Anyway, it is a fun topic that runs all the way back to Plato, so it consumed a good five years of my life, more like 10, if you consider it remains a true obsession.
Thought you might like to debate what it means for literature and reading here! I'll excerpt a few thoughts from both guys.
Techcrunch: No, The Internet Won't Make You Stupid.
Nick Carr is worried the Internet is making us stupid. [...] He thinks the Internet is rewiring our brains, perhaps for the worse, and he’s written a book to warn us all about it called The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. Carr also finds links to be too distracting.
Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker wrote in the New York Times on Friday that “cognitive neuroscientists roll their eyes at such talk,” and NYT Bits blogger Nick Bilton marshaled some other counter-evidence as well. Carr then responded to Pinker’s Op-Ed at length, claiming that Pinker has an “axe to grind here” because Carr’s point that experiences can change the brain on a cellular level “poses a challenge to Pinker’s faith in evolutionary psychology.” Of, course, Carr has his own axe to grind. Remember, he’s the one pushing the new book.
At the core of Carr’s alarmism is that the Web is simply at odds with deep, contemplative thought and reflection. It’s really a defense of book learning in its most basic form—again, not surprising coming from an author of books who values above all else the printed word.
Meanwhile, Clay Shirky (a guy with whom I've had some acquaintance) believes the Internet is expanding our minds, exponentially.