American writer Nicholas Carr’s claim that the internet is not only shaping our lives but physically altering our brains has sparked a lively and ongoing debate, says John Naughton. Below, a selection of writers and experts offer their opinion
Every 50 years or so, American magazine the Atlantic lobs an intellectual grenade into our culture. In the summer of 1945, for example, it published an essay by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineer Vannevar Bush entitled “As We May Think“. It turned out to be the blueprint for what eventually emerged as the world wide web. Two summers ago, the Atlantic published an essay by Nicholas Carr, one of the blogosphere’s most prominent (and thoughtful) contrarians, under the headline “Is Google Making Us Stupid?“.