Is Google Making Us Stupid?, by Nicholas Carr

1419 Words3 Pages

With the rise of technology and the staggering availability of information, the digital age has come about in full force, and will only grow from here. Any individual with an internet connection has a vast amount of knowledge at his fingertips. As long as one is online, he is mere clicks away from Wikipedia or Google, which allows him to find what he needs to know. Despite this, Nicholas Carr questions whether Google has a positive impact on the way people take in information. In his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Carr explores the internet’s impact on the way people read. He argues that the availability of so much information has diminished the ability to concentrate on reading, referencing stories of literary types who no longer have the capacity to sit down and read a book, as well as his own personal experiences with this issue. The internet presents tons of data at once, and it is Carr’s assumption that our brains will slowly become wired to better receive this information. The article begins with the depiction of a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the astronaut Dave Bowman unplugs the supercomputer HAL. Carr uses this to tie in his feelings that, like HAL, someone or something is toying with the wiring of his brain. This is a strong emotional appeal. Carr intends to quickly gain his audience’s attention with the feeling of being “unplugged”, and possibly to gain the sympathies of readers who have felt a similar feeling. Carr proceeds to talk about how he can no longer become absorbed in an article or book, saying “my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages.” Again, this works as a strong emotional appeal. English buffs - Carr’s likely primary audience - who read this article may agree... ... middle of paper ... ...echniques employed are persuasive and subtle, and this allows Carr to take advantage of all emotional arguments at his disposal. In conjunction with sources pertinent to the topic, Carr’s emotional appeals seem to get his audience thinking, and from the article it is easy to agree with the points he has made. Carr’s use of logos and pathos does bring into question his ethos, however. Fortunately, Carr’s ethos should not be questioned, as he has written several books and articles on the topic. This does not excuse his bias, but it does permit him to speak on the topic at hand. Carr definitely presents himself as a strong literary figure, and his views on the internet are reasonable as well as relatable. This combination of ethos, pathos, and logos successfully allows Carr to write as an expert in this field, and his article and thoughts are not to be taken lightly.

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