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User Review  - kateminasian - LibraryThing

Discuss: This book took me a month to read because I have internet caused ADD and can't manage to focus on something long enough to process it correctly. Basically, this book terrified me. I guess in ... Read full review

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User Review  - tjsjohanna - LibraryThing

There are a lot of compelling ideas in this book and some interesting illustrations, but the book felt uneven and sometimes disconnected. Maybe the result of the internet age?? What I found most ... Read full review

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User Review  - ppoche - LibraryThing

The Shallows examines the way that the Internet revolution is changing the way society and our brains work. Nicholas Carr describes how each new technology, from the invention of the written language ... Read full review

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User Review  - dhut0042 - LibraryThing

Chapters 1-5 The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr is an ambitious book which attempts to explain the loss in ability to pay attention to lengthy books and media many ... Read full review

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User Review  - kimberlyhebert - LibraryThing

Part 1 I had previously read an excerpt of this book in the form of an article titled "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" published a few years ago in the Atlantic Monthly, and was delighted to learn that ... Read full review

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User Review  - KarenNunez - LibraryThing

This book starts off with Nicholas Carr describing how he feels computers are changing the way our minds are wired. He goes into how he feels he isn’t concentrating in the same way he did before he ... Read full review

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User Review  - erinchauff - LibraryThing

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr charts how the growth of technology has altered our brains and shaped civilization. He begins with the notion of neuroplasticity ... Read full review

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Stayed engaged throughout, made me reflect on what my own intellectual practices are and how I might improve them.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Rich with historical anecdotes and replete with scientific surveys and evidence, "The Shallows" is a book that demands your respect whether you are comfortable giving it or not. And many people won't be. After all, Carr is a bit of a skunk at the cyber-garden party. I mean, how dare he suggest that all is not wine and roses with our glorious new world of instantaneous connectivity, abundant information flows, and cheap (often free) media content! Obviously, most of us want to believe that all adds up to a more well-rounded worldview and greater wisdom about the world around us. Carr is skeptical of those claims and "The Shallows" is his latest effort to poke a hole in the cyber-utopian claims that sometimes pervade discussions about Internet. Although, ultimately, he doesn't quite convinced me that "The Web is a technology of forgetfulness," he has made a powerful case that its effects may not be as salubrious as many of us have assumed.
But the ultimate question is: Do the costs really outweigh the benefits? Is it the case that these technologies "turn numb the most intimate, the most human, of our natural capacities -- those for reason, perception, memory, emotion"? I think that goes a bit too far, however. Importantly, Carr doesn't really ever answer the crucial question here: Were we really better off in the decades prior to the rise of the Net? Did we really read more and engage in the more contemplative deep-reading and thinking he Carr fears we are losing because of the Net? Count me among those who think that -- whatever most of us are doing in front our our computers most nights, and no matter how distracting it is -- it has to be better than much of the crap we wasted our spare time on in the past!
It would have also been nice to have seen Carr offer up some personal suggestions for how we each might better manage cognitive overload, which can be a real problem. In a brief "digression" chapter entitled "On the Writing of This Book," Carr does mention some of the steps he took personally to make sure he could complete "The Shallows" without being driven to distraction by the Web and digital technologies. But he doesn't dwell on that much, which is a shame. A bit of a self-help can go a long way toward alleviating the worst forms of cognitive overload, although it will continue to be a struggle for many of us.
Despite the reservations I’ve raised here, Nick Carr’s "The Shallows" is my early favorite for the most important info-tech book of the year andwill be required reading in this field for many years to come. [You can find my complete review of Carr's "The Shallows" over at the Technology Liberation Front blog: http://techliberation.com/2010/06/01/book-review-nicholas-carr%E2%80%99s-the-shallows ]
 

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User Review  - Scarchin - LibraryThing

The Internet is changing your brain. Amazing and scary stuff. Also - interesting background on the history of the written word. Read full review


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