The vast resources of the internet can only serve to improve the collective intelligence of society.
internet make dummer!
The internet is responsive; you get what you give.
I have learned things like Photoshop and how to fix something around the house from the internet so it has been a usefull tool but on the other hand it can be a huge time waster.
I look at it like school you can learn from it or you can just socialize.
May all beings give and receive compassion, Live free from fear, And dwell in peace. - author unknown
In a word, yes.What is the effect of the internet?
The internet has allowed me to learn everything I ever wanted to know, by giving me access to the sum of collective popular knowledge.
As much as I love books, they never did that.
Not even a whole library full of books could do that.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice....shame on me.
Someone said earlier that it is a double edged sword and I believe that is apt. If I am disciplined to use my time well, it can only help. This site is a great example; there are many intelligent and well spoken people from all parts of the political spectrum. Avoiding entanglements with time wasting elements is a key; maybe not as much 'fun' as engaging in today's round of 'is Obama ruining America' or 'Bush is STILL not my President' but shepherding one's resources, of which time is one, is key to a good outcome.
My long winded way of saying; it DOES provide that option.
However,... one can't help but notice the numbers of people who claim to be seeking to educate themselves,... who will fight you with everything they can in order to maintain their ignorance about some things.
It's like people who hop from one church to another until they find the one that makes them most comfortable with the way they already see things.
This is a loaded question. The internet could make one more intelligent ...or... it could make them slackers. It all depends on the content. If you use the internet to play those flash games all day, you obviously won't get any smarter. On the other hand, if you use the internet to acess tutorials, ebooks, educational videos, or news you will gain some knowledge.
I use the internet for games sometimes, but the main content I access is tutorials and news. After all the tutorials I've studied; I'm a master at Photoshop, PHP, mysql, Java, and now I'm even starting to study C++.
I think that the internet has exposed me to vast amounts of information that I would not have been able to easily access. However, the ease of accessing that information definitely makes us LAZY, intellectually, IMO.
Considering the primary activity it displaces, i.e. zoning out in front of the TV, yes the internet does make people smarter on average. If you give a kid a more interactive toy to play with he'll tend to get smarter than he otherwise would be. Same idea with the internet versus vanilla television.