Academic journal article et Cetera

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Article excerpt

Nicholas Carr. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: Norton, 2010.

"Things are in the saddle and ride mankind," said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Substitute "Internet" for "Things" and you have the thesis of this volume, namely that the Web has made us compliant clickers in a wired world. Such clicking, Nicholas Carr argues, contrary to the technology of the printed book, has diminished our ability for sustained concentration, focus, and thinking in a linear manner. Rather we skim, scan, and hopscotch on the surface of knowledge. We do not delve deep into the depths of data. We are content to wade in the shallows.

Carr describes how through the millennia human thought has been shaped by "tools of the mind"-the alphabet, maps, the printing press, the clock, and the computer. Historical and scientific evidence indicate the use of such tools can literally reroute our neural pathways. In the case of the printed book, those pathways promote focused attention. …

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