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Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future (Edge Question Series) Paperback – January 18, 2011
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From the Back Cover
How is the internet changing the way you think? That is one of the dominant questions of our time, one which affects almost every aspect of our life and future. And it's exactly what John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to more than 150 of the world's most influential minds. Brilliant, farsighted, and fascinating, Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? is an essential guide to the Net-based world.
About the Author
The publisher of the online science salon Edge.org, John Brockman is the editor of Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes.
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The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr (Jun 6, 2011)
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Most of the respondents are high-level scientists, mathematicians, or business figures--a disproportionate number considered how the Internet affects scientific research. There aren't any religious leaders on the list, save for three of the "four horsemen" of New Atheism: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. Overall, the book is mainly a response from secular intellectuals. (How has the Internet changed how school teachers think? How about housewives? Farmers? Community college professors? Priests?)
In terms of content, Brockman's book is way too long. Each respondent gets 2-3 pages, so the book is well above 400 total. After just a handful of responses, the contributions begin getting repetitive. Also, many of the contributions seem--at least to this non-scientist--to be little more than intellectual posturing, with respondents trying to prove genius by referencing dense scientific terms or theories.
I wouldn't recommend buying this book. If you're interested, borrow it or head to the store and browse the first couple of chapters. I think the best answer to the book's question comes not from its own pages but from Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows".