Author Nicholas Carr in conversation with Google's Peter Norvig.
Introduction by INFORUM President Josh McHugh.
Carr writes: "Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski," in his Atlantic Monthly cover story, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
He shares his theory on the Internet as the culprit against civilization's progress, making the case that the it has diminished our ability to think deeply.
A former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, Nicholas Carr writes and speaks on technology, business, and culture. His intriguing 2003 Harvard Business Review article "IT Doesn't Matter," was an instant sensation, setting the stage for the global debate on the strategic value of information technology in business. His 2004 book, Does IT Matter? : Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage, published by Harvard Business School Press, was a bestseller and kept the worldwide business community discussing the role of computers and IT in business. His 2008 book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, examines the future of computing and its implications for business and society. The Wall Street Journal says The Big Switch is "destined to influence CEOs and the boards and investors that support them as companies grapple with the constant change of the digital age."
A prolific and nimble thought leader, Mr Carr has written more than a dozen articles and interviews for Harvard Business Review and writes regularly for the Financial Times, Strategy & Business and The Guardian. His articles have also appeared in the New York Times, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Business 2.0, Boston Globe, Industry Standard, The Banker, Director, BusinessWeek Online as well as in his popular blog, Rough Type. He also edited The Digital Enterprise, a book of HBR writings on the Internet. Nick's newest book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, examines the intellectual and social consequences of the Internet. It has received unprecedented international acclaim and has been reviewed in all major news publications.
Mr Carr has served as a commentator on CNBC, CNN, and other networks and has been a featured speaker worldwide at industry, educational, and government forums. In Spring 2008 CIO Insight named Carr's Does IT Matter?, one of the all-time "Top 15 Most Groundbreaking Management Books" and Ziff Davis included him as one of only a handful of IT management thought leaders on their "100 Most Influential People in IT" list. In 2007 eWeek named him one of the 100 most influential people in IT and in 2005, Optimize magazine named Carr one of the leading thinkers on information technology. Earlier in his career, Carr was a principal at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A., in English literature, from Harvard University.
Peter Norvig is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery, previously Director of Search Quality at Google.
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, asserts that the kind of intensive, repetitive activity people engage in online encourages a culture of short attention spans and easy distraction. "There's no reward for the more attentive modes of thought," says Carr.
Author Nicholas Carr responds to a question about the broader societal effects of a culture rewired with short attention spans and an inability to think deeply. "We face a culture that is flatter, and not as vibrant," says Carr.
Will the future be void of great works of art and rich culture?
Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford Research Institute, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. ARPANET's purpose was to conduct research into computer networking in order to provide a secure and survivable communications system in case of war. As the network quickly expanded, academics and researchers in other fields began to use it as well. In 1971 the first program for sending e-mail over a distributed network was developed; by 1973, the year international connections to ARPANET were made (from Britain and Norway), e-mail represented most of the traffic on ARPANET. The 1970s also saw the development of mailing lists, newsgroups and bulletin-board systems, and the TCP/IP communications protocols, which were adopted as standard protocols for ARPANET in 198283, leading to the widespread use of the term Internet. In 1984 the domain name addressing system was introduced. In 1986 the National Science Foundation established the NSFNET, a distributed network of networks capable of handling far greater traffic, and within a year more than 10,000 hosts were connected to the Internet. In 1988 real-time conversation over the network became possible with the development of Internet Relay Chat protocols (seechat). In 1990 ARPANET ceased to exist, leaving behind the NSFNET, and the first commercial dial-up access to the Internet became available. In 1991 the World Wide Web was released to the public (via FTP). The Mosaic browser was released in 1993, and its popularity led to the proliferation of World Wide Web sites and users. In 1995 the NSFNET reverted to the role of a research network, leaving Internet traffic to be routed through network providers rather than NSF supercomputers. That year the Web became the most popular part of the Internet, surpassing the FTP protocols in traffic volume. By 1997 there were more than 10 million hosts on the Internet and more than 1 million registered domain names. Internet access can now be gained via radio signals, cable-television lines, satellites, and fibre-optic connections, though most traffic still uses a part of the public telecommunications (telephone) network. The Internet is widely regarded as a development of vast significance that will affect nearly every aspect of human culture and commerce in ways still only dimly discernible.
Tool for finding information, especially on the Internet or World Wide Web. Search engines are essentially massive databases that cover wide swaths of the Internet. Most consist of three parts: at least one program, called a spider, crawler, or bot, which crawls through the Internet gathering information; a database, which stores the gathered information; and a search tool, with which users search through the database by typing in keywords describing the information desired (usually at a Web site dedicated to the search engine). Increasingly, metasearch engines, which search a subset (usually 10 or so) of the huge number of search engines and then compile and index the results, are being used.
The internet give every person with access to it far more info then ever before. With this come a ton of distractions no doubt but to say that the internet is making people dumber is down right silly in my opinion. This guy seems to think that sitting in a corner meditating, perfoming thought experiments rather then learning the subject in great depth and then pondering it is more benifical.
In short this guy focus's on the negative, and ignored the positive. Poor logic here.
I find this as simply a 'kids these days' argument. Maybe he is siding with this argument because he sides with writers,are losing alot of money because of the internet and free media. But, on a serious note, he is comparing all of the world's knowledge which has pulled us out of 'my mindset' to the 'world's mindset'. On the most part deep thinkers are philosopher and they do nothing but think about limited topics, when in such a developed world some variety is needed. Being a creative, deep person like I am I have seen none of the problems he mentions because every bit of new information either video, sound or text leads me to develop my ideas and my own thinking.
I feel dumber now that I watched this.
I am sure the same argument was made when the first home encyclopedias came out.
America’s societal engineers (Madison ave) have successfully programmed us to be shallow instant gratification creatures. One should not blame that result on an incorrect source.
The internet will free the minds of humanity not enslave it.
A daft point badly made.
I have access to more text and video about important topics than I EVER conveniently access before.
Both deep reading and reading/watching topics and opinions I'd not generally pay to access.
As with so many things, the internet is what you make of it.
Hmmm...it didn't hold my attention although I am interested in the conversation...if that make me attention deficit don't pass the ritalin. Maybe, perhaps discerning. The topic does interest me and I will pick up his book and skim it which would seem faster for me than watching this program. So even though I am on the internet and I am picking up threads of interest I am continuing to pursue those interests outside the internet. Google is a tool; hopefully one of many in the toolbox.
I agree with Carr in that the internet does reduce our ability to focus over long periods, and actually erode some basic skills that we grew up with. That being said, the internet is a very useful tool when used in moderation. (By the way, I think the moderator was combative and actually made the forum less enjoyable.)
I agree with this concept. too much information overload, little time to think. very little effort made to memorize; everything stored somewhere, so why bother? our brains will stop thinking deep...a frightening thought!