Rhetorical Analysis Project JL

Rhetorical Analysis Project

Technology today is everywhere. You can’t turn a corner without seeing someone on their cellphone or go to a place of business and not being able to get a WiFi connection. Although this statement isn’t true in every single case, it is in most cases. We have become so reliant on technology, kids in first grade use iPads instead of using books. This is the point that Nicholas Carr was trying to make in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

The purpose of the article was written to warn people. Carr was trying to show it was possible that the continuous use of the internet is permanently changing our brain and the ability to form our own ideas. The audience he was aiming to focus on was people that spend a lot of time on the internet, whether for business or just browsing. What I found out about the author was that he is a technology writer who has an educational background in literature. As a baby boomer, he has seen a great deal of change in the use of technology and how it is used in everyday life, giving him credibility on the subject of his article. He wrote in the genre characterized as an online magazine article in which the context of the article was posted in The Atlantic on July 1, 2008.

The catalyst of Carr’s article was focused on technology and its effect on the human brain. He feels that our ability to form our own ideas is being changed permanently through our tendency to use the internet. He begins his article by saying “I’m not thinking the way I used to think.” The statement is a strong support for his purpose of this article. He states, “now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages.” What he noticed was that for himself he was unable to focus on reading a book because of the way technology has changed him in present times. He can’t focus on reading page after page looking for an answer and feels unable to focus due to the fact that he is able to search for an answer much faster using the internet. This is the rhythm that technology has added to all of our lives.

As I read the article I found some more supporting statements he used. One example would be about search engines; he feels they could be smarter than a human. Carr feels that the human brain is an outdated computer and all it needs is an upgrade; a faster processor and bigger hard drive. Along with the internet providing us with faster information, it has also caused our attention levels to decrease. “When the Net absorbs a medium that medium is re-created in the Nets image”….”The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.” He used this as a support to state that the ads on the sides of the articles on web pages draw our attention away from what we are there to find.

He linked his supports together using a few different statements. For instance, “I can feel it, I can feel it.” He used a quote in his article from the movie, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the reason he used this quote is because he can feel that his mind is changing how it works. “The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.” He has come to notice that it is much easier to search on the internet for information rather than do research in books.

Another example is the statement, “in deciding when to eat, to work, to sleep, to rise, we stopped listening to our senses and started obeying the clock.” He claims that when the clock was first invented we did everything according to the clock, now it’s about technology. We work according to a computer; we rely on computers to do basic functioning instead of putting our own effort in to reading a book and finding the information ourselves. This statement was an interesting way of linking the article together on how technology may makes us a bit lazy or not as self-reliant as we could be.

Carr’s implication of the article is that he feels that we need to take the time to read more books and back away from relying on technology. He is warning that the addiction we have to technology has become all-consuming making our intelligence seem unrealistic. “In the world of 2001, people have become so machine like that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick's dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.”

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