First Draft As

Nicholas Carr's article titled "Is Google Making us Stupid?" was published on September, 28th 2013 in The Atlantic. The Atlantic is known for its articles on politics and other debatable topics and Carr's piece fits right in. Carr's article talks about the Internet and how he thinks, from his experience, that it is in fact making the general population "stupid". Carr uses personal experiences, unrelated sources, and outdated information to state his claim in his less than convincing essay.

In Carr's article he starts with a snippet from the 2001 film A Space Odyssey immediately starting his quest to convince his reader that technology as we know it, will in fact lead us to mental devastation. Most readers understand that HAL, the malfunctioning computer, is a fictional character but the mere thought of technology being able to someday doom us all is exactly what Carr needed to hit his readers emotions and fear. He continues on to talk about someone tinkering with his brain and the problems he has been having regarding reading on the internet. His purpose in this article is to convince his readers that people are spending too much time on the web and not enough time with books and written literature, which is in turn creating problems for our minds.

The catalyst of Carr's article is the laziness, which he has been experiencing regarding his reading habits after relying on the Internet for his work. His main claim is similar to the catalyst, he is claiming that the readily available internet is making the culture of reading, lazy. He supports his claim by using his own experiences and also the experiences of his friends, of “the literary type”. Adding the slight detail that his friends are of “literary type” has no validity. As a reader is it unclear whether “literary type” persons are avid novel readers or famous novelists.

Carr uses support that has little to no validity. He uses personal situations and instances to prove that the Internet is making us lazy readers. He suggests that people go online to avoid the traditional sense of reading and to find ways to learn information more rapidly by “power browsing”. One of Carr’s literary type friends also suggests that it’s not the way he is reading that has changed but subsequently the way he thinks. Carr attempts to use linkage with a study from the University of London College on online study habits. The study did not prove that our reading or thinking has changed, instead it also suggested that browsing pages and articles for information was happening, but did not show the information in a negative light to agree with Carr’s argument.

Later in Carr’s essay he uses a tidbit about Friedrich Nietzsche and his typewriter in 1882. Not only is this support completely out of date but also contradicts Carr’s whole claim. The tidbit talks about how the type writer saved Nietszche’s writing by giving him the ability to find a better flow with his writing and give his eyes a break from the tiredness of a pen and paper. Why would the Internet not being doing the same thing for our reading? The Internet in fact may be saving the way we read. Instead of getting tired of long books and articles it is much easier for us to now skim sources and find more information faster.

Through all of Carr’s claims and support, justified or not, his larger implications seem to be that as we enter a culture more dependent on the internet for information, we in turn are keeping ourselves from being as intellectual as we could be. He finishes his article referring back to 2001 suggesting that in the end of the film, the most human like figure was the computer itself and that the humans had become so robotic and reliant on technology that they had lost all of their humanity after all. He is implying that if we continue down the road of technology that we are on, that we too will turn ourselves into nothing but robots.

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