Nicholas Carr has a new book.
What are the consequences of new habits of mind that abandon sustained immersion and concentration for darting about, snagging bits of information? What is gained and what is lost?
Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class As Soulcraft:
The core of education is this: developing the capacity to concentrate. The fruits of this capacity we call civilization. But all that is finished, perhaps. Welcome to the shallows, where the un-educating of homo sapiens begins. Nicholas Carr does a wonderful job synthesizing the recent cognitive research. In doing so, he gently refutes the ideologists of progress, and shows what is really at stake in the daily habits of our wired lives: the re-constitution of our minds. What emerges for the reader, inexorably, is the suspicion that we have well and truly screwed ourselves.
You can't be happy all the time, but you can pretty much focus all the time. That's about as good as it gets.
There's a gap emerging between the kind of thinking that requires long, uninterrupted, serious concentration on something and superficial surfing behaviour.
Russel Arben Fox:
In becoming jugglers of information we are actually making it -- neurologically, psychologically, structurally -- harder and harder for our own brains to do anything otherwise.
There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.
It's just sort of like: 'Why does everything have to be on the screen?'
Some things we forget. But many things we remember on the mental screen, which is the biggest screen of all.
We have a population explosion of ideas, but not enough brains to cover them.