It is more than "ironic" that Carr's book is available on Kindle. That is the new printing press of our day. I come from the era of the print culture and I am now with my feet in both camps. I have seen no credible studies that support Carr's thesis. Bookmarks Magazine is quoted as saying "Many bought into his argument about the neurological effects of the Internet, but the more expert among them (Jonah Lehrer, for one) cited scientific evidence that such technologies actually benefit the mind." Citing "neurological evidence" is always a dangerous game because the technology and science in that field is a quickly moving target. There are many studies of universities using openly licensed, free electronic books in place of traditional textbooks and there is no significant difference in the success rates of students in those courses. In fact, because the stress of the textbook cost is eliminated, retention rates actually go up. Some of those studies were performed here at College of the Redwoods via the Kaleidoscope project. Much of the date can be found at Lumen Learning. http://lumenlearning.com/innovative-projec… I personally enjoy reading on the internet - in an ereader, I can annotate, bookmark and easily share what I am reading with others. I can carry a dozen books with me to the cafe. I can also look up words and ideas. In fact, sometimes it is a more engaging experience. Also, some books are not available in our library - I don't have the luxury of driving down to the special collection in Stanford or Harvard. But much of what I need, I can find through Google Books. Anyway, I am a big McLuhan fan - always good to see someone writing about Gutenberg! :-)
I have read this idea in several sources and have always felt that the ancients, when they were not just keeping records, wrote mostly as an aide to memorization (I am thinking here of Homeric texts especially). The idea that reading was always something that the ancients did out loud has been debunked. James Fenton in the Guardian wrote an article a few years back on why the myth refuses to die: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/jul/29/featuresreviews.guardianreview27
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In Print This Week:
Mar 23, 2017
vol XXVIII issue 12
Young & Hungry
North Coast Journal
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