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What's the Internet doing to our brains? Not much, i'd say, but I'm not trying to sell you a book.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 21 Feb 2013, 03:30

The Shallows : What the Internet is doing to our Brains?

Nicholas Carr

Love it or hate it the Internet is here for keeps.

I had hoped to get an objective view from Carr but 'The Shallows' fails to say what the Internet is doing to our brains.

I would love to time travel and stop my ancestors from what they were doing 35,000 years ago so that I could have shared with them the insight that making stone tools would alter their brains forever.

What's different? Not much.

Carr lacks the credentials, training or inclination to answer the question he poses. I'd ask a cross disciplinary team that would include a neuroscientist, webscientist and psychologist.

'The Shallows' is an apt title as the thinking lacks depth.

Look up a the authors Carr cites and you find they say as much to counter the arguments as support them, take the Nobel prize winning Eric Kandel for example who on the one hand identified the 'plasticity of the brain', but also showed that through habituation a sort of boredom sets in – it is hardly the case that Google is taking over our brains as Carr would have us believe.

There is no research, rather an amble through the literature.

As an mental indulgence I am reading the book and putting it through my mental shredder. In print form only makes checking references somewhat tedious. In eBook forms others would be questiong the text more often and with far great ease. What I dislike the most is how he misrepresents the work of others. The Nobel prize winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel, for example, is quoted selectively to support Carr's view that our plastic brains are being permanently set out of kilter by Google and the Internet.

I'll post the odd gobbet here, the rest in my external blog my mind bursts

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