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SHALLOWS: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think
Bibliophile price: £4.50
Computers do have a physical effect on our brains and the Internet is a distraction machine, now made worse with our smartphones which on average British people are checking 150 times a day. Nicholas Carr draws on scientific research to show that the Internet is literally rewiring our brains, inducing only superficial understanding. As a consequence, there are profound changes in the way we live and communicate, remember and socialise, even in our very conception of ourselves. It is actually fostering ignorance and this timely and revelatory reminder of how far the Internet has in the last 20 years enmeshed our daily existence proves it affects the way we think. It is a hair-raising and elegantly written cry of anguish and the most readable overview of the science and history of human cognition to date. Chapter Six begins: 'And what of the book itself? Of all popular media, it's probably the one that has been the most resistant to the Net's influence... A long sequence of printed pages assembled between a pair of still covers has proven to be a remarkably robust technology.' 'My eyes were restless and jumped around as they do when I try to read for a sustained time on the computer. Distractions abounded. I looked up Dickens on Wikipedia, then jumped straight down the Internet rabbit hole following a link about a Dickens short story 'Mugby Junction'. Twenty minutes later I still hadn't returned to reading Nicholas Nickleby on the Kindle.' See! 276pp in paperback.

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