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Old 01-25-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
taglines
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What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Nicholas Carr has a book titled The Shallows and subtitled
What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
coming out in the spring, his publishers say, noting in a PR piece:

cover art here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...mazingbooks0b0

“Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story last year, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. Weaving insights from philosophy, neuroscience, and history into a rich narrative, The Shallows explains how the Net is rerouting our neural pathways, replacing the subtle mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher. A gripping story of human transformation played out against a backdrop of technological upheaval, The Shallows will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds. LINK:

http://www.theshallowsbook.com/nicho..._Shallows.html

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Old 01-25-2010, 11:42 PM   #2
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That sounds pretty inter..wait, I'll finish it later.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:00 AM   #3
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:20 AM   #4
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Another luddite for future generations to look back on, and laaaaaaugh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is_Goog...g_Us_Stupid%3F

(Just kidding-- no future generations will remember this guy.)
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:30 AM   #5
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Brains-to-mush is a popular theme. Along with "kids these days just don't understand!" Ever read Allan Bloom's "Closing of the American Mind?" The end is nigh! Oh wait, that was 1987. Well, the end is coming mark (mock) my words!
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
Brains-to-mush is a popular theme. Along with "kids these days just don't understand!" Ever read Allan Bloom's "Closing of the American Mind?" The end is nigh! Oh wait, that was 1987. Well, the end is coming mark (mock) my words!
I think I can definitely say we are closer to the end of the world now than we were in 1987.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:19 AM   #7
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Well, I'll reserve judgment until I can read a bit more of what his research turned up. That said, I'd be very surprised if there was really enough neurological research to make a solid conclusion about any truly permanent effects on cognition. No ebook versions yet, though, so I guess I'll have to wait.

Also, as per usual these days, if he is on balance negative about the effects of the Internets, then it's somewhat ironic that he has both a website and a blog...
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:01 AM   #8
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Humph. Access to more info makes you stupider? Riiiiiiiiiight.

I'm doing LOTS of research for a historical novel I'm writing, and no way could I do this without the Internet. The amount of time it would take to do, I'd be dead before I got the first chapter done. If I could afford it, which I couldn't.

Every bit of research I've seen that's actually been *done*, and not just a bunch of curmudgeons prattling, says that people, even young people, are reading more than ever.

Yeah, things change. Get over it.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:30 AM   #9
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pretty interesting. will look into that one!

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:07 AM   #10
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Please

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:14 AM   #11
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BTW Dan, how are you enjoying your "nook"?

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:17 AM   #12
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I downloaded a program called Roboform... I used it for a day, and realised that if I used it for an extended period of time, I wouldn't be able to log in anywhere away from my computer... Even if I don't remember logins etc... my fingers do.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:10 AM   #13
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I have actually just thought about this subject - not that I am a scientiest or such, just someone with weird brainwaves.

I would not dismiss the fact that too much information at hand is making people think less. I can remember having to do research in libraries and such in real books. That meant actually reading all the information to filter out what I needed for my assignments, cross referencing it and so force. It tought me to think and to question what I read as not all sources were in agreement.

With the flood of information at hand this has been taken away. You just google a subject and somewhere in the wide world of the cybernet a summary pops up.

So, not saying that all kids are getting stupidier, they are using and processing information different. And yes, the world changes and we will have to go with it. But I have noticed that applying learnt knowledge is not necessarily a strong side with young people today (again, I am generalising and don't want to talk all youngsters down - I am sure there are some very smart cookies out there).
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:35 AM   #14
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Technology changes, and most folks require being dragged into it. Doesn't matter what the technology is, automobiles, computers or microwave ovens, people will fear it. But the older folks die off, and the younger know not a world where the technology didn't exist, so it becomes the norm. Then some years later the process repeats.......

Actually it is the same with books and ebooks. Your great grand kids will look at a paper book the way you look at a reel to reel tape, or a land line rotary dial phone.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:20 AM   #15
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'stupider' and 'lazier' are two different things. Perspective is important too, though. I was reading a novel recently where Edward VI was a character and I knew nothing about him. For the purposes of what I wanted to know, a quick Wikipedia lookup (while on the Kindle!) was more than sufficient, gave me the high points and did the job. And I don't think I compromised my intelligence or my value to society in any way. Meanwhile, I was researching for an assignment for an academic course I am taking and the expectation is that we will cite multiple sources from peer-reviewed journals. I know how to do so when the need arises because it is a skill that was (and continues to be) taught in school. But it is not a necessary (or appropriate) skill for every type of situation.

It's the same as junk food. If that's all a person ever eats, it's bad. But a treat now and then is not going to hurt anybody, and I have read at least two books lately that say up to 150 or so calories a DAY of junk food can be part of a healthy eating plan. Imho, part of the reason kids go to school is to learn things and do things they might not do on their own because they don't know how to, why to etc. and that's why they have adults to teach them. So if one wants kids who know how to go beyond Wikipedia, make it part of the school curriculum, teach them the skill and everybody wins. When you want a quick info overview, the internet will suffice. And when you want or need to go deeper, you'll know how to.

As for the death of long-form reading, I think Project Gutenberg is addressing that very well. All those books, available to anyone, anytime, for free...
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