Stop Dave, I’m Afraid

The scene from the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey: the one discussed in the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The computer HAL being dismantled by Dave.

The article also refers to Plato’s “Phaedrus,” part of the section that opens up counter-argument. It reminds us that various technological changes stretch far back–and that writing was once the “Google” of ancient Greece.

Does my ability, or my desire, to access these ideas from the essay–might I call them, to use a loaded term, these links–in digital form, from the same screen with which I read the essay, constitute deep or shallow reading? Perhaps the problem is we need some different terms to describe what I am doing.

By the way, here is a link to a book I am considering adding to the course for next year: The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I showed it to you when we were discussing film and the way some print books remediate or hypermediate the conventions of books. Is this also something to fear–or does this return us to something more crucial and fantastic in storytelling or literature?

Carr has recently turned his article into a book titled The Shallows. Here is a review from the NY Times.


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