, connected with them. In this way, I think we are better off because of the Internet.

I want a escapist button built into the PS4

Chris is right! It's like this newfangled electricity thing! Now people are all uppity going to the toilet at night with the lights on! Back in my day, people had to walk through wolf infested mud swamps to take a dump in the dark! Bringing a torch would only attract nocturnal wildebeest! It built courage!

Now men are actually sitting down to take a piss! Because it's medically better and whatnot! Bunch of softies! And don't get me started on this medicine thing! Now this conveniently enlightened people will start asking for affordable medical care for all... Just because the technology has come to a point where the current economical paradigm has become obsolete, polarizing and viciously exploitative does not mean we should abandon it! If it ain't broken don't fix it! And if I fail to grasp the ethical and evolutionary ramifications to mankind's development within said "fix", then nobody gets to benefit from that fix until I profit from it!

Alterego-X:

The same applies for the Internet. Sure SOMEONE could take badly presented memes at face vale, but the same Internet can also be used by many others to reveal these as myths. The same Internet that told me the story of panty wending machines in Japan, has also told me serveral times over how it is a myth. And I'm ultimately better off knowing both sides of this trivia, than neither.

The same applies to greater things, about how it effects politics, science, arts, etc.

Knowing more stuff might be not as great as being more wise, but it sure beats knowing less stuff.

More information is better than the lack of information.

What gets me about the "Internet is bad because misinformation!" thing, is that it sets up a logical fallacy. Are we somehow not exposed to a barrage of misunderstanding and misinformation if the internet is not around? What's our source of information then, a few news sources with blatant bias? What the internet offers isn't just a metric ton of bad information, but also a metric ton of information to counter that bad information. The onus is on the individual to educate themselves with the tool they've been provided, as opposed to simply reading what the paper's wrote or what the TV said and having nothing much else to go on. In short, I agree with you completely. Here here!

Alterego-X:
I disagree with the point about increased entitlement regarding media and piracy.

After all, the Internet created digital filesharing itself, it was a new thing, not a pre-existing thing that people suddently felt more entitled to do than before. Traditionally, media was commercialized by performances, by selling objects (like books, tapes, discs), and by advertisements. And these are still going strong. No one is feeling more entitled to shoplift, or to sneak into theatres, than before piracy.

What the internet changed, is that now there is this NEW area of interest as well, that both copyright holders and Internet users want to have a claim on, personal file-sharing: "Information wants to be free" vs. "copying is theft". And yes, it creates resentment and conflict, but not quite "entitlement".

Whoever ends up winning that struggle, will have just gained an extra ability that didn't exist pre-internet, instead of depriving someone of their pre-internet abilities.

You know what our kind of piracy is?

Forgery, the selling of unauthorised copies! Just that almost nobody pays, beside ad-revenue and server uphold.

Shakespeare had a form of copying-defence in that only he had a complete script of his piece. An actor got only his lines, stagehands were only told what to set up and the requisitor only what knew what to make. Seems standard today, to hand only needed information out, but to think that traveling musician or theaters did only origin stuff?

I....would struggle to disagree more, I very, very much feel that there most certainly IS a right answer here, and the answer is that the internet is not bad. it CAN be bad, but literally EVERYTHING can be bad when abused. As a whole for human society, it adds far, far more then it takes away. Yes, its easier to spread misinformation, but its also possible to actually discover the truth. Before you would have to go to a library and spend X amount of time searching for a CHANCE to find something, and even then, those books could still be just as inaccurate or misreprenstative as the internet. Propaganda, stereotypes, intentional misinformation, all were still extremely common, and again, far harder to disprove.

Now you can, at the very least, get to hear multiple sides to an argument, and have the chance to decide for yourself which to believe. Yes, Japan is commonly looked at as weird or freaky as a generic internet statement, but if you actually care to look you can find out actual information, see videos or even talk to people who live there. And again, the internet is hardly the beginning of stereotypes...the area I live there are still people who I would not be surprised to see shoot a black man for walking on their land.

People have always assumed they know everything, the internet hasnt changed that. They may now have the excuse that they read about it in an internet article, however even before they had that ability, they were still just as absolutely certain that they were right, because it is human nature, we dont like being wrong.

The internet is a good thing simply because it has replaced parts of an old system that simply had to be renewed. It used to be that unless there was a book or a person whom you could ask... then you would simply have to remain ignorant on the subject at hand.

I think of the internet as a great big (messy) library where we continue to spread our knowledge aswell as our questions to as many people as possible in the hope of gathering a more complete picture.

As individuals we humans aren't all that wise, but if enough people attempt to answer the same question then the average (the middle ground) answer will almost always either be the correct, optimal or most beneficial one.

One more observation:

You can't negate "it has created many jobs" by saying that "it has also made many obselete", because all thing considered, that's still a good thing.

If I spare $30 on postage stamps now that I use e-mails, and a postman gets unemployed, then the postman can put up a Kickstarter and gather thousands of people's recently spared $30 to draw that graphic novel he always planned to. The Internet has made one job obselete, then created a new one.

But we are NOT where we started. We used to have to waste money an effort on getting the letter from A to B, while now the letter freely and magically gets there, and an extra comic book gets made instead. Making old jobs redundant is a GREAT thing.

Add together hundreds of years of such development, and we have moved from a world where most people had jobs in the agrarian sector and in manufactury, to one where most people still have jobs, but in the service sector, yet we have a lot more food and clothes and tools and toys and art than then, thanks to various technologies largely taking over production.

K.ur:

Alterego-X:
I disagree with the point about increased entitlement regarding media and piracy.

After all, the Internet created digital filesharing itself, it was a new thing, not a pre-existing thing that people suddently felt more entitled to do than before. Traditionally, media was commercialized by performances, by selling objects (like books, tapes, discs), and by advertisements. And these are still going strong. No one is feeling more entitled to shoplift, or to sneak into theatres, than before piracy.

What the internet changed, is that now there is this NEW area of interest as well, that both copyright holders and Internet users want to have a claim on, personal file-sharing: "Information wants to be free" vs. "copying is theft". And yes, it creates resentment and conflict, but not quite "entitlement".

Whoever ends up winning that struggle, will have just gained an extra ability that didn't exist pre-internet, instead of depriving someone of their pre-internet abilities.

You know what our kind of piracy is?

Forgery, the selling of unauthorised copies! Just that almost nobody pays, beside ad-revenue and server uphold.

Shakespeare had a form of copying-defence in that only he had a complete script of his piece. An actor got only his lines, stagehands were only told what to set up and the requisitor only what knew what to make. Seems standard today, to hand only needed information out, but to think that traveling musician or theaters did only origin stuff?

I'm not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me.

I didn't know that Russia was a bad place to live, might be I was thinking of a different Russia then the one they show on American TV...

"That doesn't mean that Americans are obsessed with blow-up sheep"

Of course not, that's the Welsh! :P

People have always scoffed at farmers.

Why avocados? Is avocado poisoning a thing?

"I wanna talk about the internet."

No! No good can come from this!

I actually more or less agree with the idea that overall, the internet probably does more harm than good. I don't agree with the idea that you can't tell real from fake, though--most of the time it comes down to looking at primary sources. The fact that people repost Onion articles as though it was serious news points to the real glitch in the Matrix. People. We don't want to think critically or do research, and one of the internet's flaws is that it enables us to completely sidestep it.

And, I mean, there are political revolutions happening because of Twitter and other social media (finally, it has a use!), but that same media is being used to spread disinformation, misinformation, etc.

But at the end of the day, the internet is a tool. When we get down to the nitty-gritty, it isn't in itself a good or a bad thing. Yes, people tend to suck, as you guys put it. Can we divorce the tool from the uses, though?

Are we talking about the internet here or computers in general? Computers came before the internet and can do many great things without it, but it seems like some people are bringing in the 'computer' side of things and calling it the 'internet'.

It's not a bad thing in general, but can certainly cause some pet peeves and aggravation! Most of that comes from the Internets ability to give any idiot an anonymous soapbox to stand on.

Arguing that the internet is a bad thing as about as valid as arguing that the printing press was a bad thing.
Yes you can use it to spread lies and so on, but it helps people to share ides, and that as through out human history proven to be a very good thing. To share ides and thoughts is probably the number one reason that humans is more advanced than any other animals, this is what make us great!

People sucked long before the internet, now it is just in front of everyone to see. Human nature doesn't change even when technology does.

KUDOS for the topic, from all the episodes i watched so far, this one is the most deserving of the title "No Right Answer". It can and has been applied to all human advances. Fire, currency, industrialization, nuclear power..... and is in all those things, the answer really depends on how you actually use it. It is after all us, humans that are douche bags, we always have been and we will probably continue to be for quite some time. New technology just allows us to find new ways of being douche bags, which by no account means it is the tech that is bad..... it's just us :)

A common misconception is to think of the internet as a humongous "thing" where you can find stuff. It's not. The internet is a mere medium through which you can access content stored somewhere - not on the internet, but another computer. Therefore the internet can't be either good or bad, it simply doesn't care.

What is good or bad is the content put there by fellow humans. What you can define good or bad, are some people. You know the saying: don't hurt the messenger.

All the time I see politicians or other people arguing about policing the internet, regulating it. But what they should talk about is about regulating the people that goes there. Not through shackles on the medium, but through consequences.

More over, you can think of the internet as a giant mirror of state the humanity. If you don't like what you're seeing, then maybe you should try to accept who we really are.

I do agree that the Internet is a powerful tool I don't think we are mature enough for - as a species, as a society, as our conglomerate of various cultures - and so using it so much highlights the areas in which we fall short of what we could - what we ought to - be.

I'm not sure it's made us worse, but it certainly makes our flaws more glaring and possibly wider-reaching in their effect on everyone "around" us - as "around us" has expanded in number significantly, of course.

There would be less of the issues against the Internet that were highlighted in this episode if we were simply better people all around. It's not the Internet's fault that misinformation or skewed information is everywhere - that's on us, that's on the people who use the tool, not the tool itself.

The tool gives us lots of advantages and is itself a good thing when it's used for good, and a terrible thing when it's used for making shit worse. It's all in who is using it and how we have developed before this point of having it - and we could be using it to improve ourselves more than we do, and I hope someday we will tip the scale on that. Like all the technologies we've discovered, it's on us what is done with it.

I read the title and I actually had one of those brain freeze moments where the sheer stupidity of what you said overwhelmed me.

I can't even being to argue with all the self defeating points you made but the conclusion is pretty much exactly it. The internet is a tool. It has made people better, happier and has increased human interactions, just not face to face interactions.

Every single thing you said against it was against human being being human beings without the internet, it just so happens that you have the internet to learn about all those things (See what I did there?).

I grew up before the internet. People did the exact same things, the exact same way. They had worse preconceived ideas because they didn't HAVE the internet to have more then the school of "My father said" with post graduate learning at "Some bloke in the pub told me".

P.S.: Do you really work at Nintendo? Can you say Hi to Mr Awesome for me?

The Internet isn't a bad thing, people are a bad thing.

It has bad stuff and good stuff so its sort of like a person.

But it does have porn and endless free entertainment so therefore it is an awesome person.

kailus13:
"That doesn't mean that Americans are obsessed with blow-up sheep"

Of course not, that's the Welsh! :P

People have always scoffed at farmers.

Why avocados? Is avocado poisoning a thing?

Come at me m8 I'm Welsh and currently on the wrong side of the severn bridge, I'll throw a fucking wool coated welsh cake in your eye.

There is also nothing wrong with farmers they are beautiful people

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7zoZe-ZATs

verdant monkai:

kailus13:
"That doesn't mean that Americans are obsessed with blow-up sheep"

Of course not, that's the Welsh! :P

People have always scoffed at farmers.

Why avocados? Is avocado poisoning a thing?

Come at me m8 I'm Welsh and currently on the wrong side of the severn bridge, I'll throw a fucking wool coated welsh cake in your eye.

There is also nothing wrong with farmers they are beautiful people

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7zoZe-ZATs

U wot m8 I'll bash your fookin head in I swear on me mum.

Some of my family are farmers. Wouldn't say they're the prettiest of people though.

That video is a thing of beauty, class, and sudden dubstep.

well maybe you dont have the ability to tell lies from truth on the internet. the rest of us know what "source checking" is.

also congratulations on realizing that "people kinda suck"

You can't blame technology and advancements in human achievement for it being misused.

Just because one asshole decides to be a real-life mad-scientist with his biology knowledge, doesn't mean we should have never created the field of medicine, I don't see this debate as being any different, you teach people to use the internet better and apply basic fact-checking and critical thought rather than relying exclusively on it to tell you the truth.

And as to relying on the internet for basic services... I think you're exaggerating with the "I want it now!" thing, since shipping times are still a thing, not to mention that for certain products, the internet is the only option other than visiting another country purely to buy that item, which I think you'll agree would be a waste of time and money.

And I think the anti-regulation reaction was more because the efforts to regulate in the past have been draconian and have favoured corporate interests in their efforts to carve up the internet into controllable chunks, corporations that themselves often seem to go largely unregulated, because that's a fair double-standard.

At the end of the day, I think the internet is still growing up, somewhere in its awkward teens maybe, and depending on how it's nurtured, it could become something better.

kailus13:

U wot m8 I'll bash your fookin head in I swear on me mum.

Some of my family are farmers. Wouldn't say they're the prettiest of people though.

That video is a thing of beauty, class, and sudden dubstep.

I'll get me mam ta poisen yer withh water from the taff!

Only Afro is a glorious channel if you like Dark Souls humour.

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