by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 9th 2010 3:13pm
With Nick Carr's book out, misleadingly suggesting that the internet is bad for our brains, it looks like the NY Times has decided to a trend piece on the same concept, except even more misleading. Practically the entire article hinges on one family whose father is sometimes distracted. The article opens with the fact that he once missed an email from someone who wanted to buy his company. And, um, it's because the internet makes us dumb? The connection is never made. The fact that people miss emails all the time, just as they might have missed snail mail in the past, is never made either. Honestly, the guy in the article sounds a lot like me, in terms of how I work, but he also sounds a lot like my Dad back when I was a kid and he would have his desk of papers disorganized. That's not a condemnation of technology. It's just that some people can be a bit absent-minded at times. Of course, the article throws in quotes from neuroscientists and other studies to give it that scientific coating, but what the researchers talk about has absolutely nothing to do with what makes someone miss an email or want to spend some time playing video games. It's one of those newspaper trend pieces that sounds good, but doesn't even come close to holding together its central thesis if you look at the details.
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