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Channeling Nick Carr

July 23, 2010 17:48:48.642

I keep seeing this kind of nonsense popping up:

The explosion of digital culture is, on net, a very good thing. But it necessarily crowds out some activities and one of the things it must do the very most crowding-out of is one’s capacity to read giant honking novels. I find it hard to imagine myself undertaking a project on the W&P/Moby Dick/Brothers Karamazov scale in the era of ubiquitous connectivity. I think this is something we may just be losing as a society.

I just don't get it. I read a lot, and if anything, the iPad I have has made that easier. I can buy a book and start reading immediately, and do so on multiple devices. If you peruse my book list, you'll see that some of the history books I've read are pretty darn long; I don't think that "connectivity" gets in the way of that.

If anything, these people sound like the scolds from my youth, who were sure that TV was rotting our brains. There were probably anti-radio fanatics back in the 1930's as well. If you have trouble getting into a long book, don't blame the net - find a mirror, and ponder what's there - because that's where the problem is.

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posted by James Robertson

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