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The Augmented Mind (the stupid ones are those who do not use Google) [Kindle Edition]

Derrick de Kerckhove
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

"Nicholas Carr asks anxiously if “Google is making us stupid”, the Internet “altering the way we think to make us less capable of digesting large and complex amounts of information, such as books and magazine articles”.

A better question would be to ask if the elaborate articulation of messages doesn’t run against the inevitable acceleration of life and culture introduced by electricity since the advent of the telegraph.

All rhythms of life and learning have been completely altered by a rapid succession of ground-changing technologies including the telephone, radio, television, personal computers, the Internet, cellular phones and mobile technologies in general.

A short attention span may not imply a poor attention, but rather a quick one.

In simple terms the Augmented Mind is the mind, such as we know it (or think we know it) inside our heads, but externalized, shared, multiplied, accelerated, random accessed and generally processed connectively outside our heads.

The functions that we all thought were exclusively internal to us, like memory, that is the active recalling of anything, and imagination, that is the creation of images inside our heads, are actually emigrating to screens outside our heads, there to serve new purposes.


Derrick de Kerckhove, Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology since 1983, is a Full Professor in the Department of French at the University of Toronto, cross-appointed at the Faculty of Information Studies and the Knowledge Media Design Institute. He was an associate of the Centre for Culture and Technology from 1972 to 1980 and worked with Marshall McLuhan for over ten years as translator, assistant and co-author.

«In De Kerckhove theory each technology is depicted as a brainframe as well as a new skin for our culture». [Diana Corati & Francesco Fumarola]

Product Details

  • File Size: 508 KB
  • Print Length: 27 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: 40k (December 3, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Hopes You're Not Allergic to Intelligent Dust April 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review originally appeared on my website.

What if I told you that the act of reading maintained our humanity? That, as our world becomes more fully digitized, our lives will morph and emulate into tags and clouds? According to de Kerckhove in his short e-book "The Augmented Mind," reading (especially silently to one's self) is what will keep humans from losing their lives to the virtual world.

Reading silently is what jumpstarted our humanity's real cognitive power, back in history when we (as a species) seemed to be crawling through our technological evolution.

"Silent reading marks the full appropriation of language by the human body. It introduces the consciousness of words inside the mind, voiced within only for the reader, and that only on command. Reading and writing bring forward language to the mind in a controlled way, allowing for the identity of the individual reader to affirm itself in a detached self-image, a homunculus that thinks."

Reading silently is the secret to strengthening the autonomy of the individual mind. It combats the augmented mind, which, while it is has many exciting attributes and innumerable networking capabilities, ostracizes humans by taking their individual minds and segmenting them through sharing.

The generation currently inhabiting the scientific (sociological, etc.) fields have noticed this trend developing quite rapidly already. However, this will become blindingly apparent once the "always-on" generation (the digital natives, those that were born after the Internet was in full-swing) grows up a bit more and starts infiltrating the creative and industrial fields.

The connecting elements of our forms of media create a vacillating, textured picture of any one concept.
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