The Internet Brain

In: Other Topics

Submitted By cbear71
Words 1163
Pages 5
Christopher Barefoot
Mrs. Stein
English 111.4402
20 September 2013
The Internet Brain
Have you ever read a chapter in a book just to get to the end and realize you have no idea what you just read? Maybe after reading the first couple of paragraphs of an interesting article, it becomes too much of a struggle to concentrate and finish the whole thing. The rest of the article is skimmed in an effort to find the main points and achieve that instant gratification. These are not unusual occurrences, and they are becoming more prevalent. Author and columnist Nicholas Carr discusses this phenomenon and makes an argument for what he thinks might be the cause. Carr’s essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” in The Arlington Reader (336-344), explores his thoughts and feelings on his belief that the Internet has “reprogrammed” his mind. While the Internet might not actually be making people stupid, it certainly is having an effect on their thinking and their ability to process and absorb information.
Carr alludes to a scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in an attempt to draw in and connect with the reader. He describes a scene near the end of the film in which the astronaut Dave narrowly escapes death after coming to the realization that the ship’s supercomputer HAL is malfunctioning. Dave is left with no choice other than to disconnect the memory circuits that control HAL’s artificial brain. All the while HAL pleads with Dave to stop the disassembly saying that he can feel his mind going. In this particular scene, roles are reversed. The computer conveys more emotion and human characteristics while expressing its despair and fear at the disassembly process. The human takes on the more robotic and machinelike characteristics as he goes about his task calmly and coldly. Carr concludes that he knows how HAL feels because, he says, “I have an uncomfortable sense…...

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