Nicholas Carr on "The Shallows" 10 Years Later

One of the foundational books of my adult life is “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman. It helped me see the ways in which the modern world was driven by entertainment more than information, as we transitioned from an word-based society to an image-based society with the advent of television.

The modern equivalent to Postman’s book, in my opinion, is Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows.” Written in the late 2000’s, before the smart phone was ubiquitous, Carr interprets the impact of the computer and the internet the same way Postman did television.

A new 10th anniversary edition of The Shallows was released this year, with a new afterword, in which Carr argues that he believe his book is more relevant now than it was when it came out.

“One of the greatest dangers we face as we automate the work of our minds, as we cede control over the flow of our thoughts and memories to a powerful electronic system,” Carr writes, is “a slow erosion of our humanness and our humanity.”

Video of the panel in 2015 with myself, Nick, Nicco Mele and Brad Jenkins is here, and my notes on that panel are here.

Outro music: "Feel You" by My Morning Jacket

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