Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Nicholas Carr – What’s the Internet Doing to Our Brains?

Via the Commonwealth Club:

Nicholas Carr, Author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains in conversation with Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google

“Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” Carr uses this allegory in his Atlantic Monthly cover story “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and makes the case that the Internet has diminished our ability to think deeply. Carr, an outspoken anti-Wikipedia activist, will share his theory on the Internet as the culprit against civilization’s progress. Are our brains re-routed? What is the cost of information efficiency? Join us as this best-selling author presents his perspective on the side effects of the World Wide Web.

The original article prompted quite a few direct or indirect responses, and the book did the same:

An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness (NY Times)
Your Brain on Computers: Hooked on gadgets and paying the price (NY Times)
Your Brain on Computers: More Americans Sense a Downside to an Always Plugged-In Existence (NY Times)
Steven Pinker: Mind over Mass Media (NY Times)
Carr in turn responded to Pinker, as did Douglas Rushkoff and Evgeny Morozov on Edge

Update 20100819: The art of slow reading (Guardian)
Has endlessly skimming short texts on the internet made us stupider? An increasing number of experts think so – and say it’s time to slow down . . .

TED: Clay Shirky – How Cognitive Surplus Will Change The World

Via TED:

Clay Shirky looks at “cognitive surplus” — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we’re busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we’re building a better, more cooperative world.

For more info, also see Shirky’s recent book: Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

Update 20100705: Clay Shirky: ‘Paywall will underperform – the numbers don’t add up’ (The Guardian)
Update 20100709: Can the Internet save the book? (Salon)

Update 20100714: Authors @ Google video: