Pancake People and Online Dictionaries

I always get lost in metro stations. There are at least four exits. I cannot ever find the right one and try others as usual. Although I have made this mistake many times, I just cannot remember the right exit. One day I was with my friend and he said: “It is because we do not need to memorize the information. Internet teaches us how to reach the information, not to keep it in our minds because whenever we want, we can ask someone (the way in the metro) or we can google and find any information we are looking for.”

Today I read an article saying Richard Foreman made up a term for the ones like me: pancake people.

Here is what he said in NY Times 6 years ago:

“But today, I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self-evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available.” A new self that needs to contain less and less of an inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance – as we all become “pancake people” – spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.

Will this produce a new kind of enlightenment or “super-consciousness”? Sometimes I am seduced by those proclaiming so—and sometimes I shrink back in horror at a world that seems to have lost the thick and multi-textured density of deeply evolved personality.”

After reading all these, I understood why I cannot memorize the words any longer. The reason is ‘online dictionaries’. Many of us find them very useful. They are fast, easy to use… However, they make our brains literally ‘lazy’. The fact that the meaning of any word is only one click away puts away the necessity to memorize it. In high school, I did not use online dictionary and I still remember the words that I learned during those years. Now, we do not spend any time and effort to reach the information and our brains get the things we learn via internet as useless. I have no idea what to do about this situation because even writing this, I used an online dictionary and Google to check the spelling!

Visit our Facebook page.


4 responses to this post.

  1. And I’ve heard that Alzheimer thrives on lazy minds…


  2. Posted by Hélène Alexis on November 3, 2011 at 11:30

    A “senior translator”‘s opinion : in our translation school many years ago, we had to learn lists and lists of words and the manager M.Loloum had made a conference about dictionaries, he said those should be used only in very seldom cases.. ! I often think about that when I use online dictionaries which are very useful and practical tools, especially when you work in a technical field.. And in order to prevent Alzheimer I try to remember a few new words of vocabulary every day, that’s what I love in our job, you can learn something everyday ! By the way, I love pancakes !


  3. Posted by Maiden on November 15, 2011 at 18:15

    Don’t beat yourself up about it – many people in language-related fields have poor spatial awareness. As a matter of fact, many dyslexic people have superb 3D and spatial intelligence – it’s a trade-off.

    Also, our world is becoming so complex, that we couldn’t possibly rely completely on our memory anymore. The internet isn’t an extension of the mind, but of the library, and a hefty one at that. It took minds to make it, it takes minds to use it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: