The Weekly Print ‘n’ Read Feature
Last week I introduced a new feature, the Web 2.Oh. . .Really? Print ‘n’ Read (sm). Each week I highlight one piece of journalism so worthy of extended attention that it’s actually worth printing out and reading later on, away from the computer.
So fire up the ol’ inkjet and click “print” for Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
This selection is either incredibly on-point or ironic, depending on the state of your particular neural network.
Carr’s story offers the rather obvious conclusions that: (1) adult brains can be remapped through repeated activity; and (2) this includes activities like the constant click-and-dive of typical web use. Ergo: Web use makes our brains more acclimated to skimming wide rather than reading deep.
But, as Carr points out, forever has it been thus. When Neitzsche shifted from writing longhand to writing with a typewriter, it changed the way he thought:
“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler, Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”
Which is to say, printing out and reading this article about the effect of web use on your brain may help preserve your current style of brainwork. My small contribution to the status quo.
n.b. Do not miss digital journalism bodhisattva Scott Karp’s response to Carr’s article. Karp’s determined, mapcap journey through the world of analog and digital journalism to track down the magazine, the article, the quote attributed to him, and the proper context for that quote is likely to remap your prefrontal cortex all by itself. I’d tell you to print it out too, but I’m afraid your printer may pull a HAL.
Great Moments in Digital Journalism History, Cont’d
A blog entry last week in which I gave positive reviews to The Washington Times’ renovated website provoked a response from a reader whose confession may mark a key moment in newspaper history: A reader who canceled a subscription to the print edition because she thinks the website stinks.
I am not making this up. Witnesseth:
Karen LH Says:
9, June, 2008 at 9:38 pm
The Washington Times redesign is a disaster. We actually cancelled our subscription over it. . .
[A moment of silence, please, while we all ponder the baffling implications of this.]
Who says newspaper advertising is dead?
On Wednesday, CMS launched a national advertising campaign to promote its Hospital Compare Web site, which provides data on the quality of care in hospitals across the U.S., USA Today reports.–From California Healthline
And finally: A solution to social network overload
Know a candidate for this job? Growing company now hiring a Facebook Secretary