Nicholas Carr's Article: The Internet Affects Our Cognitive Uses

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In the recent discussions of the Internet and its effect on its users, a controversial issue has been whether or not the Internet usage is affecting our cognitive abilities. On one hand, some argue that the Internet is weakening our capacity for concentration and contemplation. Specifically, Nicholas Carr argues that excessive Internet use is leading to a lack of deep thinking and focus. On the other hand, however, others argue that the Internet combined with human brain power is beneficial rather than harmful. In the words of New York Times author, Clive Thompson, one of this view’s main proponents, “But our digital tools can also leave us smarter even when we’re not actively using them.” According to this view, this issue needs to be addressed…show more content…
The author of “Smarter Than You think,” introduces new ideas that stretch further than Carr’s argument. Nicholas Carr only discusses the negative effects that the Internet has on the individual, but he neglects to bring up the point that with the Internet, humans are capable of doing so many more things than before. In Thompson’s article, he introduces the concept that using both the strengths of the Internet and the human brain, is even more powerful than having them operate individually of each other. Supporting this claim, Thompson uses the game of chess as an example to demonstrate how much more successful the Internet and brain are when they collaborate. Thompson explains the results of human brain power combined with Internet power used in a game of chess, “The computer would bring the lightning-fast —-if uncreative—- ability to analyze zillions of moves, while the human would bring intuition and insight, the ability to read opponents and psych them out. Together, they would form what chess players later called a centaur: a hybrid beast endowed with the strengths of each,” (Thompson 344). What Thompson is trying to say is that by joining the two most knowledgeable and intuitive objects together, problem solving and success are much more easily achievable. In Thompson’s article, he directly addresses Nicholas Carr’s argument, agreeing with his claim that the Internet and other multi-tasking tools of today make it difficult for readers and writers to stay focused. The idea that it takes much more of a conscious effort to read an article and reach a deep level of contemplation today than ever before, is another claim that Clive Thompson agrees with and explains that the best way to avoid these issues, is to know when the right and wrong time is to use the Internet
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