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Is Google Making us Stupid

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The ethos of Carr is in his article is based on all the three elements of that constitute a compelling ethos: his goodwill, practicality of his wisdom and the virtue he exudes.  On the basis of his good will he examines how man’s mental ability is being undermined by the use of google and other internet search engines. He views this as a sequel of mechanization of every facet of humanity from the inception of industrial revolution is being proactively propagated by the internet. The internet is according to his practical wisdom, an inherent part of the computers that has subliminally ripped humanity of his autonomy. The cumulative effect of constant access of information on the internet is to the detriment of an individual’s cognitive skills. The internet through its search engines such as google erodes and undercuts man’s ability to independently direct his thought process and curtails the concentration span possessed by man. His goodwill compels him to inform man of the erosion that has altered our mental habits in a very subtle way and we accept the information on the internet without digesting or questioning the content (Carr, 1).

The practicality of Carr’s wisdom is demonstrated further when he examines man’s process of thought is being molded in a fashion that is antagonistic to the traditional media. He juxtaposes the traditional media categorically applauding its benefits that encompassed sharpening man’s cognitive skills. He clarifies that this was not by merely availing information but by provoking the thought process in lieu of eroding our concentration spans and ability to contemplate. He pragmatically exemplifies this by depicting the effect of  the ability to read long articles in print or web is disappearing at a first rate amongst the population himself inclusive. The ramifications of absolute reliance on the internet for information are more than it meets the eye. Individuals believe that their brains work like computers in the contemporary society just as the way those who embraced the first clocks thought theirs worked like clockwork (Carr, 1).

The goodwill of the author is clear when he explains the vulnerability of our brains to exploitation by the computers and the internet. He shows how malleable the adult brain is and  this is what makes us so flexible such that we imperceptibly conform to the dictates of the internet and eventually becoming its slave. It s principles of operation are based on the programmable sets of instruction forming a system that can arguably “reprogram” the thinking pattern of our brain so subtly that we would not realize what has changed within us. This is a cause for alarm, a situation that warrants to be addressed out of goodwill before we become computer slaves. Carr sympathizes with the readers on how they myopically swallow the bait of immediacy as well as efficiency that the internet provides us forgetting the cumulative impact of its use to our brain (Carr, 1).

From the perspective of virtue, the author demonstrates how computers have demeaned man as an important part of the universe. They are attempting to control who made them and attempting to direct his thinking. This is universally unacceptable on the grounds of virtue. There is no reciprocation of favors in terms of the good that should come out of the invention of both the computer and the internet. Therefore, the computer age has intellectually dwarfed the end user whilst making him a spectator of the display of power wielded by software and computer engineers towering above our intellectual lives. He virtuously defines this as an insult to our intelligence, a mockery of our intellect after being ripped of our intellectual autonomy (Carr, 1).  

The virtue of Carr’s article is further explained when he reveals why google is exploiting man making him stupid every time he uses it. He reveals that the nexus of the internet systems such as google is to systemize everything on the basis of the science of measurement. This unscrupulous methodology exudes its banality when it incorporates the human mind into its systemization. All this is regardless of the repercussions that will be faced squarely by the populace. He castigates Taylor who has been put on the pedestal and his principles have been religiously and dogmatically followed to the detriment of the mind of the human being. This retrogressive practice undermines virtue and it is exacerbated by the prospects of finally substituting the human brain with internet search engines through an interface. The strategy is very clear and Carr shows how man’s virtue will be annihilated. First man is made to use less and less of his brain making him stupid then he will finally be compelled to require the services of an artificial form of intelligence to function normally or supplement his brain. The insidious plan by google and probably other internet search engines is sheer diabolical (Carr, 1).

He however points out the practical wisdom that is gained by the use of google and does not dismiss it fully. Carr appreciates the benefits that come with the expedited access to information via the internet. However, he reverts to the virtue and goodwill aspect of his ethos by advising the readers to look at the big picture and realize how much of our once cultural inheritance that was once replete is being depleted. This is because the process of reading is practically indistinguishable from the thought process.

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