Thought provoking piece here from John Harris, it does seem to ring a few bells and raise some interesting points. Not only I am conscious of spending too much time online when I could be more profitably occupied with other things, there does seem to be something in the point about the jumpy nervousness in people, the inablity to maintain eye contact and pursue a point rather constantly change the subject and jump to something else. My contemplative nature and need for regular space and escape protects me to a degree. But there's more than something in it I think.
I'm waiting for that book, The Shallows, to arrive from the library. I found Nicholas Carr's previous book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, very readable and interesting. I suppose one of the curious things about the changes the internet is supposedly bringing about is that for many those are somewhat desired changes — the creation of the hive mind idea and the noosphere of Teilhard de Chardin and others. However, as always, there are also many unanticipated consequences and the internet is a mixed bag of possibilities if nothing else. Hard as it may be to believe given my presence around here, I try to limit my time on the net with moderate success. But still, hunting music can absorb hours! I also have zero electronic gadgets as far as mobiles, etc. go. I'm strictly desk-bound — and like it that way.
I'm sure I spend far too much time at a computer and on the internet, to the extent that I sometimes think that my desert island luxury would be a computer. I hardly watch any TV these days, and don't read enough books (even if I've bought them), though I do read lots of stuff I've downloaded, mainly for professional reasons. I used to read fiction voraciously, but now it's mainly non-fiction when I get the time. (I also get to see far fewer films than I did, and even listen to less music - which doesn't stop me buying it.)
Reading fewer books is partly down to no longer commuting, partly to a change in work, but the internet is also partly responsible. What it gives you is the ability to look stuff up in seconds and to make all sorts of connections, but there's certainly the danger of information overload and shallowness. It opens up all sorts of leads, but you have to work at following them up properly - which you can do if you have pre-internet discipline and literacy, but one wonders how generations without them will fare. It's too easy to just surf and fritter your time away.
I feel much better now. Thanks. I was a bit afraid that you were going to leave us. I probably shouldn't say that I'd miss your bollocks in case Andy M misinterprets the remark. I still can't think of "corrugated stiffeners" without a grin. Not to mention the easing of passages. He wouldn't be doing that on purpose, would he?
I wouldn't want to give credit where it is not due, of course, although I am immensely happy that you are glad to take it under whatever circumstances. One of the secrets of a happy life, I feel. However, I am fairly certain that it was you, in fact, who took entirely innocent remarks and turned them into innuendi. Oh! How I love that word, innuendi! Alchemy isn't bad, either.
I think Adam would probably prefer it if we did not touch his bollocks with a barge pole, so to speak, although you had me laughing out loud (Surely there's an acronym for that on the net? My ADD is just so terrible these days I can't remember a thing.) with your admiration for them.
Interesting and insightful and true comment from Bob Schieffer on CBS's Face the Nation this morning:
Ignorance Travels Fast on Internet New Poll on Americans Believing Obama is Muslim Underscores Downside of Internet News Delivery System
The greatest advances in the store of human knowledge have always taken place when great minds found themselves in the same place at the same time, as when the Greeks gathered on the hillsides of Athens, and when the political geniuses who founded this country came together.
The great promise of the Internet was that for the first time, great minds no longer had to be in close proximity.
But what we have also learned now is that in the Internet age ignorance travels as rapidly as great ideas. Now not only great minds can find one another and compare notes, so, too, can the nuts and the perverts and those who are simply looking to validate their prejudices.
Disagreeing with our leaders is our right and in truth part of the fun of being an American. But to suggest the President is a Muslim is absurd no matter how fervently some who dislike him may wish it so.
The purpose here is not to argue politics but to underscore how this illustrates the down side of the Internet - the only news delivery system we've ever had that has no editor. We must always remember that. What we read there may not always be true.
But, I want to point out that I believe everything I read on SotWorld, so please be careful what you post or link to.