Nicholas Carr Essay

Nicholas Carr Essay

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Atlantic journalist Nicholas Carr confesses that he feels something has been “tinkering with his brain.” No, we’re not talking about alien abductions, rather something a little closer to home. The internet, he fears, may be messing with our minds. We have lost the ability to focus on a simple task, and memory is steadily declining. He is worried about the effect the internet has on the human brain, and where it may take us in the future. In response to this article, Jamais Cascio, also a journalist for the Atlantic, provides his stance on the issue. He argues that this different way of thinking is an adaptation derived from our environment. Ultimately, he thinks that this staccato way of thinking is simply a natural evolution, one that will help to advance the human race.
Carr is worried. He confesses that he now has difficulty with the simple task of sitting down and reading a book. Absorbing the text is now belaboring, and he finds that his mind drifts off into other realms. Moreover, this phenomenon is not only limited to himself. Bruce Friedman, a pathologist at the University of Michigan Medical School, admits that he “can’t read War and Peace anymore…even a blog post of three or four paragraphs is too much.” In addition, Scott Karp, a devoted blogger on online media, relates that he was an avid reader in college, a literature major. Sadly, he observes the same trend in his focus as Carr and Friedman. Karp speculates that the loss of focus isn’t so much a change in the way he reads, but in the way he thinks.
Mr. Carr concedes, saying that his internet theory cannot be based on anecdotes alone, but he is convinced Karp is on to something. According to the study done by University College London, people spend most of the...


... middle of paper ...


...io lacks support, Carr has an abundance of examples. I am interested in finding out just how much research has gone into the concept of fluid intelligence. Furthermore, simply because we have the technology to fix something does not mean that we will. According to many studies, we have the technological ability to move towards more environmentally friendly energy solutions, yet we have not.
Both journalists point out the uncertainty that goes into their viewpoints, and it is reasonable to do so. Where will the future take us? We have no idea. Will technology ultimately harm human cognition? We don’t know. We will never know for sure until the time arrives. In the meantime, we can continue to research and speculate, but that is all. Personally, I’ll keep waiting until that time comes, and hoping that technology isn’t leading us to ruin.



Works Cited

The Atlantic

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