Blog on Carr and Shirky

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In Nicholas Carr's article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", Carr not only argues that the internet is changing the way we read, but that internet reading is changing the way our neural circuits are formed. For Carr, internet reading has brought about new kinds of shallow, short, and brisk reading. Carr argues that the in-depth reading found from reading books is largely being replaced with internet reading, and therefore affecting how we comprehend, reflect, and think. Carr believes that internet reading should be viewed with skepticism and caution. Carr acknowledges that the shift from traditional reading to internet reading comes at a sacrifice, and this sacrifice should be looked at in more depth and caution.

Clay Shirky, on the other hand, believes that the newly found abundance of information that the internet provides is a good and useful tool. Shirky states that "Given this change, the question we need to be asking isn't whether there is sacrifice; sacrifice is inevitable with serious change. The question we need to be asking is whether the sacrifice is worth it." Shirky is not as cautious as Carr in his approach to the internet and internet reading. Shirky believes that there will be inevitable change and sacrifice, and because of this, it is our job to find out if the sacrifice is worth it.

In my personal opinion, I believe that the internet is a tool and should be used in moderation. No matter what tool you use, it will affect you and the way you think. If I were to read many literary works, as Carr stated he once did, then yes, I may be more likely to develop neural circuits that are more in-depth, reflective, and competent. Similarly, if I were to just browse internet websites for my readings, then I may very well develop neural circuits that are prone to soak up small batches of information more quickly and rapidly. It is very hard to say if one medium is better than the other. Both have potentially positive and negative consequences. It is my belief, therefore, that each tool should be used in moderation so that certain neural circuits are not forgotten, while others do not become too strong.

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This page contains a single entry by rosex381 published on September 11, 2012 9:42 PM.

Discussion Question: Is Google Making Us Stupid? was the previous entry in this blog.

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