Not everyone is rolling over on Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows, which says that the Internet is making us — what’s the word? Dummer. I mean, dumber.
Taking a contrarian perspective, Steve Pinsker, a Harvard professor argues in “Mind Over Mass Media” on the New York Times op-ed page, that:
“The new media have caught on for a reason. Knowledge is increasing exponentially; human brainpower and waking hours are not. Fortunately, the Internet and information technologies are helping us manage, search and retrieve our collective intellectual output at different scales, from Twitter and previews to e-books and online encyclopedias. Far from making us stupid, these technologies are the only things that will keep us smart.”
He makes an interesting point. But since I’ve taken only a few sentences from his entire argument, I’m also reinforcing a point that Carr makes: more information scanned but at shallower depths.