« Innovation on the Edge | Main | The Bigger Consequences of the Big Sort »

Comments

twitter.com/pakkei

The rise of snippets is a strong signal that our books desperately needs compression.

I had not yet consumed a bookshelf of books for my whole life, but for the most of what I had read, I came to the conclusion that most books are 80% fillers, 20% actual content. When college students can shorten a 500-page book into 50 pages of notes, or Carr's articles to a few concise points, there is a problem.

I'm not criticizing the authors, but in short it lies with the general problematic trend that writers feel a strong urge to display their talents in great lengths, often in excess. A lot of people who write long (e.g. me, right now), does it for displaying authority, attracting attention and fear of being misunderstood. Books had become long and even bloated, since the boom of the printing press. Before the printing press, our languages, both East and West, were concise and accurate.

As our lifestyle had diverted from sitting around doing nothing but reading to sitting around but reading the web, watching TV and replying Facebook messages, it is, for the first time since the printing press, our languages once again demand compression, i.e. the shortening of our writings to concise content.

While snippets of information can get us to the core of the knowledge immediately, a further search can take us to a book in its long form, if we choose to indulge in it.

In short, the Web gives us the choice to get the knowledge we need, without the chains of a long-winded writer.

One thing Carr is right, however, is that the Internet gives us A.D.D.

twitter.com/pakkei

The rise of snippets is a strong signal that our books desperately needs compression.

I had not yet consumed a bookshelf of books for my whole life, but for the most of what I had read, I came to the conclusion that most books are 80% fillers, 20% actual content. When college students can shorten a 500-page book into 50 pages of notes, or Carr's articles to a few concise points, there is a problem.

I'm not criticizing the authors, but in short it lies with the general problematic trend that writers feel a strong urge to display their talents in great lengths, often in excess. A lot of people who write long (e.g. me, right now), does it for displaying authority, attracting attention and fear of being misunderstood. Books had become long and even bloated, since the boom of the printing press. Before the printing press, our languages, both East and West, were concise and accurate.

As our lifestyle had diverted from sitting around doing nothing but reading to sitting around but reading the web, watching TV and replying Facebook messages, it is, for the first time since the printing press, our languages once again demand compression, i.e. the shortening of our writings to concise content.

While snippets of information can get us to the core of the knowledge immediately, a further search can take us to a book in its long form, if we choose to indulge in it.

In short, the Web gives us the choice to get the knowledge we need, without the chains of a long-winded writer.

One thing Carr is right, however, is that the Internet gives us A.D.D.

Tom Foremski

The Internet is making us smarter, no doubt about it. The quality of the arguments and information that can be found is astounding. And people are a lot smarter than pundits think they are, they don't believe anything/everything they read.

The Internet is making our kids smarter too.

Amy

If you want to talk about thinking, and honing one's thinking skills:

"Today's 5-year-olds were acting at the level of 3-year-olds 60 years ago, and today's 7-year-olds were barely approaching the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago," Bodrova explains."

This is attributed to the last thing you'd guess: Lack of unstructured playtime.

So, it didn't come down to whether kids were reading or not, or whether they were reading online or from books.

The case is being made that simply having TIME TO THINK without guidance or structure is one of the key ways to develop a healthy human with strong thinking skills.

Sources: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19212514

and

http://www.aap.org/stress/childcopehome.htm

PaulSweeney

Was the "act of reading" being interpreted in any way as the "act of meaning making"? (interesting lit crit in the area of reader-response theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reader-response_criticism). Perhaps the internet is not making us more stupid, but showing up the complete lack of tools most people have for developing a "personal content management strategy", and this in itself is (I think) embedded into recent initiatives such as VRM.

Tom Kehler

Arguments that state "new tools negatively impact our intelligence" should implode into their own vacuum. Because a slide rule requires more time and attention than a calculator do we think calculators detract from our intelligence?

Your thoughts are helpful in navigating through yet another "new tools are suspect" argument.

Ben Casnocha

Good thoughts, John. I'm actually writing a piece on this topic and the debate -- will send it to you when I'm done.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)