Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Shallows

Finished May 28
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr, read by Paul Michael Garcia

I found this book fascinating. It isn't just about the internet and its influence on our physical brains and the way we think, although it is about that. It begins with a history of human communication, from oral storytelling, through the introduction of writing and reading, to the invention of the printing press, through newer media like movies, radio and television, showing how each change in communication resulted in changes to the way we think, and how we use our brains. It also has discussions around philosophy and how thought processes have changed. It looks at the science of research on the brain and the different viewpoints of what makes us human. It talks about the trend to refer to human functions in a machine-related way, and how machines replacing human functions affects us physically and mentally. Carr talks about his own experiences having difficulty in reading and writing with depth as he used the internet more, and how hard he found it to limit the time he spent online. Backed up by many different research studies that took place over many years, his arguments offer both hope and warning for the future. Highly recommended.

Check out this video about it.

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