The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember

The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember


By (author) Nicholas Carr

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Paperback $10.45
  • Publisher: ATLANTIC BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 234mm x 22mm | 481g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848872267
  • ISBN 13: 9781848872264
  • Edition statement: Export & Airside ed
  • Sales rank: 55,240

Product description

The Internet is eroding our capacity for concentration and contemplation, chipping away at our ability to read and think deeply. In The Shallows, Nicholas Carr argues that every information technology, whether it's the alphabet or the map or the computer, carries an intellectual ethic - a set of assumptions about the nature of information and intelligence. The mechanical clock demanded that the world be understood in terms of divided and measurable time: it was the ethic of the scientist. The printing press tuned our minds to the supple, linear arguments of individual thinkers: it was the ethic of the writer. The Internet is entirely different. It encourages the rapid, nonlinear collection and processing of many small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is the ethic of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of inputs and outputs, of optimised production and consumption. Drawing on neuroscience, media theory, and economics, Nicholas Carr argues that our ever-growing dependence on the Internet is not only influencing our behaviour but is actually rewiring the neural circuitry of our brains. It's changing the way we think, perhaps even altering our conception of our selves. The Internet, like the popular information technologies that came before it, is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at surfing and skimming information, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. We are moving from the depths to the shallows.

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Author information

Nicholas Carr is the author of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google. He contributes to the New York Times, Guardian, Financial Times and Wired. He was formerly the executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, where he specialised in editing and writing articles on business strategy, information technology, and the Internet.

Review quote

Nicholas Carr has written an important and timely book. See if you can stay off the web long enough to read it! --Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change"