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Is Google Making Us Stupid? RAVA

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Shane Shadrick

on 16 February 2016

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Transcript of Is Google Making Us Stupid? RAVA

Is Google Making Us Stupid? RAVA
Intended Audience
Carr's intended audience are adults who use the internet frequently. People who use the internet little if at all would not be affected as much as regular users.
Carr uses pathos sparingly but effectively. Friedrich Nietzsche's vision was failing him so he ought a typewriter so that words could flow from his mind to the page. The typewriter changed the way he wrote, his "tight prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic". The whole prospect of this article is bittersweet tragedy. Technology aids us but has unforeseen consequences. Carr expresses fear and dread of the prospect of artificial intelligence surpassing that of humans.
Besides the beginning paragraph and the ending paragraph, the article does not heavily rely on the reader's emotions. Perhaps the example of HAL and Carr's weariness of increasing technology would leave some readers fearful of the changes occurring with our brain's though processes.

Nicholas Carr wrote this article to stress the effect new technology has on the human learning process. The reader cannot change the internet culture that surrounds them, but they can adapt to the new way of learning.
Larger Conversation
the internet
artificial intelligence
process of thought
search engines
the human brain
nature vs technology
The genre of this article is Essay. The author's viewpoint is the primary focus of the article.
Arrangement and Organization
Nicholas Carr uses an example from
2001: A Space Odyssey
, a well known Stanley Kubrick film to introduce the idea of artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence, the astronaut. He uses logos in the form of plenty of examples demonstrating the affect technology has on the human brain. The thesis is reflected in the title of the article and is stated in the fifth paragraph and the final paragraph. His purpose is also stated in the second paragraph of the composition.
The tone of this piece is consistent throughout the composition, save for the beginning and ending paragraphs. For most of the article, Carr takes a serious tone using examples and explanations to validate his viewpoint. In the beginning and ending paragraph, there are slightly dark overtones set with the example of HAL from
2001: A Space Odyssey
. He does not use harsh or rude language to confront his readers, rather using mild mannered, calm, intelligent examples to display how the human brain adapts due to changes in conditions.
Nicholas Carr does not establish his credibility as a writer in the article. His use of the examples show that this article was either well researched or he has an extensive knowledge in the realm of technology. In a blurb called "About the Author", it states that he writes for
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
, and
. He writes about technology and culture, so he should at least have a basic knowledge of the internet and how it works. Perhaps a lack of certain type of credibility helps Carr's article; it demonstrates that the internet affects everybody no matter your status. Almost everyone has access and uses the internet, most daily. He acknowledges that some people will not be convinced saying "You should be skepical of my skepticism."
The Language He Chooses/ Word Choice Illuminates Tone
"uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain"
"chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation"
"mere decoders of information"
"the human brain is almost infinitely malleable"
"our own intelligence flattens into artificial intelligence"
Reading lengthy books or long articles used to be easier, but extensive exposure to being online changed the way our brains process information, being used to quick blurbs of information.
Humans adapt to live with new technologies. We have learned to eat, sleep, and work around the clock. We have stopped obeying our natural senses.
The human brain is malleable. It can reprogrammed, much like a computer. In fact, the human brain is characterized as such. Before then, they were said to operate "like clockwork". We take on the qualities of the technologies we use.
The internet now serves as many of our other intellectural technologies, such as the typewriter, the telephone, the calculator, the radio, and the TV.
Logos (cont.)
Google views information as a commodity, a "utilitarian resource that can be mined and processed with industrial efficiency" (Carr).
The human brain cannot be replaced or compared to a machine.
We are in need of quiet spaces. If we lose them or fill them up with "content", then we will lose something important in ourselves and in our culture. We could "lose ourselves" to the new technology, our very being.
Main Argument
Carr's main argument is that the internet changed our process of thought and it is "chipping away our capacity for concentration and contemplation". The more qualities of the technologies we use are acquired, the less humanity there will be. He doesn't to lose the quiet spaces, the deep thinking.
As presented online, only one picture is utilized, a cartoon of a person being pulled over by the police for using the internet too quickly? Charming. The use of this cartoon confuses me immensely. Despite the internet theme, what does this have to do with the content in the article? The publisher, Atlntic, should have used a picture of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey to correlate to the example in the first paragraph.
Effective Techniques
Carr uses plenty of writing techniques that I would like to implement into my own writing. He uses examples very effectively, using them to lead into main points. He talks about his personal struggles with reading and too often focus is drifted away from the writer. No one wants to read a list, at least most people don't. He also uses penty of quotes, something lacking in my own writing.
Full transcript