The Shallows What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains By Nicholas Carr

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Why the internet is making us smarter? A refutation to Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: The Juggler’s brain In almost a cliché manner, Nicholas Carr, in his book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains”, argues that technology is ruining our brains. Just like Socrates, first lamented the invention of the books claiming that it destroyed our memories and ruined our abilities to tell oral legends, Carr laments the invention of the internet claiming that it destroyed our memories and ruined our abilities to read books. In Chapter 7, The Juggler’s Brain, Carr opens up with “disturbing news:” “when we go online,” Carr argues “we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning.” …show more content…

There is very little doubt that engaging the internet is changing the wiring of our brains. As a matter of fact, everything changes our brains. Our brains are extremely malleable. What Carr seemingly overlooks is the myriad of studies that points that the internet and related technologies are changing our brains for the better, not the worse. In building his argument, he undergoes reverse science: making a claim and looking for studies and correlations that support his claim, while overlooking those that disagree with it. He ignores the studies that multiplayer gaming over the internet is improving greater cognitive functions and increasing the amount of gray matters as compared to non-gamers. He also ignores the amount of literacy that the internet allowed for the majority of the humans on the face of the planet, among various other studies, thus increasing the “average intelligence across the world.” In other words, it is making the world as a whole smarter. Back when reading was the main source of learning, only the elite could afford the time to read, let alone learn how to read. The internet allowed for a bigger portion of humans to have access to knowledge and information. He says that he has a hard time engaging in deep reading anymore and blaming the internet and modern technologies with their distractions. In a way, he argues that there have been no distractions before then. He blames …show more content…

While there is no doubt that written language had a huge impact on the advancement of our human culture. The oral language, I would argue, had a bigger impact. Written language is slow and tedious, it is limited. From a book, a single voice can be heard. A voice that Carr tends to assume contains truth; truth that cannot be wrong. Books are slow. They take a long time and a lot of resources to produce, thus slowing the development of knowledge. Books take out the aspect of human conversation. A person cannot have a conversation between different schools of thoughts in a book. The internet, however, combines the best of both languages: the oral and the written. It contains the written articulations of the written language with the speed and fluidity of the oral language. It allows for the mixing of a myriad of voices in one place. When Carr talks about skimming and bouncing around, I do not think about myself surfing the internet, rather I think back to the last time I had a deep philosophical conversation with a group of friends. When we converse, we do not listen to each other’s ramble on and on about one’s individual stance. Rather, we interrupt; we add; we counter argue; and we engage in each other’s thoughts, all things that deep reading cannot replicate, but the internet does. In the internet, we read one statement, we skim the other, we make quick judgment, and we follow our train of thoughts to new

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