Archive for July, 2011

The Shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains by Nicholas Carr

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

The author poses the question: “As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?” This book demonstrates how widespread use of the Internet is not only changing how we communicate, socialize, and search for information, among other uses, but is also physically changing our brains. “He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources…. – and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.” The book interweaves history, science and personal stories on an engaging and timely theme. There are pages of notes for each chapter which lead the reader to additional thought-provoking writings.
Carr says: “For some people, the very idea of reading a book as come to seem old-fashioned, maybe even a little silly – like sewing your own shirts or butchering your own meat.” While reading this I couldn’t help but think of my own modest use of the Internet and my reluctance to give up books. Although I may soon be in the minority, for now I’m content to straddle the worlds of technology and the printed word.