The Shallows

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Dwayne Harris
Professor SackSteder
English 120
26 June 2012
It’s Not a Search Engine…..
21st century man has pondered in thought on a very important question that unconsciously affects their lives at every moment: Is the Internet our master, or a simple tool that we control? To the optimist, this very question is a complete joke. In their eyes, how can such a sweet, innocent tool of exploring specific evidence, paying one’s bill, and social networking become our master when we, as humans, created its very existence? To the skeptics, this question HAS to be answered. To them, it’s essential that we as a collective unit decide if the internet is controlling us so we can abandon it and have our mental capacities cleared up from propaganda that the Internet feeds us. In Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, this whole debate is brought unto the forefront. Now me, personally, I respect both sides’ humble opinions. And at the end of the day, that’s exactly what this is: a perception.

One of the quotes in the book that really sets a tone for the argument is “at an important juncture in our intellectual and cultural history, a moment of transition between two very different modes of thinking.” (Carr) This statement alone can go a few hundred different directions between skeptics and optimists. For optimists, the internet has brought a vast abundance of information truly relevant to what you are looking for. For instance, if you are looking up information on the internet about Julius Caesar’s death, instead of that long, costly trip to the library, pull up Google and type it in and watch the results pop up. No more buying up a crapload of books that you don’t want or reading a bunch of boring books that dance around the info you truly want. Instead of that you have Google, your ultimate tool for complete research. However, other people feel that this is “dumbing down” the population. Why? Because instead of researching topics the hard way, the way that actually requires...
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