Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr thinks it could be.

This article in the Atlantic Monthly is pretty insightful to how Google has collectively changed our thought process, and not for the better.

An excerpt:
"Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

A particularly poignant metaphor from Mr. Carr:
"Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski. ...Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged."

I can totally relate. But then again, maybe I'm just suffering from the after-effects of baby-brain. (I swear, my capacity of thought has taken a beating since the two Beasties arrived on the scene.)

This article made me take a step back and look at my own process of information accumulation. As someone who has spent many, many hours of her life as an advocate for the public library I observe the way people absorb information and use resources available to them entirely different from how they used to just 10 years ago.

Heck... FIVE years ago.

What do you think? Is the Net THE universal medium?
What has it done to shape our thought process?
Do you read, or do you "power browse"?
Do we "risk turning into ‘pancake people’— spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button”?

More importantly....
Did I remember to pick up the dry cleaning?


Shannan said...

Hey Girl. You won in my Binky giveaway. I couldn't find your email address. Can you email me your mailing address??

BookMomma said...

Shannan - that's AWESOME!!! Thanks - I've never won anything before!
Email is stepheniew9 at yahoo dotcom. For some reason YOUR profile won't pop up when I go all clicky...

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