Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr writes in the Atlantic Monthly that “Google is Making Us Stupid,” focusing on the way a decade of web browsing has altered the way his mind works to the extent that he now struggles to read long texts. I pretty much know what he is talking about – I do find it harder to get into a book now that I am so accustomed to reading small bits and clicking to the next thing.

Carr makes reference to the work of psychologist Maryanne Wolfe, whose book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, delves into the neuroscience of reading and language development. Wolf believes that internet reading is more efficient and shallow than the deep reading of longer works that seems to have become more difficult for people in the internet age.

Carr also makes reference to Nietzsche, Marshall McLuhan, Alan Turing, the “Hal” character is the film 2001, Daniel Bell, Frederick Taylor, and Plato (the Phaedrus, in which Socrates expresses his opposition to the new technology of writing).

Thanks to Mark Rosenzweig for sending the link to multiple lists.

2 comments on “Is Google Making Us Stupid?

  1. Thanks for this. It inspired me to write a little post of my own. One thing I might add to the conversation, after having written my own post, is a question about writing. I realize I published my post pretty quickly. I threw some thoughts out, and although I feel like I could come up with more if I gave it some time, I won’t. If I felt like I needed to spend more time on it to make it worth publishing, I’d never enter into the conversation at all.

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