The Shallows

The Shallows

What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Downloadable Audiobook - 2010
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The bestselling author of The Big Switch returns with an explosive look at technology's effect on the mind. ?Is Google making us stupid?? When Nicholas Carr posed that question in an Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: as we enjoy the Internet's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration yet published of the Internet's intellectual and cultural consequences. Weaving insights from philosophy, neuroscience, and history into a rich narrative, The Shallows explains how the Internet is rerouting our neural pathways, replacing the subtle mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher. A gripping story of human transformation played out against a backdrop of technological upheaval, The Shallows will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
Publisher: [United States] : Blackstone Audio, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2010
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781441750020
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (10hr., 07 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Garcia, Paul Michael
Alternative Title: hoopla digital


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Oct 04, 2017

The Shallows is one of those rare books that frustrated me to no end but, by the conclusion, was one that I respected. It forced me to think more deeply on an issue I've long dwelled on (the issue being how our lives are increasingly merging with the digital) and similarly to see it from a new viewpoint. Nicholas Carr's prose seethes with pomposity, but don't be distracted by it because the underlying message is important even though it borders on being out-of-touch and reactionary. My only criticism is this book is barely a decade out from the start of the digital revolution. That's not enough perspective. I get that it needed to be written eventually, but it's too soon to pronounce a good/bad judgment on something this unprecedented. An analogy from ancient history would be like 10 years after a group of hunter gatherers switched over to agriculture someone from the group laments the change as unnatural. I'm not arguing that this seemingly inevitable digital integration is a good thing. I'm saying it's too soon to tell.

Also, this book came out at the start of the smart phone era. I doubt Mr. Carr could've foreseen how our relationship with our tech devices was about to get a whole lot dumber before it got smarter.

Cdnbookworm Jun 12, 2013

I found this book fascinating. It isn't just about the internet and its influence on our physical brains and the way we think, although it is about that. It begins with a history of human communication, from oral storytelling, through the introduction of writing and reading, to the invention of the printing press, through newer media like movies, radio and television, showing how each change in communication resulted in changes to the way we think, and how we use our brains. It also has discussions around philosophy and how thought processes have changed. It looks at the science of research on the brain and the different viewpoints of what makes us human. It talks about the trend to refer to human functions in a machine-related way, and how machines replacing human functions affects us physically and mentally. Carr talks about his own experiences having difficulty in reading and writing with depth as he used the internet more, and how hard he found it to limit the time he spent online. Backed up by many different research studies that took place over many years, his arguments offer both hope and warning for the future. Highly recommended.

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