Book Review: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr | Science News

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Book Review: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

Review by Rachel Zelkowitz

By
12:47pm, August 13, 2010

In 2008, science and technology writer Nicholas Carr asked in The Atlantic if Google is “making us stupid.” His latest book is an effort to answer that question and, more broadly, to explore how the tools of the Internet age are altering the way people find and use information.

Carr spends much of the book exploring how technology has shaped human habits of information consumption. Written language, for instance, made the poet-historian’s memory less crucial. With Gutenberg’s printing press, reading became widespread and the human brain, ever plastic, adapted to new demands. Now, the shift to online information is causing further neural changes but, Carr argues, mostly to ill effect.

Carr maintains that the Internet encourages distraction and superficia

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