Monday, July 19, 2010

Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows" and William Powers's "Hamlet's Blackberry" [The Washington Post]

Final paragraph (also see this NYT review of “Hamlet’s Blackberry”)

There's more than a little comfort to be had from looking back and seeing that people did manage to cope with the new technologies that came their way, whether it was writing or printing or the telegraph of Thoreau's time. For those who feel they really can't live without their little glowing friends, Powers suggests it's possible to be connected to the digital world and to something deeper as well. For his family, that means going offline on weekends. In "The Shallows," Carr insists that McLuhan was right and that the new digital medium really is the message -- that it doesn't just deliver content but, more and more, determines who we are and how we think. Powers, however, makes a stronger case that it's still up to us to decide how best to live in, and sometimes apart from, this medium we have created.

Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows" and William Powers's "Hamlet's Blackberry"

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