shirky responds to carr

in my last last post i set myself the task of a closer reading (quietly and without interruption) of clay shirky’s reply to carr’s article ‘is google making us stupid’.

shirky’s argument is that carr is not really just talking about ‘thinking’ and how the internet is rewiring our brains to read and think more in the shallows, but that he is actually discussing the threat the internet poses to enlightenment-born, liberal ideas about culture and intellectual merit (larry sanger argued this case also). shirky’s now famous quote that noone reads war and peace anymore, because ‘it’s too long and not so interesting’ is provocative. he goes further, claiming that there is now ‘an entire literature about the reading of proust…that is now more widely read than proust’s actual oeuvre.’

shirky wants us to acknowledge that the shift we find ourselves in is not optional and there are sacrifices to me made. so, he asks, what can we do to make the sacrifices worth it? how do we find a way to ‘focus amid new intellectual abundance’? my frustration is that he doesn’t give us any ideas about how we might achieve it.

i’ll close on one of my favourite comments following the article.
‘i went to my public library yesterday to get the new, highly praised translation of ‘war and peace’. it was out.’ (bob mchenry)

Advertisements
This entry was posted in education and elearning and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s