Is Google Making Us Stupid? A Deep History and Future of the Internet

In a 2008 article in The Atlantic, Nick Carr famously asked “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and wondered specifically what deleterious effects the Internet is having on our brains. Carr argued that the Internet is making us incapable of sustaining the attention necessary to read long-form articles and books. He also points to evidence which suggests that using the Internet is rewiring our brains.

David Staley’s answer to Carr’s question is “no.” When we place the development of the Internet in a long-term historical context, we see that what the Internet is “doing to our brains” is similar to the effects that other cognitive technologies—like art or writing—have had. Professor Staley will evoke this deeper history, and suggest possible futures for the brain-Internet interface.

Presented by David J. Staley, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University
Friday, October 24, 2014 in the The Fawcett Center at The Ohio State University
at the Clio Society meeting.