Monday, October 11, 2010

The Shallows - the internet is making us stupid

I mentioned a book I was reading recently - The Shallows.   It is a really challenging book basically proposing that the tools we use alter how we think.  The key thesis is that the internet is making us less likely to think deeply - we skim read now and get easily distracted led astray by hyperlinks etc.  Here is the author talking about these ideas

It is really interesting stuff.

From a paleo point of view what I find intersting is the idea that the hunter gatherer brain is also a naturaly distacted one - it needs to be to spot prey or evade attack.  It would do not good to be too much of a dat dreamer.  Deep thinking is good though.


John Paul said...

Chris, I haven't read the book yet but I am very interested in what the author has to say. What I want to know is Mr. Carr offering any solution in the book on the problem he outlines?

Anonymous said...

If by deep thinking you mean focused and concentrated thinking over an extended period of time, then I completely agree. This is the kind of thinking that helps creativity flourish--connecting the dots, following a train of thought to a logically compelling conclusion, following promising and interesting moments of inspiration rigorously and persistently. Impossible--or at least highly difficult--for most people. I'd even go further and say that the Internet may just be a kind of information pollution. In its own way, just as grievous as air, noise, and light pollution for quality of life.

Hotews said...

Book subject is matter of study but the title and topic in itself is self explainatory.
Really a nice discussion !
Your live video is thought provoking.