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Research and google “Is google making us stupid” nicholas carr preface to the googlization of everything (and why we should worry) siva vaidhyanathan. ENG 102 1/17/14. “Is google making us stupid?”. Nicholas Carr 2008

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eng 102 1 17 14
Research and google“Is google making us stupid” nicholascarrpreface to the googlization of everything (and why we should worry) sivavaidhyanathan

ENG 102 1/17/14

is google making us stupid
“Is google making us stupid?”
  • Nicholas Carr
  • 2008
  • Argument: Google has a strong impact on the mental functions of its users, especially in terms of memoryand attention span.
    • Agree or disagree?
  • “For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind” (Carr)
  • “When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image. It injects the medium’s content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration” (Carr)
negative cognitive impacts
Negative Cognitive impacts
  • Reading
    • “The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle” (Carr)
    • Skimming
  • Concentration
    • “My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles” (Carr)
  • Contemplation
  • Memory
positive impacts
Positive impacts
  • Research
  • Multi-tasking
  • Access to more information
  • Doing more reading than ever (just a different kind of reading)
  • Communication
google carr
Google (carr)
  • Google’s claims:
    • Organize information
    • “perfect search engine”
    • More information + more speed = more productive thinkers
  • BUT… “The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction”
discussion on carr
Discussion on carr
  • Agree/disagree?
  • Any flaws in his argument?
  • Strengths of his argument?
the googlization of everything and why we should worry
“The googlization of everything (and why we should worry)”
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan
  • 2011
  • Argument: Google is not good or bad – it doesn’t make us smarter or dumber – but it’s not neutral either. We need to remember that it is a company with commercial interests.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yurRkIrG4aw
google is a company
Google is a company
  • Google’s motto: “Don’t be evil”
  • Commercial interests
  • Google tracks us
  • It is a company – “not a source of good and enlightenment” (Vaidhyanathan)
  • What are Google’s motives?
things to consider when searching
Things to consider when searching
  • Ranking of results – what comes up first and why?
  • Omission – what is excluded and why?
  • Problems with Google:
    • Faith
    • Dependence
    • Rarely question it
    • Overuse
    • Reckless use