Rhetorical Analysis B.E.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? Analysis

The purpose of this online, informative article, Is Google Making Us Stupid?, is to influence the mind of the audience that they have also been affected mentally by the internet. This is an important topic to readers and the author because Nicholas Carr, the author, and the people who read this article because these people are doing exactly what the article cautions-surfing the Net. Readers are curious to know if this phenomenon is occurring in their brains. Carr states in his article that his mind does not process long writings as well as it used to, and his friends, whom he calls “literary types”, experience the same ordeal. This reference to “literary types” makes it seem as though this article is meant for those people; However, since this article is posted on the well-known website, The Atlantic, the audience is most likely intended to be anyone who takes his or her time to pause and read it. Readers are curious to know if and how the internet could be mangling their brains, and Carr is supplying the medium of information to inform them.

Carr’s catalyst in this article is him wondering why his brain has been perceiving information oddly in recent years. His claim pertaining to this problem that the internet is changing the way people think; Which is apparent through his title: Is Google Making Us Stupid? This article may also be a way for him to process the information surrounding this phenomenon for himself, considering he is quite active on the Net.

Carr uses opinions and examples in his text that evoke emotion for the audience to get his point on this matter heard. He begins and ends this piece with excerpts taken from the film A Space Odyssey that succeeds in wrenching the readers heart as the supercomputer HAL quivers over the feeling of his brain shutting down. He Carr writes of friends and acquaintances and other bloggers who have felt their brains go through changes in the past decade. He even brings back memories of when the television was more popular than the computer. Carr uses introspection into his own life and proposed fond subjects of other lives to urge the audience to continue reading and feel some kind of emotion pertaining to this subject.

While this context is used mainly so Carr can move his readers emotionally, he also provides some substantial evidence to support the theory of our brains adapting because of the internet. His friends and other bloggers provide first-hand information into how they have been affected, and he even admits to feeling something different while reading. Carr has a pathologist from University of Michigan Medical School confessing to losing his concentration, and developmental psychologist at Tufts University, Maraynne Wolf, reading into the wonder of this theory. On top of all of these first-hand and expert accounts, Carr cited findings from a study conducted by scholars from University College London which exhibited the same results as he would have predicted. Carr used emotion and sturdy evidence to hold his thesis.

Carr uses the last sentence of almost every one of his paragraphs to wrap up the thought he was portraying throughout the paragraph. Many of these sentences are relating to the audience. For example, “Our ability to interpret text, to make rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged” and “It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV” are both sentences Carr uses to end paragraphs, and both relate closely to the audiences lives. While he seems to tie up his thoughts nicely, Carr makes the mistake a making some claims without explaining them thoroughly. For example, when Carr states: “…we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. But it’s a different kind of reading…” most readers just gloss over it without questioning him. He never explains why television was everyones “medium of choice” or how it is a “different kind of reading” now. He fails to thoroughly explain his thoughts while writing.

Nicholas Carr is informing people on how the internet may be affecting their brains through this article. As he reached the main conclusion of his thesis, a few smaller, yet equally concerning, conclusions or implications of how this will affect people are stated. With prolonged time associated with the internet or new forms of media, people’s “capacity for concentration and contemplation” will be diminished, “a form of skimming activity” will be used rather than deep reading, “our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction” will remain disengaged, attention will be scattered and diffused, all of these implications ultimately resulting in a “different kind of thinking”. All of these apparent outcomes, all for the ultimate goal of “perfect efficiency”, which Google is trying to create with its web browser. Carr ends his article with this daunting statement: “…as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.” All of these conclusions made throughout his article are meant to grasp the audiences attention and make them consider the future of the internet and of their own brains.

Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review B.E.

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