Is Google Making Us Stupid Short Summary
“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” is an article composed in 2008 by Nicholas G. Carr. He is a technologist, and his article got published in the Atlantic magazine, then later on published by W.W. Norton. It examines the effects of advanced technology on cognitive behavior.
The author claims his difficulty in concentrating while reading long texts, in addition to that, he formerly read effortlessly, arise from excessive internet use. Carr believes that frequently using the internet can lower the ability to focus and analyze information. Using examples, he states that speech is an innate ability, while reading is a learned one.
In his discussion on how the internet might affect concentration, Carr gives an example through Nietzsche. Nietzsche started using the typewriter (a new invention at the time), and after some time, his handwriting changed. He argues that the events demonstrate neuroplasticity.
Carr further postulates on how the internet is tremendously altering behavior since it is among the most invading and life-changing technologies ever. He adds that the internet generates cognitive distractions coming in the form of popups and ads. Online media also worsens the situation by adopting visual forms and strategies of internet platforms to look more legitimate.
Further still, the writer claims that the human concentration ability might wane as computer algorithms free humans from knowledge-based tasks. The internet is compared with industrial management systems that made workers feel like automatons. Carr, after that, compares it to Google Inc. that confines its staff into an automated knowledge environment that creates tremendous insights but stifles creativity.
In the end, Carr looks into historical skepticism about innovations that tremendously altered human cognition for the better. However, he ends in an uncertain note. Carr postulates that even though Google and other information technologies might accelerate human cognition, they might stifle social innovation.