The headlines are full of panicked stories about how people are getting dumber. I wonder if this is related, less directly to the web, than to a changing sense of time. No longer do wives wait for their husbands to return from sea voyages. When you can skype and email, the sailor has not really gone, in the sense he once did. This is an example of what I mean by a changing sense of time.
So everything is more jumbled together, nowadays, without these gaps in which to consider, breathe, wonder, wander; can fruit for the next season. And, mainly, crucially, responses are demanded. And if demanded, human beings are that species which will answer. That is part of the motion of speaking. There are responses when something is said. There is no such thing as--- one person speaking. That first speech is an incomplete action til there is a reply. Part of a definition of warfare is that there are times when speech is NOT allowed. So one reason people seem dumber may be as simple as that they do not have time to come up with a considered response.
These thoughts do not address the question of humans getting dumber. That is both true and not true, and not the purpose of this post.