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Posted: 28 January 2017 12:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Nice pivot, BTW. We started with Boehi, but are now discussing Carr and Ulin. Kudos.

I never started with Boehi, I started with, the lost art of reading, specifically book reading and deep reading. I submitted an article, which elaborated on that topic. The debate is on the topic not on the writer, because there are numerous writers, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, etc. who support Carr and Ulin’s position.

You still don’t seem to understand the difference between journalism and science.

Yes, I do understand the difference; I’ve already pointed that out.

I’ve taken a look at Carr’s book. It’s still seven years old, so no matter what, it’s out of date. But I will admit that for a work of journalism it is well researched.

Yes, it might be out of date, because his theory, supported by many cognoscenti, has even more credence today.

2) The “X is making us dumber” argument reappears every time a new technology or genre of literature pops up. And it has always been wrong. We saw it with television, radio, the printing press. We saw it with audio books, with comic books, even with the novel in the 18th century, that evil corrupter of young women’s virtues. Hell, Plato told us that reading and writing would be the end of civilization.

A faulty comparison, because computers, smartphones, ipads, etc. have become indispensable tools for social interaction and employment engagements.  A smartphone is a unique technology where one can carry it around and interact with it all day long, and it seems everybody does, and for this reason it interferes with our thinking. We’ve never had a technology that, essentially, does our thinking for us.

Commonsense, many times overrides scientific research, data, and academics in general. I frequent theatres and restaurants three to four times a week and I observe individuals, couples and families that are constantly on their cell phones texting and playing with their phones, but rarely having a conversation. When they do converse it’s usually in association with their cell phones.  I observe this kind of behavior from people when they’re in movie theaters, in recreational parks, on airplanes, trains, and while driving their automobiles or just walking down a street. They’re fixated and obsessed with their smartphones and it isn’t because they’re reading Dostoyevsky.
If you don’t think that this is a problem, then I’ll leave it at that.

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Posted: 28 January 2017 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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A faulty comparison, because computers, smartphones, ipads, etc. have become indispensable tools for social interaction and employment engagements.

That’s an entirely different topic, having nothing to do with deep reading or cognition. (And off-topic for this site.)

Commonsense, many times overrides scientific research, data, and academics in general.

Utter and complete crap. Common sense would have the sun going around the earth, just for starters. There are literally billions of examples where common sense is shown to be absolutely wrong. As humans we’re subject to all sorts of biases and failures to perceive. Scientific rigor is the only successful system known to accurately perceive objective reality.

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Posted: 28 January 2017 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Commonsense, many times overrides scientific research, data, and academics in general.

Journalists agree with you; no wonder you prefer their writings to those of people who care about facts rather than personal observations (aka scientists and academics).

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Posted: 29 January 2017 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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To say nothing of the fact that one person’s common sense may not be another. All my life I’ve been reading about how a particular innovation was making people more stupid. Later in life I learnt how writers since Hesiod, at least, have believed that humans were degenerating because of some factor or other.

In the light of all this, it seems like common sense to me that anyone who had the slightest acquaintance with history, at least, would greet any such announcement of a new culprit with extreme scepticism. Of course, on any given occasion the claim might have something to it, but surely this isn’t very likely. This hasn’t happened, though. Instead, you’re greeted with ‘yes, but this is different‘.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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A faulty comparison, because computers, smartphones, ipads, etc. have become indispensable tools for social interaction and employment engagements.

That’s an entirely different topic, having nothing to do with deep reading or cognition. (And off-topic for this site.)

Why is it an entirely different topic? You brought it up when you declared that “The X is making us dumber” argument pops up every time a new technology becomes popular. I responded that you can’t compare the invasiveness and obsession with computers and smartphones with the segregated use of radio and television.  Furthermore, the gist of my topic is not about, technology making us dumber, it’s about technology affecting our reading habits, especially deep reading.  I never intimated that technology was making us dumber; I just suggested that it might affect our reading habits, especially deep reading, and I stand by that position.

Commonsense, many times overrides scientific research, data, and academics in general.

Utter and complete crap. Common sense would have the sun going around the earth, just for starters.

I wouldn’t be as dismissive; common sense can mean the difference between life and death. I don’t want to get off topic and argue the benefits and semantics of the expression; I do think it has its advantages. Regardless, my statement, which referred to common sense, was in the context of my following factual observations, which you simply ignored. You’re cherry-picking all my comments.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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languagehat - 28 January 2017 06:50 AM

Commonsense, many times overrides scientific research, data, and academics in general.

Journalists agree with you; no wonder you prefer their writings to those of people who care about facts rather than personal observations (aka scientists and academics).

That’s a presumptuous mischaracterization of my viewpoint; I don’t understand why you insist on repeating it. Where in this thread have I endorsed journalism? Where have I implied that I “prefer” journalism over science or academics? Ulin, is a former book critic, editor and author of books. Boehi is also an editor and a book writer,and Carr is a writer who has published books and articles on technology, business and culture. That’s their job description, not journalism. Their articles expressed a concern on how the Internet is impeding their concentration and making it harder for them to read a book.  That’s their subjective opinion based on facts relating to their experiences. I’ve had the same problem by trying to immerse myself in a book, I would start to get fidgety and lose concentration. I was just spending too much time on the Internet reading in a desultory fashion. 
Those are the facts, (not “personal observations”) that I care about and it’s preposterous and presumptuous for you to think that a scientist or an academic is going to contend that these experiences are unrelated to compulsive Internet use.

Furthermore, you’re ignoring previous comments where I stated that scientists have supported Carr’s argument.

WikipediA

Several prominent scientists working in the field of neuroscience supported Carr’s argument as scientifically plausible. James Olds, a professor of computational neuroscience, who directs the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, was quoted in Carr’s essay for his expertise, and upon the essay’s publication Olds wrote a letter to the editor of The Atlantic in which he reiterated that the brain was “very plastic” — referring to the changes that occur in the organization of the brain as a result of experience. It was Olds’ opinion that given the brain’s plasticity it was “not such a long stretch to Carr’s meme”.[40] One of the pioneers in neuroplasticity research, Michael Merzenich, later added his own comment to the discussion, stating that he had given a talk at Google in 2008 in which he had asked the audience the same question that Carr asked in his essay. Merzenich believed that there was “absolutely no question that our brains are engaged less directly and more shallowly in the synthesis of information, when we use research strategies that are all about ‘efficiency’, ‘secondary (and out-of-context) referencing’, and ‘once over, lightly’”.[41] Another neuroscientist, Gary Small, director of UCLA’s Memory & Aging Research Center, wrote a letter to the editor of The Atlantic in which he stated that he believed that “brains are developing circuitry for online social networking and are adapting to a new multitasking technology culture”.[42]

“Will we lose the “deep reading” brain in a digital culture? No one knows—yet.” Maryanne Wolf
http://niemanreports.org/articles/our-deep-reading-brain-its-digital-evolution-poses-questions/

As you see I don’t rely solely on journalists for my information.

I’m curious if you have any information, scientific research, data, anything that suggests or asserts that constant Internet use, googling, texting, etc. does not impair our ability to engage in meaningful deep reading.  I don’t think so.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I’m curious if you have any information, scientific research, data, anything that suggests or asserts that constant Internet use, googling, texting, etc. does not impair our ability to engage in meaningful deep reading.  I don’t think so.

One of the fundamental tenets of rational thought is that you cannot prove a negative statement. It is always the obligation of the person making the positive claim to prove that it is true.

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Posted: 30 January 2017 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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One of the fundamental tenets of rational thought is that you cannot prove a negative statement. It is always the obligation of the person making the positive claim to prove that it is true.

That’s folklore, and debatable.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/believing-bull/201109/you-can-prove-negative

From one of your previous comments “Can the reader get back to “deep reading” with a little bit of practice?” I have to assume that you think that excessive Internet use might affect meaningful book reading. I’ll leave it at that and let the scientists introduce a better and conclusive dissertation on the issue.

[ Edited: 30 January 2017 03:58 PM by Logophile ]
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Posted: 31 January 2017 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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They scientists won’t be able to, poor things, as they’ll have had their mental processes hopelessly muddled by internet use before they get the chance to.

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Posted: 31 January 2017 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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That’s folklore, and debatable

The linked article is just an exercise in semantics and sophistry. You can’t look for something that doesn’t exist, so you postulate where it, or evidence of its existence, might possibly exist and look there. You rephrase the claim into a positive form in order to make it practical.

“You can’t prove a negative” is a short-hand way to get the proposition rephrased into a form that can be properly investigated. In this case, we would go looking for evidence that internet activity (whatever that is) has an effect on deep reading (whatever that is). Define what you mean by internet activity (what kind, how much, on what devices, etc.), define what you mean by deep reading (what particular mental processes you are talking about), and then define precisely what what effect you expect the internet activity will have on deep reading, and define all these in a way that is measurable. Then we can go see if there is an effect in places where we would expect to find it if it exists. We are investigating a positive claim.

The propositions of Carr, Ulin, et al. are not phrased in such a way. They’re saying that the some vague cluster of activities has a bad but nebulous effect on some ill-defined mental processes. In other words: “the internet changes your brain.” But this is trivially true. All experiences and activities change the way we think. There is nothing special about the internet. The brain is “plastic” and our mental pathways are constantly changing.

“You can’t prove a negative” is also used, and this is how I used it, as an assignment of the burden of proof. In an argument, it is the person making a positive claim who is responsible for demonstrating it is true. The prosecution must prove the defendant did it; the defendant doesn’t have to prove a damned thing.

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Posted: 04 February 2017 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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A Short History of the Death of Culture

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Posted: 20 February 2017 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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That link seems to go to a “random” page on SMBC. A stable link to the comic in question: “SMBC: A Short History of The Death of Culture”

[ Edited: 20 February 2017 09:39 AM by Recusant ]
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