Response Essay, 4 pages (1000 words)

Good essay on reader response to a text

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English 1101

Nicholas Carr is one person who makes one think questions completely out of the box. In his article, “ Is Google Making Us Stupid” he brings an idea which almost no one would have thought about. He begins by relating his ideas to a fictional thought and goes on to explain how development at all ages has shaped our minds. He focuses on how the internet has changed our lives and about how mechanical it has become. He concludes by provoking us to think and to make us analyze whether the present day internet is a boon or a bane. Personally, I feel that some of his thoughts are valid but mostly that his skepticism is too extreme and insignificant when you see the advantages we have got from this internet age.
Carr keeps his readers interested by describing a movie scene and relating it to his argument. Initially, he discusses how the internet has changed his reading habits. Books are more difficult to read and he says that now no one has the ability to read, a long passage without the urge to skim it. He believes the way we write or read alters the way we analyze the subject. He then goes on to talk about the working of our brain and how it keeps rewriting itself. By bringing a mechanical algorithm into our lives, we are diminishing the usage of our brains. Carr says that the Internet has also made our critical thinking abilities weaker. We fail to question our knowledge and instead just blindly rely on what we read.
Though the hypothesis that our brains are becoming duller might be plausible, Carr has to give credit for the all the advantages that the internet has brought to us. The research that requires a couple of hours today might have taken at least a couple of weeks before the dawn of this technology. Even though we do skim over the topics, we do gain a lot of information since everything is short and precise and exactly what we are looking to learn. In fact we gain more knowledge than we possibly could have with just books since each article we read about, shows us a link to a related article and so on and so forth. This technique of linking articles in a webpage broadens our knowledge.
Carr next talks about a concept called “ intellectual technologies.”. To explain it, he takes the example of a clock. We invented a clock, and now it controls our lives. We have made time to be an absolute reference material and work relative to it. He tells us about how now we do everything according to the time the clock says and ignore our instincts. Though this is a fact, without the clock, without an external common time, there is no way we will be able to interact with others without any confusion. An external time source is not a necessary evil. It is an essential good. It is not true that our lives are being run by a machine. Carr unnecessarily worries that the impact of these instruments that make our lives better might indirectly harm it.
Finally, the author talks about Google and their further plans. Though the heading makes us think that the whole article is about Google, it is more about the internet than the search engine. Carr talks about how Taylorism is followed in the Google Company. Taylorism is a philosophy of the industrial revolution named after Taylor. He analyzed the working of the workers in a factory bit by bit and created an algorithm for maximizing the production. Though, in his method, the workers ended up doing mundane tasks split into parts, the production increased manifold. The negatives in this method are that the skills of the workers were left unutilized, and they remained unhappy. This unhappiness seemed like a small price to pay for the kind of profits the method was giving. Google also incorporates this philosophy in their company. They are constantly looking to develop new algorithms and simplify the existing methods. They also plan on researching on artificial intelligence and the author fears that this artificial intelligence might cause more disaster. He again relates to fiction while he describes how artificial intelligence shouldn’t run our lives since computers are just codes and mechanical instruction and completely, unlike the humans. Using AI to control our lives might make our lives completely mechanical and without instinct that seems like a scary future.
Here I agree with the author and this prospect does seem scary. A life where there is nothing but rules and a mechanical living is not worth living at all. Though this seems to be something we need to worry about way into the future, the fear of artificial intelligence taking over is daunting.
Carr concludes by asking us to ponder over his words and not take them blindly. He remains open minded when he agrees that there is a possibility that his thinking might not be the exact right answer. Though there are many points where I would disagree with Carr, he does bring in an idea that we will have to contemplate about. Thought the internet is undeniably a bane than a boon, it does have a few shortcomings, and we will have to do our best to make sure that our lives do not get altered by it. A balance always has to be maintained, and we should never do anything to lessen our worth and dull our minds. The emotion in us always has to be preserved and taken care. The author could have also chosen a more suitable title. The article concentrates on how the internet and advancement in technology is altering our lives. The mention about Google company is very limited and is not essential to the argument. A topic like the one given creates a negative impression on the reader about Google. This causes negative publicity to the company and can easily be misunderstood by people who just glance at the article without reading it.

Works Cited:

[1] Carr, Nicholas. “ Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. com. July/August 2008. Web. 19 June 2014. http://www. theatlantic. com/doc/print/200807/google
[2] Albanesius, Chloe. “ Google Probably not Making You Stupid Report Says”. PC Mag. 17 February 2010. Web. 19 June 2014. http://www. pcmag. com/article

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