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Nicholas Carr. Publisher: Atlantic Books , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title In this ground-breaking and compelling book, Nicholas Carr argues that not since Gutenberg invented printing has humanity been exposed to such a mind altering technology. Review : Nicholas Carr has written an important and timely book.

Buy New Learn more about this copy. About AbeBooks. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. You will know what we are going to be if we continue using the internet the way we are using it now. We can prevent it. If you are living in the twenty-first century, you must read this book. View all 4 comments. Dec 29, Diane rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , audiobooks. I enjoyed this look at how the internet is affecting our minds. Carr's research covers everything from the history of reading and printing to IQ scores and research in neuroscience.

This is a good summation of what Carr learned: Dozens of studies by psychologists, neurobiologists, educators, and Web designers point to the same conclusion: when we go online, we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning.

It's possible to think deep I enjoyed this look at how the internet is affecting our minds. It's possible to think deeply while surfing the Net, just as it's possible to think shallowly while reading a book, but that's not the type of thinking the technology encourages and rewards. This book actually inspired me to delete apps from my phone in an effort to use the device less, and to focus more on long-form reading. I don't want to lose the power of deep thought. Resist the shallows! Recommend for those who like pop psychology and nonfiction that includes first-person narration. Favorite Passage "Over the last few years I've had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory.

My mind isn't going — so far as I can tell — but it's changing. I'm not thinking the way I used to think. I feel it most strongly when I'm reading. I used to find it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article. My mind would get caught up in the twists of the narrative or turns of the argument, and I'd spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That's rarely the case anymore.

Now my concentration starts to drift after a page or two. I get fidgety, lose the thread, and begin looking for something else to do. I feel like I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle. View 2 comments. Dec 13, Marc Kozak rated it it was ok Shelves: science-stuff. Hello, my name is Marc Kozak, and I'm a scientist. Thank you for agreeing to complete this brief questionnaire regarding your internet habits. I can assure you that all data received in this study will be kept completely private.

Your results will be combined with the others, and I will use that data to write a very profound article that will win me multiple prizes and perhaps even get a woman to talk to me. Your assistance is invaluable. Note: the iTunes gift card in no way implies that using the internet to access iTunes is preferable to non-digital music or that the internet is even safe in general.

Question 1: How much time would you say you spend on the internet per day including on your phone? People are using the internet at a very high rate on a daily basis.

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Question 2: What is your opinion of printed reading materials ie what are commonly referred to as "books"? I think I heard of those once B. Books are for nerds and you better not be calling me a nerd C. I don't feel comfortable smashing large spiders with my eReader So it's true: books, which are the pinnacle of human achievement, are no longer in style compared to more digital mediums. Question 3: You see a group of teenagers. Get off my lawn B.

They're probably high on that marijuana C. What is with the rap music? So these gays can get married now, huh? It's as I feared. I am absolutely convinced that for the first time ever, things that young people do are wildly inferior to what us adults grew up with. Question 4: Which of these scenarios is the most likely, should people continue to use the internet at a high rate?

Everyone will be drooling idiots and society will collapse B. People will have to burn provocative eReaders instead of books, and the resulting toxic fumes will kill us all C. We'll probably just get on with things in a different manner. I don't feel comfortable answering this question, because I believe the administer of this survey is a robot who was sent here to learn my human ways. Well this is ridiculous, I'm clearly not a robot. Or have I been programmed to think I'm not a robot? That's exactly what someone who would've programmed a robot to think like a human would've done.

And I don't like to be caught in the rain. Oh God The following exercise will test your ability to concentrate and experience deep learning. In pursuit of this mission, Tax Division prosecutors work cooperatively with the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration TIGTA ,1 and United States Attorneys to investigate alleged tax crimes, to identify appropriate charges, to secure convictions, and to defend them on appeal.

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr | Waterstones

Tax Division prosecutors work cooperatively with Assistant United States Attorneys, Internal Revenue Service agents and attorneys, and TIGTA agents to seek the most effective, efficient, and expeditious means to punish criminals who obstruct or defraud the Internal Revenue Service and to deter future violations. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion in criminal tax cases should be guided by the standards applicable to all criminal prosecutions handled by the Department of Justice.

The Tax Division therefore should authorize prosecution for the most serious readily provable offense. See id. Charging decisions should reflect strategic prosecutorial judgments about how best to ensure that the defendant will be convicted and held accountable for his entire course of criminal conduct, regardless of whether the appropriate charges are suggested by the investigating agency.

The federal criminal tax enforcement program is designed to protect the public interest in preserving the integrity of this Nation's self-assessment tax system through vigorous and uniform enforcement of the internal revenue laws. Criminal tax prosecutions serve to punish the violator and promote respect for the tax laws.

Because there are insufficient resources to prosecute all violations, deterring others from violating the tax laws is a primary consideration.

The Division is responsible for supervising all criminal proceedings arising under and related to the internal revenue laws, with certain limited exceptions. Tax Division jurisdiction under 28 C. In addition to Title 26 tax crimes, the Tax Division has authority over prosecutions for other crimes when they relate to tax offenses. Non-Title 26 statutes used to prosecute tax crimes include 18 U. Question 5: Did you even read all of that? No I've done it!!!!

The internet clearly has affected the brain's ability to concentrate! Nobel Prize and maybe holding hands with a woman, here I come! View all 13 comments. Beware: when you hit the last page of this fascinating, bleak, helpless narrative -- one that addresses your own brain as a stunted, wasting bundle of unmotivated neurons -- you'll either want to retreat to a shared scholarly past, pointing at physical pages with a yad, or you'll just embrace the terrifying idiocracy-pastebin Second Dark Age that's sweeping over us.

Hell, the author himself interrupts his argument on occasion to underscore his own troubles with concentration, even devoting a cha Beware: when you hit the last page of this fascinating, bleak, helpless narrative -- one that addresses your own brain as a stunted, wasting bundle of unmotivated neurons -- you'll either want to retreat to a shared scholarly past, pointing at physical pages with a yad, or you'll just embrace the terrifying idiocracy-pastebin Second Dark Age that's sweeping over us. Hell, the author himself interrupts his argument on occasion to underscore his own troubles with concentration, even devoting a chapter to how he managed to finish writing this book.

But there are bright spots -- his concise history of reading of silent reading will hustle your brainstem and reinstate for you the one most awesome thing we take for granted. Similarly, later in the narrative he kinda bashes Google as one of the most sinister organizations ever with their year plan to become a corporate repository of all information everywhere.

But of course, "information" just means "data" to Google, and thus all books will be churned into a blender of searchable text: "The great library that Google is rushing to create shouldn't be confused with the libraries we've known up until now. It's not a library of books. It's a library of snippets. Which is why things are so bleak -- nowhere does Carr offer a suggestion that maybe this downward trajectory could reverse itself, that perhaps the "reading class" will become admired and emulated, turning people away from their Blackberries and Kindles, and back into the cracked spine of a physical book.

And he really doesn't address the scarier fact: what are the brains of the new generation? He's largely writing to his peer cohorts -- those of us whose lives began analog and turned digital -- telling us sad, sympathetic tales of how we don't remember facts or quotes, how we can no longer devote deep attention to a book, how we're constantly distracted and thereby made dumber. But what about the n00bs who are born in and may never know the pleasure of sitting silently for hours with a sublime, brain-inflaming book? He doesn't go there, because really, he can't Early in his narrative, Carr does bump up against an occasional dialectic -- for example with written literature we lost our magnificent oral culture, but we gained larger stores of memory and logic and a stronger insistence on evidence and facts to guide our daily lives.

However, with all we're losing now -- memory, attention, perhaps even the future of literature, poetry, history -- he offers very little in compensation, just some gains in reflexes and hand-eye coordination: lower functions. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.

I was trying to work out what it was about this that annoyed me and the problem is that this is a very self-conscious book, one that feels it needs to justify itself far too much. And after a while that became very tedious. He makes a nice division between instrumentalists and determinists — basically, instrumentalists are those who say that the tools we use play no more role in our lives than whatever role they play as tools, and determinists who say that once we have shaped our tools they go on to shape us.

Obviously, the writer falls into the determinist camp. So much so that he believes that the constant distractions that the internet presents us with is fundamentally changing the way we think and making it harder and harder for us to think deeply about anything. Admittedly, there has been a lot of research done by cognitive load theorists that would tend to support this view — we only have so much mental capacity and constant interruptions would hardly seem the most obvious way to increase that capacity.

However, my problem with this idea is that it follows a path that assumes learning is both difficult and slow. It takes a lot of effort to move information from short-term to long-term memory and this effort is undermined by how the internet makes us think or stops us thinking. However, this view is, I think at atleast, convincingly criticized by Frank Smith The Book of Learning and Forgetting although it is something that I will need to think about more in the future.

It is possible that the internet provides too much distraction and that this level of distraction is bad for our learning. The other thing that amused me about this book was that I was surprised at how quickly things become nostalgic nowadays. He spends quite some time talking about computers he has known and owned.

He talks about how excited he was when he bought is old Mac computers and how limited they were. How nice it used to be listening to your modem logging onto the internet and how you had to limit the amount of time you could use online in any one day so as not to use up your months allocation too quickly. But this trip down memory lane of the remarkably recent past really added nothing to the book overall.

So, although this was okay really this has been done better elsewhere. View all 11 comments. Shelves: read-these-reviews-first , nonfiction. Even more late breaking updates, below. Still haven't read it yet, though. This book is mentioned in the thoughtful-if-long New York Times Magazine article Texts Without Context , which explores how technology is altering the way we absorb ideas, especially the written word, and how that change in subjectivity is setting us up for subtle but radical shifts in everything from political discourse to the rights of authors. With respect to this book itself, I'm skeptical.

That we will change as the Even more late breaking updates, below. That we will change as the Web becomes the dominant medium is without doubt. I am moderately confident that these changes will even include physical manifestation within our wetware: connections within our brains will probably have demonstrably different patterns. What makes me skeptical isn't that there will be a change, but that these changes will be bad. The pejorative "Shallows" in the title hints that Mr. Carr is quite pessimistic about this.

When the literacy and the mechanical press made the writing and reading of books commonplace, I can imagine that Mr. Carr's forerunner griping along similar lines. After all, if people no longer are forced to memorize entire texts, they won't be able to immediately apply the wisdom within that text to their daily lives.

ISBN 13: 9781848872271

And reading many texts instead of making a lifelong study of the most important few would mean their minds would become confused by the contradictory voices. These contradictions would diminish the objective authority of the best writings, diluting wisdom with the subjective impressions of too many other writers. Furthermore, without exercising the discipline of memorization, people would simply become more stupid! Without hearing the words, they wouldn't learn to listen for the nuances of elocution in the voices of others, and they would lose the guidance of their experienced elders.

And all this reading would hurt their eyes! And books are simply unnatural! Of course, we like to think we've done pretty well with the literary tradition. Has Mr. Carr struck a healthy balance, or is he focusing so severely on what he thinks we will lose that he can't see what we might gain? So, if I get around to reading this, I'll be reading with a heavy dose of suspicion. Among other aspects of the dialog Phaedrus , he gripes about how literacy is likely to be a bad thing.

An extract from the ever-valuable Wikipedia: Writing, examined separately but ultimately equated with philosophy and rhetoric, is somewhat deprecated; it is stated that writing can do little but remind those who already know, somewhat reminiscent of the archetypal Zen master's admonishment that "those who know, know". Unlike dialectic and rhetoric, writing cannot be tailored to specific situations or students; the writer does not have the luxury of examining his reader's soul in order to determine the proper way to persuade.

When attacked it cannot defend itself, and is unable to answer questions or refute criticism. As such, the philosopher uses writing "for the sake of amusing himself" and other similar things rather than for teaching others. A writer, then, is only a philosopher when he can himself argue that his writing is of little worth, among other requirements. Annoyingly, I wasn't the only one to realize this. Lehrer led with the Phaedrus bit, darn it.

Robert Colvile asks whether the internet is making us stupid

Overall his review is mildly dismissive and largely consistent with my skepticism. Finally, the New York Times has repeatedly referred to Carr's book in their multi-piece examination of how the technology of the modern world is impinging on our cognition. The article Your Brain on Computers leads the assault, and provides links to various other articles and multimedia tests.

The Test Your Focus "interactive feature" is fun I come down solidly in the "able to concentrate" camp, thankfully. The funny thing about this book is that I actually enjoyed reading it, as I guess anyone with an elementary knowledge of logic and philosophical argumentation would. It is a well-written example of "How to use fallacies and envoke fear and intuition to argue for your claim.

He uses ane The funny thing about this book is that I actually enjoyed reading it, as I guess anyone with an elementary knowledge of logic and philosophical argumentation would. He uses anecdotes to tell what we already know and then explains it with his own theory. And conveniently fails to mention that the other theories also explain the evidence and also explain evidence that is not already mentioned. Which can be counted as a false dichotomy. View 1 comment. Shelves: , own. Is this a book about the Internet? Or about neuroplasticity?

Is this a gadget-lover's dirge for "his old brain"? Or a sensationalist portrait of a technological and cultural paradigm shift that lists strongly toward the catastrophic? The Shallows is all of these things, and quite a few more--some of which marry well with Carr's thesis, while the kinky red hair of the others show them to be the abandoned-at-the-door-step-children they are. What Carr tells us with the charged and inflammatory rheto Is this a book about the Internet?

Toward the end, Carr comes right out and says it: "The price we pay to assume technology's power is alienation. The argument starts early and repeats often. Carr focuses on how much information is out there "on the Internet", and how quick and easy it is to gain access to that information. In the earliest portions of the book, he uses this as the set up to introduce all the Internet proponents--the folks that coin phrases like "my outboard brain" or otherwise tell us how we " He and, according to Carr, many others are instead searching online for items i.

Perform a Google search and within a split-second, there is your passage, or your quote, or your facts-and-figures. But therein lies the rub: if you find a passage or a quote in this way, have you really gotten the complete context? If you lack the context, how do you know that it is actually relevant? And even if it appears to be relevant, how do you know that it is accurate? Time out for a moment. That bit of language right there kept jarring me: that the computer provided Carr's central lexical framework for explaining the brain. To Carr's credit, he is not the only one that does this--many of the neuroscientists, psychologists, and other thinkers that he quotes, cites, and paraphrases also lapse into these convenient modern metaphors.

It seems unfair to hold Carr fully accountable for this bit of irony in the text's grammar; academic discourse is overrun with this comparison. Apparently this metaphor largely comes out of psychology's "Cognitive Revolution"--during the s as Skinnerian Behaviorism fell out of favor, a new conceptual framework for the field arose that acknowledged certain unobservable phenomena e. Allegedly, an important milestone in the "Cognitive Revolution" was its earliest discussions at a conference at Dartmouth.

This is an interesting coincidence if it is a coincidence at all for us as readers of the book because it gives us overlap both chronologically and geographically with a period of meteoric ascendance in the history of computing--a time when folks were marveling over "thinking machines".

As part of this discussion, Carr introduces something I noted as "Doidge's paradox of neuroplasticity": that the brain is highly "plastic", that it is quick to make new neural pathways, to adapt to new situations, to "reshape" itself as new skills are learned or else as it compensates for new damage or other environmental changes; but also that once the brain has assumed some "shape", that it will "try" to stay that way.

Any introductory physics class gives us an elementary principle expressed with a single word that we may apply here to resolve the paradox. Doidge's observed incongruities aside, the fact remains that all brains, even brains presumably damaged beyond repair have shown a remarkable resilience to long-term damage, or even long-term changes. If there is a paradox with the brain at all, it is that despite constant changes, it manages to function in a way that gives us what we experience as memory. Perhaps that there is Carr's dreaded Neural Doomsday. In entertaining these popular notions of "the outboard brain" and in digesting the cultural shifts surrounding that, he has come to believe that these changes in the brain--the changes that accompany heavy or long-term computer "Internet" use--are permanent and irrevocable.

Or even if the changes are reversible given what we know of neuroplasticity , that our overall cultural habits will shape us to give in to the brain's own inertia--that we won't want to "snap out of it", that we won't even see anything wrong with what has become of us. We will all become mentally lazy at a biological level, and we will also come to believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that--and worse, that the cultural gestalt will simply reinforce that mode of thinking.

Carr is not totally unjustified in these fears, but he unfortunately seems reticent when it comes to making concrete speculations on the long-term consequences, or means by which we might combat this to adopt his attitude terrible trajectory. At one point, he cites Umberto Eco's assessment of what my notes called "Socrates' lament"--that "memory from marks" i.

According to Eco there is an eternal and intrinsic fear of change, especially when that which changes is something that we deeply value. Socrates valued knowledge; the mechanics and media for his knowledge were strictly mental and oral. Writing down your thoughts, your memories, your debate responses--all of that deeply upset Socrates' applecart. But even Socrates was willing to grant an exception: for writing could serve "as memorials to be treasured against the forgetfulness of old age".

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Some years later, I challenge you to find someone that would agree with or even entertain that notion for anything but a quaint form of provincial paranoia--the first incidence of futureshock. It's almost years later that Erasmus eloquently rejects the memorization that Socrates held so dearly, citing that it failed value's litmus test for anything but to provide fertile soil in which to plant the seeds of synthesis.

It would not be much of a stretch to believe that Carr is of the same mind as Erasmus here, that memorization has little pure value--that what we as thinkers, as contributors to the great corpus of knowledge are really interested in is not regurgitation of knowledge but its digestion and comprehension and ultimately its creation. And this is where I believe Carr plays his text a bit to coyly; in rushing to damn the Internet and Google and perhaps even Tim Berners-Lee, he does not clearly articulate what he believes to be at stake. As the text draws to a close, he draws an analogy that is almost Luddite in its connotations: if a ditchdigger begins to ply his trade with a diesel-powered excavator instead of his shovel, he may find that he can dig deeper and wider and faster but his muscles will ultimately atrophy.

Carr lets go of this analogy pretty quickly, moving along and letting it linger only briefly--but the obvious question hangs between you and the page: does the trade-off matter if it is not in conflict with your goals? In other words, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with your "outboard brain"--but if it makes you lazy, if you stop synthesizing the content that you consume, if you stop having new and original thoughts, then the only thing that you have gained is that you can locate and consume content more quickly.

If you choose to remember nothing, then whatever new thoughts you might form are instantly orphaned on the doorstep of ephemera. Having so closely aligned himself with Marshall McLuhan, Carr might counter that like David Sarnoff before us, we are just blaming the consumer and failing to recognize the powerful and lasting effects of the medium itself. Once set down this path, our brains change--it becomes difficult and then impossible for us to focus or form these new thoughts. That we trap ourselves in this self-rewarding if ultimately vapid cycle of Google Suggest results, status updates, one-click shopping, instant messages, and every other distraction that we alt-tab our way through, all the livelong day and into the night.

But having said that: the counter-argument is a cop-out, and one that is put before us as impermeable, and perhaps even a little self-righteously inviolable. The Internet is here. Using it changes our brains. Quod erat demonstrandum. If you're like me, it sounds more like Calvinist predestination than it does like a scientific theorem.

On the one hand the Internet changes our brains ; on the other hand the brain has a remarkable plasticity. Any activity imprints itself upon the brain; and given this suggestion of neural inertia, the more prolonged that activity, the longer-lasting and more far-reaching those changes are. Did "everything in moderation" come to your mind as well? Where I wind up taking issue with Carr's conclusions is as mentioned above his reticence in making more concrete speculations, but also in how he glosses over or omits some important qualifiers.

He talks about the desire to consume Internet content "so much" and "so quickly", but there was not much discussion of where that desire comes from. Why do we feel so much pressure to consume it? Why do we feel pressured to consume it so quickly? There is also no differentiation of the content we consume--when making his value judgments, Carr appears to give equal footing to instances of in-depth subject-specific factual research as he does to the fleeting and vapid trivia generica.

Nor is there much discussion of authoriality nor any discussion of authenticity. And that last bit is probably the most important to me. Carr touches a few times albeit obliquely on the notion of "a new literacy".


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Over the centuries we have defined and become comfortable in specific scope when we discuss literacy and consider what it means to be literate. But over the past century, we have very quickly created an entirely new climate for content and media.

Maybe this is the distortion of my own liberal arts lens, but when we talk about literacy, we too often stop with reading and writing. These are insufficient on their own and this is wholly evident when Carr writes about Joe "I don't read books" O'Shea. Context is king and authenticity, queen; if we accept that our brains are shaped by the Internet-as-medium, then we must also accept that to read is not enough. Carr has a point when he says that we do not "read" on the Internet--that we skim and scan and "F" our way through what amounts to a given page's abstract; and maybe he is even right that this is the inherent mode of consumption for this medium.

But perhaps the reason we skim and scan and get distracted is because we are not yet literate in this new medium. We are in the midst of inventing its mechanics, its etiquette, and though we use words and images on the Internet, we are still in the midst of inventing its vocabularies and grammars. Perhaps when we skim and scan, it is because we still have not learned how to make heads-or-tails of what we are seeing, whether it is worthy of being read, whether it passes the right tests for authenticity, and whether it will even be there tomorrow.

No matter what aspect of the Internet you use to illustrate, the flow and the associated addictive factor are immense. Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested. The sense of outsourcing your knowledge base to the cloud or directly to Google and Wikipedia is a matter of scale.

As long as you have your own, sovereign domains, it's a great addition. As soon as a person lazily stops to refill his cerebral reservoir and lets everything b No matter what aspect of the Internet you use to illustrate, the flow and the associated addictive factor are immense. As soon as a person lazily stops to refill his cerebral reservoir and lets everything be done by the machine, it becomes critical. On the one hand, the problem is to stand there like a jerk without a cell phone.

Because one no longer learns hard to earn knowledge but relies on the electronic prompter. That may be minor, as long as one does not attach much importance to his reputation and the opinions of others. It becomes critical with the long-term memory and the general performance of the brain. Especially in old age, this reduction in brain training can be felt in the form of an earlier forgetfulness and dementia. Which is a pure hypothesis. But extrapolating the ever shorter attention spans of people with the steadily improving distractions in the form of the media, one could make pessimistic forecasts.

If young adults find it hard to focus their minds and spend hours "analogously" reading or writing offline, how will they be able to do it as seniors? Also, the ability to self-research and recognize coherences is lost when the context is already defaulted. While search engines display all articles hierarchically by importance, Wikipedia offers the practical hierarchical trees to deepen or extend the overall context.

Manipulation of the operators, to omit specific contexts or topics or to reduce them to a minimum, is thus opened the door. Furthermore, filter bubbles and algorithms on the commercial pages of online retailers and search engines determine which content you like. And online reference books and encyclopedias are often heavily censored in one direction by their funding models and owners.

Thus, one acquires, similar as with established media, through the use of these platforms unconsciously their worldview. Because the opposite opinion is underrepresented, intentionally misrepresented or directly not appearing. That the whole is always monitored, by the way, is already part of the intangible cultural asset. What is most convenient for the authorities is the creeping, partly loss of the ability of the population to capture and analyze more complex events. The elite of humanities offers in mass media censored approaches to solutions that are always based on the same conclusions.

In support of this, the luminaries are awarded Nobel Prizes in Economics or Peace. No one would dare to question their elaborate underpinnings and affirmations of stupid fundamental theses. These shenanigans are raised to doctrine and pervade all articles, encyclopedias, textbooks in schools, reports, search engine results, etc. Thus, the ignorance flows in the world images of the consumers over the years. So far, this was only possible through the established media and not individualized. Also, newspapers, books, and even television were not so excessively consumed.

Now everyone gets the personalized portion of mind fucks, propaganda, and buy recommendations from customers with similar tastes. Modern times. All the positive uses and potential of the Internet will not help if it becomes an extended arm of system propaganda and offers exciting entertainment. The maturity of people to deal critically and productively with the new media is, unfortunately, the domain of a minority.

Democratically, the majority determines the development. And they want simple, polemical and emotional bits and pieces of coverage that they mix between narcissistic alter egos, consumption, and loss of reality in the form of various games. A comparison to the development of printing: How many good, progressive newspapers or books have existed compared to censored, conservative and destructive ones?

With a ratio of 1 to or 1 to ? The relationship between meaningful use of the Internet and mindless misuse of the medium may be the same. The neuroplasticity of the brain may be helpful in the rare case of a cold turkey. If one has to laboriously learn complex thinking again from the beginning. The financial aspect is driving Internet infrastructure managers to hypnotize people.

And, if possible, to shorten the attention spans even further. The faster someone clicks on; the more money can be extracted from the person. On the one hand, because she or he sees more advertising, possibly buys something and maybe clicks on a link. Furthermore, because multi-tasking users surfing around quickly deliver more data and behavioral patterns that are worth money.