Nicholas carrs in the shallows essay

Hire Writer The connection that occurs here is one that starts shifting the reader to a negative or pessimistic view on the internet. Turning from a style that is staunch and informal to informative, Carr begins to lay the foundation in the next chapters. Using parallels to show the effects previous technologies had on society, Carr induces we will see extensive changes from the internet. Just as the book and silent reading made humans more deep creative thinkers, the internet is liable to change us into sporadic distracted humans.

Nicholas carrs in the shallows essay

I think the real story might be a bimodal distribution in which some people benefit greatly from the riches of engaged conversation on the Web while others find themselves subject to even more passive consumption in the mode of television, since, surely, the Internet also delivers that experience.

Nicholas carrs in the shallows essay am really hoping for more discussions of the shaping power of technology. Instead, many academics have adopted what is called a social-constructionist approach that privileges user agency.

I do think technologies have strong impacts. You simply do not have the same society, same relations of power, and same options after the spread of the printing press and this is clearly true for the Internet.

Carr argues that uninterrupted and meditative thinking is crucial to worthy intellectual creation, and that books specifically encourage such deep thinking because they are linear and enclosed — you sit down and work through the argument. On the contrary, Carr posits, the Internet as a medium is prone to disruptions, shallow reading, surfing without understanding — it is somewhat a kin to a slot machine that keeps you engaged while essentially wasting your time.

He makes a parallel argument that net surfing taxes short term memory rather than relieving it the way pen and paper do when doing arithmetic, for example and that discourages the brain from forming synthesized long-term memories which he believes are key to intellectual achievement.

Cognitive Consequences: A Conversation with Nicholas Carr | Open Culture

I see three major flaws in the book. One, Carr is fundamentally underplaying the participatory and interactive nature of the Internet and the impact of that on intellectual engagement and deep thought. All evidence suggests that many more people are reading, writing and crucially responding to each other a lot more since the advent of the Internet.

I think the real story might be a bimodal distribution in which some people benefit greatly from the riches of engaged conversation while others find themselves subject to even more passive consumption in the mode of television, since, surely, the Internet also delivers that experience. Second, his argument from brain science is very weak.

Third, he talks at length about how exteriorizing our memory to computers will come at great cost to us. Carr proceeds to explain how many people including, famously, Socrates thought writing and the printing press would do just that which, indeed, they didwith similar predictions of negative consequences for thinking which did not come true, but this time they will because … and he lost me.

The only argument I could see was that the Internet somehow has a different effect on short term memory which causes knowledge not to be transferred to long-term memory.

Nicholas carrs in the shallows essay

However, everywhere I look, I see people who know a lot more about a broad range of topics and I simply need real evidence for this claim. Such a strong claim needs to be based on empirics based on people, not studies of what mice remember or how we perform very artificial tasks when distracted.

I agree that we should study this. Primarily, the book has little discussion regarding the engaged, participatory side of the web. As Carr points out, reading a book is so intellectually productive in so far as it forces you to engage the author in your own mind.

Indeed, being distracted by irrelevant interruptions while reading a book is likely harmful to such engagement. However, being distracted by barking dogs while reading a book is very different than being distracted by links in the article while reading it on the web.

The hyperlinks Carr so laments are not irrelevant distractions; rather, they are invitations to engage the topic further and deeper. As Carr points out, the best books invite us into a conversation with the author — and the Internet is the superb medium for such conversation!

Everywhere on the web, you see sustained exchanges of ideas, information, tidbits, big discussions, informal talk. If anything, the Internet has clearly expanded the number of people who can participate in the kind of intellectual inquiry that used to be the domain of the few.

His point is that deciding to click on each link taxes our memory and distracts us. But it also draws us into lively intellectual waters and that is not acknowledged.

Unfortunately, Carr spends a lot of time attacking the very part of the Internet, its networked, linked and participatory nature that makes it intellectually richer, not poorer.

Which brings me to another common complaint which Carr does not highlight as much but which I have been hearing more often lately. The silly cat pictures, the trivial Twitter updates, the banal Facebook postings, the million Youtube videos of pets, kids, household accidents, pranks, etc.?

Surely, that is evidence of intellectual decline? That, my dear friends, is called humanity. I personally doubt that there is substantially more social grooming going on today, on average, compared to the pre-Internet era. The only difference is that the Internet makes it visible.

What used to be spoken is now written and published potentially for the world to see. What has happened has resulted in the shuffling of the traditional understandings of private and the public, and as such, it has enormous consequences but it does not signal that we are dumbing down.In the early pages of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr, the author of two previous and for the most part socially nonjudgmental books about the Web, reviews the enormous change that simply putting spaces between words, beginning somewhere around AD, made to the act and nature of reading.

Before that. In the afterword for the book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr talks about the new applications and programs that are coming to the market that are designed to .

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr: A Summary — Michael Moore-Jones

The Shallows Rhetorical Analysis In the book "The Shallows" Nicholas Carr develops his argument just as an architect would construct a building. In The Shallows, Carr argues that the Internet encourages short attention spans, skimming, shallow knowledge, and distraction, and that this is a bad thing.


He might be right, but his argument misses one essential component: the absolute link between the Internet and distraction. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of The Shallows by Nicholas Carr.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by American journalist Nicholas Carr has its roots in Carr’s essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” which was published in The Atlantic in The Shallows - Nicholas Carr.

Find this Pin and more on Books movies and such by Jeanne Allen. The shallows: how the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember / Nicholas Carr Classmark: The Shallows by Nicholas Carr A current account of how the internet is rewiring our brain.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains – CHRISTIAN EDUCATORS JOURNAL