Discussion Questions 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. 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 or, more importantly, what we can do to help make the sacrifice worth it." So, my question, as well as Shirky's, is it worth it? What are the positive and negative consequences of the internet, particularly internet reading? If the internet really does reshape our neural circuits, is this a problem? If it is, does this problem outweigh the potential benefits that the internet and internet reading provide? Similarly, what are some of the other, possibly unforeseen positive and negative consequences of the internet?

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This page contains a single entry by rosex381 published on September 11, 2012 9:22 PM.

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