September 29, 2010
IN AN often quoted piece, Is Google making us stupid?, published in The Atlantic two years ago, former Harvard Business Review editor Nicholas Carr made the provocative argument that the ease of online searching and browsing affected our ability to concentrate.
Carr wrote: ”My mind isn’t going – so far as I can tell – but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case any more.”
In his Rough Type blog, Carr said the internet had inverted Edgar’s line from King Lear: ”Ripeness is All”. ”The Bard did not anticipate the real-time web,” he wrote. ”On the New Net, ripeness is nothing. Nowness is all