'By Brooke Gladstone And Josh Neufeld's The Influencing Machine'

770 Words4 Pages
The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld is an original work, a highly researched yet highly accessible survey of all things media from the history of media/journalism beginning in ancient Rome through the Mayan scribes to the First Amendment press freedoms of the U.S. Constitution and beyond and how the media 's mission and its means have advanced through history. At the same time, Gladstone debunks claims of the media 's nefarious influence on people from mind control and presumed biases to "moral panics," recurring historical charges of cognitive distraction, intellectual diminishment, and social alienation, now lodged against the likes of Google, video games, and the virtual world in general as digital culture stakes…show more content…
In Gladstone’s view, “ The echo chambers give rise to cyber cascades, when a fact sent by one person spreads in a geometric progression to others until millions of people around the world potentially believe it” (332). Gladstone’s point is that instead of thought or ideas or traveling by word of mouth, the internet is able to spread the truth or lie to millions of people and the easiest way to do this is with the people are like-minded. This refers back to birds of a feather flock together. Author Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google making us Stupid,” discusses how the use of the computer affects our thought process. Carr starts out talking about his own experience as a writer and how he felt like “something had been tinkering with his brain, remapping his neural circuitry and reprogramming his memory”(313). Basically, he is acknowledging that since he started using the Internet his research techniques have changed. Carr believes that before he would immerse himself in books, lengthy articles and long stretches of prose allowing his mind to get caught up in the narrative or the…show more content…
In my opinion, Google does not make us stupid like Carr suggests in his article. Google may make us seem lazy because we do less reading and physical activity. Information found on websites helps people become smarter and able to learn subjects easier in school. In the end, Carr never really provides scientific evidence that shows the brain’s circuitry having actually changed. I generally agree with Gladstone’s views and think the mirror metaphor is a useful way of talking about the media’s role in a free society. I also think that the computer and the Internet have enhanced our abilities and increased our processing speeds for acquiring knowledge: making the human brain more efficient in multitasking. The young people who are growing up with this new technology will expand it’s future. Gladstone makes the case that media distributors, even ones that seem indestructible, are ultimately subject to the preferences of their audience: us. Citizens should take up the responsibility of learning about and interacting with valuable media sources and reject those that pander to the lowest common

More about 'By Brooke Gladstone And Josh Neufeld's The Influencing Machine'

Open Document