Nicholas Carr is an acclaimed writer whose work focuses on the intersection of technology, economics, and culture. His path-breaking article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” provoked a wide-ranging debate in the media, and was later expanded into the Pulitzer Prize-finalist and New York Times bestselling book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains — now hailed as “a modern classic,” and a touchstone for debates on technology’s effects on our thoughts and perceptions. His other influential books include The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us, and Utopia Is Creepy. Since 2005, Carr has written the popular blog Rough Type. His writings have also appeared in leading publications including The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Wired, Nature, and MIT Technology Review.
Carr is a visiting professor of sociology at Williams College in Massachusetts and is the former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review. In 2015, he received the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity from the Media Ecology Association. Carr is a former member of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s editorial board of advisors, was on the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s cloud computing project, and was a writer-in-residence at the University of California at Berkeley’s journalism school.
In this episode of Intersections, Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Nicholas Carr on the topic “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”.
In our age of instant information, speed and efficiency, the human mind has been left scattered, distracted and disoriented by the constant buzz of our devices, and virtual cravings—separating us from the vast possibilities for refined thought, perception, emotion and action. How can we reclaim these fundamental human qualities, and start to exert greater control over our time, cognition, and everyday choices? What threats does the increasing control of technology pose to our own selves, to our relationships, and to the world at large? And how can we forge a new kind of self-reliance that not only liberates us, but also helps us make the most of the positive influences of today’s technology?
The episode “What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” offers key insights on: