Here is an interesting comment that someone made on this article (from the NY Times "comments" section):
"I'm in my early 60's, and I think I feel this loss of ideas in ways that younger generations do not. I had trouble believing Twitter could be a success, for no one, I thought, would have any use for sending 140-character messages unless they were professional Haiku writers, and frankly how many of those could there be?
But I suppose what has happened as a result of the pervasiveness of the Internet should not be surprising. Our brains evolved to pick up and send out social signals. It was important to know what members of the group were doing at any given moment, and to let other know what we were doing: where are you? Have you eaten yet? It looks like rain. A constant stream of trivial information kept the group aware of each other, similar to the way in which birds chirp constantly when they're in groups to advertise their location and warn of danger. It's not for nothing that electronic "Tweets" now serve the same purpose.
Any technology that resonates with these primitive mechanisms will act as a sort of drug, overwhelming a system that is not prepared to handle this new-found ability to endlessly communicate trivialities around the world, using up the bandwidth that was once available to contemplate, imagine, and ponder. "
From the page: "It is no secret, especially here in America, that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy."