The Shallows 4 & 5 (Chapter 4 (Writing technology changed (Sumerians…
The Shallows 4 & 5
Writing technology changed
how we think and act.
"To read a book was to practice unnatural thought" (Carr 2010, p. 64)
"The ability to focus on a single task, reletively uninterrupted,' writes Vaughan Bell, a research psychologist at King's College London, represents a 'strang anomaly in the history of our psychological development'" (Carr, 2010, p. 64)
More elimination of redundancies and elaborate cross listing; more elaborately structured writing (Carr 2010, p. 66)
Silent book reading became the norm (Carr 2010, p. 66)
Books became a mainstay of culture (Carr 2010, p. 70, 71)
"books were at the very center of the change. As the book came to be the primary means of exchanging knowledge and insight, its intellectual ethic became the foundation of our culture" (Carr 2010, p.76)
Writing technology changed
Sumerians & Cuneiform
Egyptians & papyrus
Book or codex
development of syntax, punctuation, & spaces
Innovations in printing format (Octavo)
The rise of the electronic age and the internet echoes the rise of written language & books
Innovations in technology made information more accessible.
Innovations made the technology less scarce and more affordable.
Innovations made the technology more portable.
Adoption of technology into popular culture spread its influence.
The intellectual ethic of the technology dramatically changes the status quo.
The internet is supplanting past mediums
"Because the different sorts of information distributed by traditional media--words, numbers, sounds, images, moving pictures--can all be translated into digital code, they can all be 'computed'" (Carr 2010, p. 82)
Audio productions & telecomunications
The internet's bidirectional nature gives it an advantage over traditional mediums (Carr 2010, p. 85).
"We're devoting much less time to reading words on printed paper" (Carr 2010, p. 88)
How we use the internet is changing
how we interact with its content.
Using links and the Web's searchability leads us to "dip in and out" of text instead of read deeply (Carr 2010, p.90)
"scrolling or clicking through a Web document involves physical actions and sensory stimuli very different from those involved in holding and turning the pages of a book or magazine" (Carr 2010, p. 90)
Multimedia content further "fragments content and disrupts our concentration" (Carr 2010, p. 91)
"Whenever we turn on our computer, we are plunged into an 'ecosystem of interruption technologies'" (Carr 2010, p. 91)
The internet is influencing traditional mediums.
Magazine layout changes.
Newspapers shorten their articles.
TV programming runs popup ads.
Libraries are reorganized to focus on web resources, pushing paper resources to the fringe of its foci.