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Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Contradiction

In reading the fourth chapter of the shallows, I noticed something that I'm not sure means anything but it stood out to me. On page 64 Carr mentions the way people had to change their ways of thinking for reading. People had to begin to pay more attention for longer periods of time."to read a book was to practice an unnatural process of thought, one that demanded sustained, unbroken attention to a single, static object." He also remarks that " they had to train their brains to ignore everything else going on around them, to resist the urge to let their focus skip from one sensory cue to another". As I read this passage I felt like in interfered with what Carr was trying to get at in the first chapter where he quotes Friedman as saying "I now have almost totally lost the ability to read a longish article on the web or in print". In the first chapter it seemed that he was trying to say that using the Internet as a way to get information is changing the way we need to think and read. That our attentions seem to be shorter and we want things faster. When we get to chapter 4, its our natural instinct of thinking was short attention and being aware of things going on around you. It doesn't seem to go together

I understand that his mentioning of this in chapter 4 is to allude to the fact that when a new medium of technology was developed we had to change our thought process. And he does make a point with that. It’s obvious from the evolution of writing and books that we changed the way we thought about reading and information from the creation of these writings and books. But it does seem to call into question where he was going with the changing of our attention when we use computers. I also realize that the shorter attention and lack of focus isn't the only way he is saying we have changed our thought process. But the fact that he brings up our natural way of being before reading makes me wonder if he has thought the argument through. If he had made mention of this when he is discussing the argument of our changing brains, and then it could seem like he is thoroughly investigating the argument he is making. It seems to me that he is on one side of the fence and will use any information to make his point, even if he contradicts himself later.

Not to say that is disagree or agree with Carr's view of the Internet and new technologies changing the way we think and process information, Just that to take into consideration that we might have had these symptoms before the invention of the computer, cellphones and Internet. He needs to bring that into light and then argue against it if he feels that its untrue. Instead of later using that argument to say how books have changed the way we think. He takes what he wants from that idea instead of noticing that it could call into question his point about our reading and information gathering habit. in just makes me a little angry that he didn't think that through or seem to even notice what he was saying.

Courtney Blanken

1 comment:

  1. Courtney I can see where you're coming from on this one. I almost felt the same way as you while reading those passages on pg. 64. By using the internet, according to Carr, we are losing our attention spans which is a way that our brain is changing. But if our brains have been changing and evolving before the invention of any modern day technologies, then is his point legitimate? Can we really blame the internet? Or is it just due to the natural evolution?

    -Michelle Krupnik