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The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains – Book by Nicholas Carr!

Dear Commons Community,

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on this blog a reference to a book review of Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows”.

Myearlier blog post:  https://apicciano.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2010/06/07/too-much-technology-%E2%80%93-paying-a-mental-price/ The book review is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/books/review/Lehrer-t.html?scp=1&sq=The%20Shallows&st=cse

I just finished reading the book (Full title:   The Shallows:  What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, (Norton Press). It  is a good read and probably an important one for anyone following issues related to the impact of technology, media and especially the Internet on our social, cultural and educational lives.  He covers well issues related to technological determinism – the technology changes us – versus technological instrumentalism – we are always in control of the technology. There are also a lot of references to Marshall McLuhan.   Here is a sample of the shots that Carr takes..

“It is possible to think deeply while surfing the Net, just as it it’s possible to think shallowly while reading a book, but that is not the type of thinking that the technology rewards”  p. 116

“The Net is making us smarter.. if we define intelligence by the Net’s own standards.  If we take a broader and more traditional view of intelligence – we have to come to a different and considerably darker conclusion”.  p. 141

“There is no Sleepy Hollow on the Internet, no peaceful spot where contemplativeness can work..There is only the endless, mesmerizing buzz of the urban street…  It is not only deep thinking that requires a calm, attentive mind.  It’s also empathy and compassion.”  .p. 220

Tony

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