Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Technology Still Isn’t Ruining Anything

This is three years old, but I just ran across it and it’s just as relevant today as it was then. Apparently in response to Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows, Steven Pinker wrote a great op-ed about how technology isn’t really ruining all that stuff that technology is constantly claimed to be ruining. A snippet:

The effects of consuming electronic media are also likely to be far more limited than the panic implies. Media critics write as if the brain takes on the qualities of whatever it consumes, the informational equivalent of “you are what you eat.” As with primitive peoples who believe that eating fierce animals will make them fierce, they assume that watching quick cuts in rock videos turns your mental life into quick cuts or that reading bullet points and Twitter postings turns your thoughts into bullet points and Twitter postings.

I try to post stuff like this whenever I see it because these sorts of arguments (the one from Carr that media is ruining our brains) drive me totally insane. Pinker, it’s clear, is someone Adam Gopnik would call an ever-wasser: “The Ever-Wasers insist that at any moment in modernity something like this is going on, and that a new way of organizing data and connecting users is always thrilling to some and chilling to others–that something like this is going on is exactly what makes it a modern moment.”

Also, while we’re on the topic, XKCD had a pretty awesome comic taking down those stricken with nostalgia for a techless world.

July 15, 2013 // This post is about: , , ,

Comments

No comments yet. Why don't you get things started?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Don't sweat it.