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Do people today think more or less than previous generations?
Our daily activities, education, specialization, technology, government have all changed over human history. We have more time available for activities apart from just staying alive, but do we have more time to think through ideas.
People have always been prone to distraction and we may have more distractions today than people of the past had. So, do we think more or less on the ideas we encounter than people of the past and do we have better answers.
We do have more time for activities beyond survival but as far as thinking goes, hands down we think more today.
Now I'm not saying we think better or worse (that's a different question) but we are processing information at exponential speeds than our ancestors. Example: We both (now and then) think about survival, it's different sure, but nonetheless, survival. The difference is, we do it while driving, listening to more info from our radio, reading the signs posted along the way, watching the GPS and talking to our wife on the phone about what we need at the store.
Recent studies have shown that the young "xbox" generation is capable of processing thought much faster than us plain old generation "x"-ers.
Perhaps I misunderstood the question but as far as who had more thoughts running through their brains in a day, it's us folks today. Again, that's not to say we think straight....just that we think.
You understood the question well enough Cre8tor, I am interested in both mores, frequency and in-depth. Physical activity is also thought to lead to the enhancement of cognitive function, memory, concentration, behaviour and academic achievement.
Having access to technology does not make the end user smarter. I'm real sure that even a Neanderthal can drive a car (& get car insurance) - I see it on the road every day!.
Just because you drive a car - can you repair the differential on it?
You have an Ipod yet - can you define basic computer concepts such as FIFO?
If you were magically transported with zero equipment to the outback in the middle of nowhere - unless trained in survival - how many days do you think you would last?
Also quantity of useless thoughts such as Snookie or Snoop Doggy Dog is not the same as quality of thoughts such as the monk who spent 20 years with pea plants in medieval times - the great god-father of DNA science.
We think less - a whole - holistically less. Today we are specialists. People who know a whole lot about very little. It's a way to pigeonhole yourself into a career dead end when the technology evolves into something else.
It similar to be given a math equation to solve with ease - yet a word problem is difficult because have to actually think.
I think that the percentage of people who think today is about the same as that of previous generations. There are much more distractions today and this is how the masses use their free time. Some examples of distractions are all day television (mostly garbage), sports, surfing the net, and useless and pointless texting. Most people don't even bother to vote. End of rant.
As an older individual, I grew up in a different era and saw that most people had to think-out their actions ahead of time because times were harder and "waste not,want not" was the standard way of thinking. As time moved on and through the internet and other very fast forms of communication, technology rushed at a blinding speed and many have grown dependent upon the latest means and devices to communicate. There is a general concept of rush,rush,rush, and think about your actions later(it may be well too late), everything is so sped up to break-neck proportions and little time is given in planning, as it is the right thing to do. There are those in our present society that do the thinking for us and this can be good and also bad, at times.
I think that we think just as much as out ancestors did. The times have changd and the focus has changed but the basic needs are still the same. Technology may have added value to our ability to acquire information, however, it also may be a distraction whe it comes to having quality personal time with friends and family. I think that there are enough trade offs that in the end it balances out over time I would not put one group over the other.
The people of the past did build some engineering master pieces. For exaple, even with modern technology it would be difficult to recreate the great Pyramid of Giza in Egytp.
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