Is the Internet making us anti-intellectual?

If you are at all interested in the discussion about the impact of the Internet on our generation’s cognitive and social capacity, I highly recommend the following piece by Larry Sanger, co-founder of the Wikipedia. Quote:

Altogether too many geeks seemed to be assuming that if information glut is sapping our ability to focus, this is largely out of our control and not necessarily a bad thing. But of course it is a bad thing, and it is in our control, as I pointed out. Moreover, focus is absolutely necessary if we are to gain knowledge. We will be ignoramuses indeed, if we merely flow along with the digital current and do not take the time to read extended, difficult texts. –Larry Sanger, Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism? (ht: @lemire)

My own current thoughts on this topic are a moving target. My good friend Jesse–who shared a commute with me yesterday–will vouch for that. But I will admit to a growing concern over the implications of the social web, for example, on the quality of my relationships. I will share more as my own conclusions firm up, but for now let me at least point interested parties to two books that do this topic more justice than I could hope to in this teaser of a post:

Douglas Rushkoff: Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

Nicholas Carr: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

I admit: I love technology and enjoy these times we live in. But I want to see more of us questioning the biases and implications of the tools our lives increasingly revolve around.

Be sure to read Lemire’s response to Sanger’s article. Great thoughts as usual.

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