Saturday, September 25, 2010

THE SHALLOWS by Nicholas Carr

Three months ago I commented briefly on The Shallows, a then-hot-off-the-press warning that the Internet could lead to "a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization." At the same time I e-mailed a review of the book to The Christian Century magazine. You can finally read my review here.

Ironically, thanks to the Internet, The Shallows is already old news. Numerous commentaries on the controversial book have been published during the three months required to get my review into print. (This is not the Century's fault, by the way; it's just how print publication works.)

What's more, the print version isn't even as helpful as an online version could have been. If I'd posted my review on my blog, you would have been able to click through to Carr's original article in The Atlantic as well as to more info on Carr's other books.

Clearly print publication has some major limitations.

If Carr's thesis about the Internet is right, however, our minds are already too fried to read an entire magazine article anyway. Chances are, if I'd posted it online, readers would have clicked the first link and stopped reading the review. So I'm not going to write more about The Shallows here--Carr would suggest that this 246-word post may already be testing the limits of your attention span. But since (according to Carr) you really enjoy clicking links, let me encourage you to check out my complete review--"How Our Minds Have Changed"--here.

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with his thesis--I would refute his arguments but I lost interest before I could finish reading them. And I want to see what else you've reviewed.