The time-traveller scenario demonstrates that how you answer the question of whether we are getting smarter depends on how you classify “we.” This is why Thompson and Carr reach different results: Thompson is judging the cyborg, while Carr is judging the man underneath.
Smartphones and the internet give us a phenomenal amount of information, but chances are we actual have a limited knowledge.
[grows to a gigantic size]
Genie: PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS!
[shrinks down inside the lamp]
Genie: Itty-bitty living space!