A post by Clark Humphrey on MiscMedia alerted me to A Better Pencil by English professor Dennis Baron; in the book, Baron asserts that the Internet is making us smarter, and better communicators.
From Vincent Rossmeier’s Salon interview with Baron:
“I start with Plato’s critique of writing where he says that if we depend on writing, we will lose the ability to remember things. Our memory will become weak. And he also criticizes writing because the written text is not interactive in the way spoken communication is. He also says that written words are essentially shadows of the things they represent. They’re not the thing itself. Of course we remember all this because Plato wrote it down — the ultimate irony.”