Tag Archives: Adam Gopnik

Is The Internet Making Us Stupid? – Maybe We’re Just Not All That Bright To Begin With!

We’re getting our wisdom in shorter and shorter bites/bytes these days.  Everywhere we look, we want the short read, not the long read.  And it is the long read that makes us stop and think and ponder and maybe make more substantial change, and progress.

But there is so much to read!

Well, here is a long-read to set aside for a slightly longer chunk of time this week.  It is THE INFORMATION: How the Internet gets inside us by Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker.  Here are some excerpts:

Our trouble is not the over-all absence of smartness but the intractable power of pure stupidity, and no machine, or mind, seems extended enough to cure that.

But if reading a lot of novels gave you exceptional empathy university English departments should be filled with the most compassionate and generous-minded of souls, and, so far, they are not.

In the period when many of the big, classic books that we no longer have time to read were being written, the general complaint was that there wasn’t enough time to read big, classic books.

Yet everything that is said about the Internet’s destruction of “interiority” was said for decades about television, and just as loudly.

Thoughts are bigger than the things that deliver them. Our contraptions may shape our consciousness, but it is our consciousness that makes our credos, and we mostly live by those.

In the article, Gopnik says that all of the books that argue (he refers to a series of books) that the internet is ruining our ability to think and function are repeating old arguments that were made against the printing press, and television.

I commend the article – it will help you think about how we think, and ponder, and reflect…