Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ken Myers on browsing

A few summers ago I hit up some folks at my church for money to buy the back catalog of Mars Hill Audio for our library, then immersed myself in those recordings while I puttered around the house. Ken Myers, the head Martian, has recently posted a thoughtful, thought-provoking response to Nicholas Carr's Atlantic essay "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" which makes me keen to go out and buy a copy. Here's where he starts...

That's why they call them browsers
by Ken Myers, Mars Hill Audio

Lately, a lot of what I'm reading has been concerned with how I'm reading, with whether other people are reading, and with how reading influences our inner lives, both our brains and our souls. Nicholas Carr's Atlantic essay, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" (July/August 2008) is an elegant exploration of some of the themes explored by media ecologists. Carr has the feeling, he confesses, that the way he thinks has been changing. It's increasingly hard for him to concentrate on extended arguments presented in books for any sustained period. "I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text." He reports that many friends and colleagues report the same sensation, and he's convinced that the cause behind this effect is all the time he spends online.

As Carr describes it, the way knowledge is organized and acquired online encourages certain mental habits while discouraging others....

Read the entire Myers article here, and the Carr essay here

Oh, Mars Hill is also offering a conversation with Eugene Peterson related to his series of five books on spiritual theology. All the right people hang out on that darn hill...

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