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ENG287-January 9-Lecture 1

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Adam Hammond

ENG287 January 9 2013 - Is Google making us stupid? o Article argues that because of the internet we do not read like we used to  The writing hasn’t changed  The Reading has changed - Reading is a window into our culture o Demands a kind of attention - The internet is “chipping away” at “capacity for concentration and contemplation” - We are “not only what we read, we are how we read” o Internet weakening our capacity for reading - Reading online—we are mere decoders of information o We become disengaged The reader created by long, complex, continuous printed books: - Undistracted - Capable of deep reading - Capable of forming “rich mental connections” - An active, engaged reader The reader created by short, simple online texts delivered in the discontinuous , instantly-accessible online environment: - Distracted - Incapable of deep reading - Incapable of forming rich mental connections - A passive reader “The experience of losing our internet connection becomes more and more like losing a friend” – Sparrow/Lir/Wegner, “Google Effects on Memory” - People are freaking out about the advent of the digital age. But people have been freaking our in precisely this way literally since the invention of literature. The four “ages” of literature i. The oral age - i.e. Homer ii. The chirographic or manuscript age iii. The print age iv. The digital age - Literature is dying, yes, but it deserves to die, because it is elitist and snobby, and normal people don’t care about it anymore. o Internet has brought reading back as an activity o Why focus on what’s going away? o Why not celebrate that we have interactive forms of technology and access to knowledge? - All this fuss about the death of print-based “literary reading” is just nostalgia. We should focus our attention not on the past but on the future—not on print but on emerging digital forms. o Every past technology has increased the number of producers and consumers of written material  Alphabet and papyrus to the telegraph and paperback  Good for humanity o “Nostalgia for the accidental scarcity we’ve j
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