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Is Google Making Us Stupid Essay

1146 words - 5 pages

In the article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr, he begins the article with a description of a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the Space Odyssey Dave Bowman argues with the supercomputer, HAL. HAL pleads to Bowman to not disconnect his circuits that control his “brain”. The computer feels his mind going; this is a feeling that Carr has also had.
Over the years, Carr feels like someone is tinkering with his brain. He states that he is not thinking the way he uses to. He can no longer focus on lengthy things anymore. Carr use to be able to be caught up in a book, in the narrative or the turns of the argument. Now, he can no longer concentrate, his mind ...view middle of the document...

The Net is taking away Carr’s capacity for concentration and contemplation. The mind takes in information the way that it is distributed: swiftly moving stream of particles such as a Jet Ski zipping along. Carr states that he is now a jet skier, but he uses to be a “scuba diver in the sea of words.” His friends said that they are also having these troubles.
Most of Carr’s friends are also the literary type, and they are experiencing the same troubles. The longer they are on the web, the more they fight trying to focus on long writings. Aside from Carr’s friends, even some bloggers have mentioned this phenomenon. One online blogger, Scott Karp, writes about how he has completely stopped reading books. Karp wrote, “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader”. Karp is now such seeking convenience because his thinking has changed. Scott Karp is not the only blogger making a statement about the Net.
Bruce Friedman, a blogger, has mentioned how the Net had changed his mental habits. Friedman has lost the ability to read and absorb long articles, now he just quickly scans short passages. Anything, even blog posts longer than three paragraphs are too much for him he just skims the articles. A study conducted by University College London suggests that we could be in the middle of a change, the way we are now thinking and reading. This study consisted of two popular research websites, one operated by the British Library and the other by a UK Educational Consortium. The individuals using this website only skimmed, hopping from one source to another, rarely returning to a previous source or reading more than two pages. Authors of this study referred to this reading form as “power browsing”; it seems to be a way to avoid traditional reading. Even with avoiding traditional reading, we still read more now than we did in the 1970s or 1980s. This is due to the popularity of text messaging on cell phones along with the Net. Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, says, “We are how we read.” She worries that this type of reading puts both “efficiency” and “immediacy” first. This could be deteriorating and changing our capacity for deep...

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