Google VS. Ulmar; an interesting pair

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

In the Article written by Nicholas Carr, Carr illustrates the change that is taking place in the minds of modern humanity. With the introductory example of the computer talking to Dave in the 2001 movie Space Odyssey, Carr explains the power and emphasis modern technology is having over the minds of men. Carr discusses how he has begun to lose concentration when readying lengthy articles or books and describes that, “…my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages” (Carr, Nicholas.). While reading this passage my own mind agreed with this simple statement as I often am hard on  myself when I cannot stay concentrated on the lengthy articles or books I am assigned for class. Therefore, further discussion of the article allowed me to understand better that my inability to stay focused is not an aliment of my own but the reality of the modern society we live in.

Searching for research and the information to the daily questions we have is the result of search engines such as google as well as our ability to garner information quickly due to technological advances. Carr introduces Marshall McLuhan, a media theorist who supports this notion, he claims, “…media [is] not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought” (Carr, Nicholas.)  Carr then finishes this thought by claiming the net affords for the lack of “concentration and contemplation” needed in the synthesis of thought (Carr, Nicholas). This severely interested me as I mentioned before my decline in synthesis. Further analysis of this statement allowed me to realize that the net can be considered a crutch like assistance for modern humanity. Who is going to spend extra time and energy searching manually for information when a much faster entity can do it for you?

The University College of London’s study also interested me as it can also be related to the above thought as skimming longer masses of books or articles has become the norm. Similarly the study conducted by Tufts facilitated my thinking of the increase of desire for “efficiency and immediacy” (Carr, Nicholas). This is a very accurate especially depicted in the college atmosphere. In an environment [college] that fosters success but at as little cost as possible, the internet and search engines such as a Google is taken advantage of.

Furthermore, the examples of change depicted by Nietzsche through his use of the typewriter Frederick Winslow Taylor’s stopwatch [now used in modern day and specifically depicted in this article through the success of Google] one can see how society has transitioned to become an ecliptic group of people focused on speed and little work.

A final point that also interested me was the Gutenberg printing press and how many were concerned about ease in which texts would be produce thereby negating the need to methodically work through and understand texts. This interested me because it illustrated the point that there is no longer a need to use our minds for thought and analysis but instead to discover the most efficient way to take in information.

Discussion Questions:
1. How does technology effect your everyday life?
2. DO you believe that Google has the ability to make us stupid?

Works Cited
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 01 July 2008. Web. 16 Jan.

Introduction: Electracy

Ulmar “explores the possibilities of new media” (Ulmer). Ulmer does so through the preliminary comprehension of the Greeks and their union of the oral communication and the development of the alphabet, this is described as “orality to literacy” (Ulmer). This is used as an example to describe and understand the concept Ulmer is trying to depict entitled Electracy. Being an important aspect of digital media, Electracy is depicted as an apparatus. This apparatus is important in the foundational understanding of Ulmer’s work.

Marshall McLuhan describes a law of media claiming that “innovation involves the retrieval of some features from the cultural archive thought to be obsolete” (Ulmer). Further discussion from Ulmer describes that pedagogy leads to methodology which innovates heretics and thereby aligns with grammatology which is first invented by the Greeks through the transition from oral communication to the development of the alphabet.

Ulmer continues on with a discussion of Kant and his discoveries built off the research and comprehension of Aristotle. This discussion leads into the compression of the chart listed on page 6 which looks over the Pure, Practical, Aesthetic and Historical understanding of modern thought.

Other discussion Ulmer facilitates is the understanding of Epiphany and Neuroaesthetics which then leads into the reciprocal conclusion discussing the Greek Academy and Lyceum.

Ulmer’s Introductory Article was difficult to understand and is best described as foggy. I am a bit confused on his main point which was depicted at Electracy.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is electracy?
  2. What is the main point in which Ulmar is trying to depict through his discussion of Electracy?

Works Cited
Ulmer. “Introduction: Electracy.” Ulmer The Learning Screen RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.


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