Rhetorical Analysis Megan L

Purpose: To get his word out there that google is making the general population stupid.
Audience: Anyone that uses the internet on a daily basis and feels the same way about the issue.
Author: Nicholas Carr
Implications:To get his word out there to see if anyone felt the same.
Catalyst: He noticed that he couldn't focus anymore. and he is blaming google for that fact.
Genre: Online magazine article
Context: In the Atlantic on July 1 2008

Is Google Really Making the Population Stupid? I reviewed Katie's and Paris'

The article "Is Google Making us Stupid?" was published on July 1, 2008 in the Atlantic. The Atlantic is an online magazine that focuses on the economy, politics, and foreign affairs. It was written by Nicholas Carr who just wanted to get his word out into the public of how he feels Google is making the general population, or "us", stupid. The audience that this article is aimed towards is well-educated people around the ages of 30 to 40 who have a literary background and remember what reading was like before the Internet.

Carr's main claim throughout the article is that Google is making "us" stupid. That claim to me doesn't make much sense considering his age because he didn't grow up using the Internet everyday he is just now becoming accustomed to it. It didn't occur to him that this might be happening due to his age. He automatically goes to the conclusion that Google is making everyone stupid. If anything Google is a wonderful source of information that makes it easier for everyone. When I think about it, it actually would make someone smarter with all the information they could ever imagine right there at their fingertips. Carr uses pretty meaningless support to back up his main claim. Most of the time he uses his personal opinion to tell us how we are becoming 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” or skimming. If not that he gets support from his middle aged friends that view it the same way or from a study that is nearly 50 years old or more. People such as Scott Karp and Bruce Freidman, both bloggers, agree with Carr saying "I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print” or "I stopped reading books altogether." It hints in the article that both of them are of older age just like Carr which would make sense if age was the issue.

Nicholas noticed that he couldn't focus anymore and he automatically blames Google for that fact. Like I said before it never occurred to him that this might be happening because of his becoming of old age. Carr says, "I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy." He wanted to get his word out there to show that other people have had the same feeling before. In my opinion the whole idea is fare fetched and he is just blaming Google for a feeling that he is having. He even says that Google used to be such a help for himself as a writer. It is where he got most of his information. But now that he can't concentrate it is Google's fault that does make sense to me.

"The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data processing machines.."(267) He says that our minds should be operating faster, like computers but continues to show support that has nothing to do with his claim. If he feels that the internet is making us stupid but in turn wants out minds to operate like computer doesn't make sense. His support suggests that the mega companies such as Google want us to search the web faster and click on as many links as we can. He also implies that those companies would not encourage leisurely reading and concentrated thought. However, earlier in this section he mentions that the internet is making our minds scattered and making it harder for us to concentrate over long periods of time in turn making the reading process slower, therefore contradicting himself.

Throughout the whole article Carr made many claims and had support most of the time. The support though may not have been the best. Carr's idea of support is his opinion or how his friends feel about the situation. I feel his main claim is to strong of one. He needs to look at all age groups and realize that the Internet is a wonderful source of information and reading materials. I can see where he is coming from though with not being able to concentrate but I don't think that is Google's fault.

Peer Review Megan L.

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