In his article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” Nicholas Carr, a former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review and a member of the steering board for the World Economic Forum’s cloud computing project, criticizes the overall impact of the internet, as a whole, on the human process of thought, comparing his past level of conception to “a scuba diver in a sea of words” whereas his current understanding simply “zip[s] along the surface” (Carr 68). Carr targets the prominent internet search engine as the black sheep for web user’s dwindling in capacity to comprehend and concentrate on high-brow literature. However, due to the fact that the objective of the corporation is to ultimately be monetarily successful, Google’s approach to providing proficient, while immediate, information is not based upon their own preference, but rather that of its’ consumers. Based on trends on college campuses, Scott Carlson, a journalist for The Chronicle, finds the number of students using libraries has drastically decreased over the years, using the convenient “‘virtual library’” at their disposal instead (Carlson 1). This infers research found on the internet is the same, and or suffice to that acquired from a hard-back encyclopedia, periodical, etc. Therefore, while I agree with the general trend of decreased absorption Carr suggests, the internet still contributes to human potential for critical, deep thought through the application of habituation and the numerous online resources offering the equivalent of any printed scholarly work. My inclination to agree with Carr’s theory is solely based on his reference to the work of Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist, who elicits that the skill of deciphering symbolic characters into an understood language is not instinctive (Carr 69). Instead, in parallel to any activity one would like to develop themselves in, “practicing the craft of reading play[s] an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains”...
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Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The New Humanities Reader. Ed. Richard E. Miller and Kurt Spellmeyer. 4th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 67-74. Print.
Carlson, Scott. "Technology As Students Work Online, Reading Rooms Empty Out --Leading Some Campuses to Add Starbucks." The Chronicle. The Chronicle, 16 Nov. 2001. Web. 23 Sept. 2012.
Hamilton, Ryan, Kathleen Vohs, Tom Meyvis, and Anne-Laure Sellier. "Being of Two Minds: Switching Mindsets Exhausts Self-Regulatory Resources." Social Science Research Network. Social Science Electronic Publishing, 18 Dec. 2010. Web. 23 Sept. 2012.
Rainie, Lee, and Janna Anderson. "Future of the Internet IV." Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew Research Center, 19 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 Sept. 2012.
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