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The shallows : what the Internet is doing to our brains

Author: Nicholas G Carr
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Norton paperback editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, or are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now as Carr describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by "tools of the mind" -- from the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nicholas G Carr
ISBN: 9780393339758 0393339750
OCLC Number: 786162357
Awards: Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Description: viii, 280 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Prologue: The watchdog and the thief --
Hal and me --
The vital paths --
A digression: On what the brain thinks about when it thinks about itself --
Tools of the mind --
The deepening page --
A digression: On Lee de Forest and his amazing audion --
A medium of the most general nature --
The very image of a book --
The juggler's brain --
A digression: On the buoyancy of IQ scores --
The church of Google --
Search, memory --
A digression: On the writing of this book --
A thing like me --
Epilogue: Human elements.
Responsibility: Nicholas Carr.

Abstract:

"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, or are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now as Carr describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by "tools of the mind" -- from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer -- he interweaves an account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic -- a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. 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. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption -- 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.

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