Spent the day (and most of the evening) reading Nicholas Carr’s new book, The Shallows. The money graf:
“[I]f, knowing what we know today about the brain’s plasticity, you were to set out to invent a medium that would rewire our mental circuits as quickly and thoroughly as possible, you would probably end up designing something that looks and works a lot like the Internet. It’s not just that we tend to use the Net regularly, even obsessively. It’s that the Net delivers precisely the kind of sensory and cognitive stimuli– repetitive, intensive, interactive, addictive– that have been shown to result in strong and rapid alterations in brain circuits and functions.” It’s “the single most powerful mind-altering technology… since the book.” (116)
I’ll have a more detailed analysis of the book on the Contemplative Computing blog tomorrow. I’m trying to make my way through as much of what you might think of as the digital Cassandra literature as I can stand.