The Three Second Rule

Artificial Intelligence and Electracy

The idea of a three second rule comes from my first reading. In the article titled “Digital Media versus Analog Media” by Brian Carroll he discusses the three second rule. The three second rule is, a site “has approximately three seconds to download properly, present itself and engage the viewer… or else” (Carroll 31) the reader will not stay on your site. This rule intrigues me and also sets up what I am going to post about from the two most recent readings. It intrigues me because as Kirsten Wigg says in Bridesmaids “no one can get anywhere in 3 seconds. You’re setting me up for a loss already.” That is my point entirely, three seconds is not enough time to do anything. We are living in an age where people are impatient and want to be efficient to the max, but what are the results that this type of attitude has on our brains?

“Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

[Source: WordPress (Nereus Worldwide)]
In the article Is Google Making Us Stupid by Nicholas Carr, Carr brings up this idea that because we are constantly surfing the web, skimming articles, getting as much information as we can. That it has a direct impact on our ability to focus. Carr uses himself as an example, he says he used to be able to sit for hours reading and doing research from books. With the internet becoming an even bigger part of our lives, researchers do not need to waste hours reading books. Carr found himself not being able to even read a couple paragraphs without getting disinterested in the post. He says “once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski”. A perfect metaphor for what is happening to our brains because of this “hopping” and “bouncing” through the internet. We are living in an era where “efficiency” and “immediacy” are above all else, just like the three second rule mentioned above. We as a whole “seeking maximum speed, maximum efficiency, and maximum output” which is actually changing how we think. I also learned that our brains are “almost infinitely malleable”, which is awesome, but currently we are hard wiring our brains to act exactly like a computer maximizing as much information as we can and moving on to new information within three seconds. Rhetorical question to think about, do we want our brains replaced with artificial intelligence? Because that is Googles end goal, “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

“Introduction: Electracy”

Electracy is basically literacy of the internet, it combines the words electronic and literacy, literally meaning “electronic literacy”. It is a theory created by Gregory Ulmer that is to maximize ones efficiency of everything electronic. Ulmer believes that electracy is the next wave in the law of change which is defined by “everything is mutating together into something other, different, with major losses and gains”. This is the self-improvement theory I have been mentioning in my past blog posts. The concept of always improving on what we have to always coming up with the next best thing, it started with the oral history to the written and so on and so fourth throughout history. Electronic literacy is the next phase in my theory of self improvement. But the major losses and gains raises a red flag in my mind. In the previous article about Google we have learned our brains are already changing and morphing to potential dumbness. It brings up that question again. do we want to replaced by artificial intelligence? Quite frankly for some minds they are already taking that turn, and for me I do not want that same fate. I am happy with how my brain is hardwired now, I don’t want to become a shell of a human dependent on the internet. Even though my brain might be to late to be saved, Ulmer wants to teach electracy as early as elementary school.

Should this be Taught from an Early Age?

With all the information I have learned from these two articles, no I do not think we should be putting young children in front of computer screens as soon as we can. Their brains are already not even fully developed, who knows how their brains would morph and change. To hard wire their minds so early on would be one of the biggest losses with the internet being the new wave of change. Let them find the internet for themselves and use it to whatever capacity they want. A teacher should not be the one to start a kid down that slippery slope in my opinion. It would be a tragedy to teach a child to start a life of absolute efficiency, constantly depending on technology. A kid should not live a young life based on the three second rule. Ulmer replied to one of the comments as such “this institution is very young and still evolving”, if he views the internet as such. He needs to see a child as the ultimate form of being young and evolving, I am still young and evolving and I would never have wanted to be brought up on this idea of electracy. We just do not know how all this will affect our minds yet.

Until the evolution of the internet is solid enough where we know exactly how our minds could be changed. We shouldn’t raise children to have them be in front of a screen.