Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beware the Google-sperts!

What is a Google-spert?

A Google-spert is a new variety of a creature that has been around for a long time.

Google-sperts can be identified by their constant quoting of what they read "somewhere online" and their inability to believe anything that hasn't been presented to them by glowing pixels.

Someone who has spent 25 years working in a given field, refining skills and knowledge through research and experimentation, is no match for the average Google-spert who can expound at length on any topic given 20 minutes access to the Internet. All information will become instant, indisputable, fact at the hands of the average Google-spert regardless of the actual authority of the source.

Google-sperts are closely related to several older species such as the "someone-once-said-sperts", "I-read-once-sperts" and "In-my-opinion-sperts".

As a genus, these creatures are unable to maintain conversation with their dialogue limited to lectures and the odd soliloquy. These creatures may appear to have perfect hearing, but on testing their hearing is found to be flawed. They seem to have developed an invisible filter around their eardrum which filters out everything they don't want to hear or alters the words of others significantly, sometimes completely.

Those in the "-sperts" genus are not to be scorned though, rather recognised for the pitiful creatures they are.

However, be vigilant! Danger does lurk among the Google-sperts! If you spend a lot of time with these creatures it can be easy to slowly start to become like them, even to become one of them. Signs that this may be happening to you include:

Speaking as an authority on subjects of which you have limited or no personal experience

Quoting the Internet more than once in a given conversation

Coming to the end of a conversation and realising you don't remember anything the other person said, in fact, you aren't really sure if they said anything.

Finding yourself interrupting others often to 'correct' them. This is especially significant if they have 20+ years personal experience in a the area and your only source is "this blog I'm reading"

Perhaps the most SERIOUS sign that you are becoming a Google-spert is you begin to loose the ability to test information and think for yourself, relying instead on the glowing pixels of your computer monitor to do the thinking for you.

Signs you are NOT a Google-spert include:

Asking questions and genuinely listening to the answers

Experiencing the phenomena of "the more I learn about this, the more I realise I DON'T know!"

Calling around and asking advice of actual people as well as posting on Internet forums etc.

Please be careful to guard yourself against becoming a google-spert. How? Well, I am reluctant to speak as an authority on the subject BUT, try examining these scriptures (for a start) and see what YOU think YOU should do.

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Proverbs 19:20

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. Proverbs 11:12

It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. Ecclesiasties 7:5

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:28

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. Proverbs 21:23

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Oh, and yes, I am tickled by the irony of the fact that I blogged this!! Hehe

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