Rhetorical Anaysis Huseby


In Nicholas Carr's article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", published on September 28, 2013, he shines a light on the fact that reading long stories or articles has become very difficult because the use of the internet has made it tough to absorb the information read. This is an online article that is directed towards well educated adults that use the internet on a daily basis. Many sources in this article are scholars with background knowledge of this subject. This is an essay written to inform readers on a very important and underrated subject.

The catalyst that prompted the question was what he explained throughout the second paragraph. He states that he has had an “uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with his brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory.” He then mentions how he feels it most strongly when he is reading. Carr then says that “immersing himself in a book or lengthy article used to be easy. His mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and he would spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore.” That made the implied thesis more recognizable, understanding that Google (Internet) is making the brain have more trouble absorbing the information, therefore making people more stupid.

Carr supports his claim with many example sources. After telling his literary friends about his discovery, he then learned from them that they also have the same problem. He also has many scholars and well educated people who he quotes throughout the article. Bruce Friedman, a long time pathologist at the University of Michigan Medical School, stated that “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print.” “I can’t even read War and Peace anymore.” He also said, “I have lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.” This is a very good support for what the author is trying to get across. Carr stated that even when he is not working, he is still writing emails, reading blogs, watching videos, listening to podcasts, or just skipping from link to link. By using these examples, the author makes it clear to the readers that they use the internet more than they think. The internet is so convenient and easy to use that people no longer have the ability to absorb information through books and articles.

Although some statements are better linked together than other ones, Carr manages to connect his thesis statement with his article. One example of linkage that Carr uses in this article is when he brings his friends opinions into the article. He mentions that they have the same problems he does in the fact that they can't focus on articles anymore because the internet is making it difficult. An interesting statement he makes is that some bloggers that he follows have began talking about this phenomenon. Scott Karp, an online blogger, said he was a lit major in college and now he can hardly read a book anymore. He said "What happened? What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I'm just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?"

There are many implications in this article. One implication that Carr made was when he said "our inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance, we risk turning into 'pancake people' - spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button." The final thing Carr talks about that really gets his point across is in the final paragraph when he talks about the movie 2001. He says he is haunted by a scene where people have become so machine-like that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That is a major point that he is trying to get across. When we start doing absolutely everything on the internet, we will rely so much on computers that our intelligence will become almost unnatural, and we will become stupid.

People could argue that the internet is actually helping people learn because everything you need is in one place. With the use of Google and the internet in general, people have the ability to expand their knowledge on any topic they want. Although, this article is based on Google itself, and many people could make arguments that Google itself is not making them stupid. This article could also have an opposite effect. It could really shine a light on a subject that many people today don't even realize. Is Google really making us stupid? An article like this may not make someone spend less time on Google or the internet, but it may guide them to choose a different way to broaden their knowledge.

Rhetorical Analysis Peer Review Huseby

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