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Googling does a brain bad?

Is the Internet eroding our attention spans? Nicholas Carr thinks so, and his rather lengthy essay in the latest Atlantic Monthly has been debated hither and yon across the blogging community.

See, the human brain is not hard-wired to read. But for the last few centuries, we've trained it to concentrate on extended narratives. And civilization resulted, more or less.

Now, the Internet, with its ultra-easy access to information, is rewiring our brains to be more jittery, to jump about from one topic to the next like drunken monkeys. Got a question? Google it! But check TMZ.com first for the latest on R. Kelly trial news. We're losing our patience for reflection or immersion in a single body of work, like a book.

Or even a lengthy magazine piece, evidently. Few of our friends had time to read Carr's entire essay.

Posted by Joab Jackson on Jun 13, 2008 at 9:39 AM


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Reader Comments

Fri, Jun 20, 2008 Patrice McDermott

Printed out it is all of 4 pages -- including a title and graphic that take up half a page and a largish typeface.Seems that your friends have pretty much made Carr's argument.

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