Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" (response due by 1 pm on Tuesday, November 8)

This detailed response will be worth 20 points.

1. Choose 6 quotes, one from each long page of the essay, that caught your attention. Cite them using a signal phrase (more on signal phrases here) and ending with a page number. For example,

Carr points out that "[w]hen the mechanical clock arrived, people began thinking of their brains as operating 'like clockwork.' Today, in the age of software, we have come to think of them operating 'like computers'" (865).'

2. What do you think is Carr's main idea, or his "thesis"?

3. Dscribe your own interaction with virtual technology today in a short narrative. That is, write a brief account or "story" that describes how you used your phone, computer, etc. today. (1-2 paragraphs)

4. On the basis of what you have written, do you agree with Carr's thesis? Why or why not? (2-4 sentences)


  1. In the essay "Is Google making us stupid?" by Nicholas Carr, he says "The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle." [862] he described how he has noticed some changes in his reading. Nicolas Carr has also described what colleagues think "The more they used the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on the long pieces of writing." [863] his friends have the same problem and it's ever since they started using the internet to read or do research. According to the author "We may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970's or 1980's. It's a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking." [864] we have now been reading more than when the tv first was invented, however as the author said we have a different way of thinking than before because our way of expressing has changed and our minds are developing very differently than in the 19's. The author states something when he said "It's in their economic interest to drive us to distraction." [867] in here the author is talking about the inventors of Google and some other companies, however he argues the point where he believed that these companies are trying to make us distracted when reading. Just like he pointed out that because of the internet his way of concentrating had slowed down; he points out that these "businessman" are one of the many responsible people. The author states that the internet has become "Our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV." [865] basically the internet has become something very big in our life's. Many stuffs have changed and according to the author "Old media have little choice but to play by the new-media rules." [866] so the media had to adjust to the new changes that the Net is bringing.

    I think that Nicholas Carr's main idea in this essay is to show and inform people how the Net is changing our life's, how it has changed our life in the past years and how we are changing due to the sudden invasion of this in our day by day. The internet is here to stay that is definitely, but my question is how has the internet improved so much in so little time? Is this even healthy for us?

    My use of the internet I have to say it is very unhealthy. I wake up due to the alarm at 5:30 am, I shower and then as I'm getting dressed I watch tv in the iPad. When I'm in the car on my way the university I put on my earphones and the world is on mute for almost 1 hour. When I get home after a long day of classes I sit at home prepare a snack and watch Netflix, it's almost like a ritual. At 6:00 pm I start my homework and before I go to bed I watch tv or read some books in an app on my phone. On weekends is worst because I take half of Friday and the whole Saturday to watch korean dramas or series I have been letting behind. As to being all the time on facebook or twitter or instagram, it's very rare in me but when it comes to watching tv or texting I'm always up for it.

    I agree with Carr's thesis because it shows how hung up we are with the internet. This new "phenomenon" has been hitting the world for a long time but now I think that people, including myself, are growing more attached to the electronics. We are going way too fast with the technology, because how is it possible that the IPhone 6 came almost two years ago and now they IPhone 7 is out, is it me or did this IPhone came out faster than the others. That's why I believe that the internet is already dominating the world.

  2. "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" by Nicholas Carr is about how the Internet is affecting our brains in different ways like: reading, writing, and thinking. The author uses his experiences and others'experiences and studies to proof his point. Carr starts by stating "My mind isn't going-so far as I can tell- but it's changing." (862). Then he shows us how his brain is being controlled by the web when he says "My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles." (863). So basically, his saying his mind is changing because his brain got accustomed to the 'online searches' and the information provided in it. The Carr uses some words by Maryanne Wolf that could explain why does this happen with our brains. Afterwards he states "And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. (864). Then the author shares a quote of James Olds that also explains why can the human brain/mind change perspective or points of views. Carr quotes "'The brain', according to Olds, 'has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.'" (865). Afterwards he says something very interesting about the Internet when he states "The Internet is a machine designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information, and its legions of programmers are intent on finding the 'one best method'-the perfect algorithm-to carry out every mental movement of what we've come to describe as 'knowledge work'"(866). Later on he asserts "Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the gifted young men who founded Google while pursuing doctoral degrees in computer science at Stanford, speak frequently of their desire to turn their search engine into an artificial intelligence, a HAL-like machine that might be connected directly to our brains."(867) affirming the real purpose of the 'Web search'. Lastly, Carr points out that "The Italian humanist Hieronimo Squarciafico worried that the easy availability of books would lead to intellectual laziness, making men 'less studious' and weakening their minds.

    I think that the author's main idea on this essay was about how the Internet is slowly taking over our skills and intelligence, controlling our minds. Carr says that even though the Internet had positive changes on our society, it also brought negative changes. On the essay he is focused on the negative changes. He talks about how we are becoming less and letting the Internet become more.

    My personal experience with these facilities is pretty much the same as his. He says he was doing everything he could do on the Internet, and so do I. I use this technology 24/7. If I am not in my house, I do not stay away from my phone screen. And if I am at my house, I could easily be using my computer and phone at the same time. I am always connected no matter where I go. I really like this technology, although what he says on the essay it is true. I have noticed my difficulty with concentration when reading something, and the lack of critical thinking. Lately, I have been working on it, because whenever I experience these symptoms I feel useless and stupid, which I hate. I recognize that the Internet, like most of the other things in the world, has its good qualities and bad qualities, which is why I believe we must create a balance in order to not let those bad qualities affect us. '

    I totally agree with Nicholas Carr's thesis. While I was reading this essay I could relate a lot with him and his experiences. The reason why I believed everything he said was because I have already passed through it too. I believe his thesis was also very relatable to most of his readers.

  3. Carr establishes that "Over the past few years I've had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neutral circuitry, reprogramming the memory." (p.862). He is explaining how technology has taken over in a way that he does not even feel that his thoughts are his own because something is taking over.

    Carr emphasizes that "When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances--literary types, most of them--many say they're having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing." (p.863). He is telling us that his friends could also relate to being distracted by technology when they sat down to write.

    Carr believes that "When we read online, she says, we tend to become 'mere decoders of information'. Our ability to interpret text to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged." (p.864). It is a little harder for us to read and deeply understand; we need to work a little harder on that because we don't really make those connections.

    Carr comments that "The internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition." (p.865). Because we rely to much on the internet and technology, we tend to forget information or simply lose interest so our cognitive system could be affected.

    Carr finds that "Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives--or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts--as the Internet does today." (p.866). This is because through it, we can find anything, it is very accessible.

    Carr points out "The idea that our minds should operate as high speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the networks reigning business model as well". (p.867) This benefits the companies because we keep searching and we see more ands and are more intrigued.

    I believe Carr's main idea is that every day there is some new technological advancement making its way into the world in an attempt to make life easier for people and we rely too much on it.

    I have to admit that most of my time is completely consumed by technology. Specially my phone and computer. I rely on these equipments too much and I even dare to say that I am addicted because when I do not use them, I feel bored. I recognized that I was missing out on many activities, conversations and on making memories because of being too attached to my phone and now I am working on letting go in order to have a better quality of life.

    I most definitely agree with Carr's thesis because as I mentioned before, we rely on technology for almost everything now a days and it is not necessarily helping us, but just doing things for us and this will cause an unhealthy dependance and ignorance.

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  5. In the essay "Is Google making us stupid?" by Nicholas Carr he talks about how the web is starting to influence in our lives in a negative way. The web is making us lose the skill of reading , writing and thinking in the worst way. Carr said “Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, 2 remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory.” ( 862). He wants to express that the internet was affecting his brain and his thinking in a way he can’t put his finger on. In the essay Carr brings what McLuhan said “As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation.” (863). He explains what Carr was thinking that the web decrease the thinking. He talks to about how he was before and after the web enter his life. He said in one part “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” (863) He was saying that once he was into reading and all that stuff and now he feels like his doing no reading just taking a glimpse of what is reading. He exposes to that he isn’t the only one suffering of this problem when he said “I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences.”(863) He is saying that other people is going through the same thing. It’s true somehow what he is saying because we are changing because of the internet and the influence it have on us. Carr wrote “It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense. (864) What he meant is that people go now online and look for information more easy and quick that looking for a book and read a lot just to define or know something. He talks to about how this is a different era a new and fresh world that’s very different of the 80’s and 90’s. He explains “But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self.” (864) We are a different generation and technology is the base of this new era and we are leaving the books in the past.

    2. I think that the thesis Carr wants to bring in this essay is that technology make us forget things and make us self-dependent of the web, it makes us feel like we need it always and there is no other way to know or search for things.

    3. Okay so I use technology at all time, like I wake up and my phone is in my hand and the first thing I do is go to social media, check if someone has write me or something. I enter constantly to check like in one day I do that like a hundred times or even more. I think is very unhealthy and I tried to stop it but I just can’t we are so wrapped in technology that is so hard to get out of it. Like when we were without electricity and the signals drop I was driving myself insane without being in contact with my friends or the people in the world. Sometimes I think that technology just make us unhappy and came to ruin the world out of technology related.

    4. I agree with Carr in the way that this is affecting the thinking and all of that, like some people including me. Sometimes like can finish a reading most of the time I just skip it and look for a summary and people used to read it all of it; now we have all that we need to know so fast and easy. Technology is affecting the brain because is not challenging him, is like taking care of a baby you give everything to him and all he does is eat and sleep.

  6. In the essay, "Is Google making us Stupid?" by Nicholas Carr, talk about how internet has been making us robots or human beings that don't enjoy life and other ways. The author explains, ''My mind isn't going --so far as I can tell--but it's changing. I'm not thinking the way I used to think.'' (862) This citation gives a focus argument on how the Internet has been controlling our lives and being influenced by laziness. It is also a way of saying how it becomes more of a daily need; it becomes a vice.

    Carr also mentions, ''Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind.'' (pg. 863) This is explaining how the internet can be such a good source for those who need it. It also tells how people can use it as a source of help and research but also the dangerous it can be when you use it so constantly. We replace the paper to a online reading.

    Online readings can change the way we read when it comes to books, articles or other things written in paper. When the author says, ''When we read online, she says, we tend to become ''mere decoders of information. .... It remains largely disengaged'' (pg. 864) this is telling us how sometimes the internet just turns us to be filled with lack of knowledge when it comes to knowing or learning something as you reedit on the Internet.

    Carr tells how, ''Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives--or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts-- as the Internet does today. (pg. 866) This is explaining how the Internet has developed and how we can use it as a tool for learning and knowing. Present Generations can achieve big amounts of information that past generations couldn't.

    Carr points out, ''people's mind become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience's new expectations.'' (pg. 866) Due to the fact that we are not adapted to traditional media, we want to know more everyday of every update. The Internet provides different sources that can be useful to adapt more to this Generation. I think what Carr wants to shares that traditional media is definitely changing due to the fact we have more people adapted to the new one.

    At last the author tells us, "In the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike than the most human character turns out to be a machine.'' (pg. 869) The author's point of view is to explain how we have become like robots, turning the Internet as a useful tool, even when we don't need it. The term ''Machinelike'' is very common to say as if we were machines and could't do anything more but to be on the Internet.

    I believe Carr's main idea is to let everyone know how the past few years have changed and now we are so used to being on the Internet and so close to technology. It makes people's life more easier and people are used to making their lives like that. The world is not adapted like past generations. This Generation is stuck on advancements and less work.

    I totally admit that since I got adapted to technology, I can't let it out of my life. I got used to using my computer or my phone everyday. Sometimes I try to just leave the phone in my room to study in the living room or in the office, but I can't take it for so long. All of a sudden, I know that for the past few years, I've been addicted to the technology and can't help the fact that this could affect me if I don't used it reasonably.

    I agree with Carr's Thesis, because like I said we get very used o Technology today and become addicted to it. Many people have died because of this use, not using it correctly. As useful as this tool is, it also can be harmful if we don't use it correctly.

  7. 1.
    Nicolas Carr, on his essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid” says that “now my concentration starts to drift after two or three pages” (862). For him, this meant that because technology is advancing and making things easier, we are losing our focus while reading because we don’t like to analyze things and we want the knowledge to be given in a direct and simpler form. The consequences of this are that we are getting lazier when we read and losing interest on learning things much more in dept. To this, he adds that “Research that once required days in the stack or periodical rooms of libraries, can now be done in a few minutes” (862). This contributes to our laziness I some way because we are just copying information from other sources instead of finding our own that can lead to other discoveries and the enrichment of our intelligence. In addition to this, Carr mentions “My mind now expects to take information the way the net distributes it” (863). This I find interesting because I always go surfing the web expecting to find exactly what I’m looking for and most of the time this doesn’t happens so it troubles me to have to look for more information to correlate and gather the information needed. This was also stated on the essay by the author: “they typically read no more than one or two pages of an article or book before they would “bounce” out to another site” (863). This is exactly what I do when I don’t find the information that I need. This is bad because it’s one of the causes that makes us lazier because we are used to getting the information from scratch without having to go through all the trouble of a long search. It all leads to a non-effort search. That’s what’s been happening during all these years, we are letting technology take control of our lives and can’t live without it. Nicolas Carr points out that “it’s becoming our map ad our clock, our printing press and typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and our TV” (865). We can barely live without technology, we would go crazy if we didn’t have technology for one month. that leaves us with a phrase from the author that summarize what the internet is. “The internet is a machine designed for the efficient and automat collection, transmission and manipulation of information, and is legion of programmers are intent on finding “the one best method” to carry out every mental movement of what comes to describe as “knowledge work” (866). The internet is a powerful tool that we use almost every day and helps us with our daily basic chores.
    2. I think that his main idea is to tell us historically how much we have changed our ways of learning, reading, and performing jobs with the help of technology and internet. It also expresses how those changes have made us lazier and how we are used to getting what we are looking for without having to go through efforts.
    3. my interaction with technology is something I would call sacred. I think I couldn’t go through a single day without having any thought on technology. I admit that it is making me lazier and less efficient but I would consider it like some kind of addiction which I could never leave. I use it to communicate with others, to entertain myself, doing activities like watching online series. And one of the most important uses of the internet for me is for doing projects and university’s works.
    4. I totally agree with what the author is saying because we can see with our own eyes the damages and consequences of the over use of technology. But in the end, we don’t even care, a least most of the people don’t care. We just live for the internet and by the internet.

  8. "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" By Nicholas Carr is a reading where he points out this generations dependance on the internet. He shares his and other bloggers experiences saying "I've been spending a lot of time online" (862), and I relate to this because I spent 10+ hours daily on the web. I do this because of the social media and for college assignments because "research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes." (862) "The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing." (862) I have to agree with Carr where he quoted that someone "... confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether." (863) That doesn't mean that I don't read because "thanks to the ubiquity of text on the internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s..." (864). Just like him I agree that "never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives... as the Internet does today." (866)

  9. In the essay "Is Google making us stupid?" by Nicholas Carr, he mentions "I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading...Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages."(862)
    Here is clear how the Internet have affected his reading and his concentration. He also comment; "The more they used the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on the long pieces of writing." (863) He is no the only person being affected, the web is affecting all of us.''Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind.'' (pg. 864) Internet can be a good thing and a bad one.

    I think that the thesis of this essay is that technology makes are living more easier but at the same time makes us dependent more on it. Critical thinking, concentration, are thing we are loosing because of technology.

    Technology is a big part of my life, use for entrainment or homework, technology have became a big helping tool. I never like technology too much, but I was force to used it because in high school there was a lot of book in pdf. My parents never force me to dependent on technology, like now a days. I had my first phone ‪at 15-16‬ old, that's pretty late in my generation. I thinks that I don't dependent on technology that much, the way I see it is that I'm forced, in one way or another to dependent on technology.
    I'm so attache to my phone that I know it have become a problem. My phone is my wallet, dictionary, books, notebook, car keys, radio, tv and much more.

    I agree with the writer, technology makes us stupid and more lazy because is so easy getting the information that your searching and what you want to know.