joi, 25 noiembrie 2010

We belong wired / future / network

Va spuneam cu un post in urma despre descoperirea unui idei care imi rodea si mie in cap de maniera difuz-confuza, asa cum imi este mintea. Plecind de la acel articol din The Atlantic, am cautat autorul: Nicholas Carr.

Si evident ca in a nick of a time i-am gasit cartea scrisa drept extensie / continuare a acestui articol.

Si am inceput sa citesc. (pentru cei care au probleme cu redarea formatului epub, descarcati Calibre).

Si m-au trecut fiori.

De invidie, ca spune atit de bine lucruri deja gindite de mine tine noi toti, acolo in coltul mintii noastre difuze confuze structurate in forma de varza.

De frica, pentru ca asa este. Astia sintem. Incet-incet, asa ne functioneaza mintea, ni se modifica sirmele de carne care ne strabat creierul, ni se reprogrameaza reteaua neuronala si avem alte aplecari catre informatie, alte rabdari, alte putirinte, alte nabadai si naravuri si tipicareli.

De elatie, pentru ca asa vom fi. Pentru ca asa sintem. Pentru ca nu vom mai fi altfel. Pentru ca ce-am fost pina acum 5-10 ani de zile, lineari si asezati, s-a dus. Vom fi altfel. We belong dumb. We belong network. We belong future. We belong dead. We belong matrix.

Si da, nu stiu care este traducerea in romana la "elation". Inaltare? Extaz?

Nu caut. Aveti Google la indemina. I belong dumb. I belong matrix. I belong english and english is good.

Cititi si scuturati-va. Treziti-va. Internautizati-va. Conectati-va si luati-va pilula. Albastra. Rosie.


* * *
The Shallows. What the Internet is doing to our brains
Nicholas Carr (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010)

“Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop?” So the supercomputer HAL pleads with the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial brain. “Dave, my mind is going,” HAL says, forlornly. “I can feel it. I can feel it.”

I can feel it too. Over the last few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going — so far as I can tell — but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think.

I feel it most strongly when I’m reading. I used to find it easy to immerse myself in a book or a lengthy article. My mind would get caught up in the twists of the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose.

That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration starts to drift after a page or two. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel like I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what’s going on. For well over a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web’s been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or the pithy quote I was after.

I couldn’t begin to tally the hours or the gallons of gasoline the Net has saved me. I do most of my banking and a lot of my shopping online. I use my browser to pay my bills, schedule my appointments, book flights and hotel rooms, renew my driver’s license, send invitations and greeting cards. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s data thickets — reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, following Facebook updates, watching video streams, downloading music, or just tripping lightly from link to link to link.

The Net has become my all-purpose medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich and easily searched store of data are many, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded.

“Google,” says Heather Pringle, a writer with Archaeology magazine, “is an astonishing boon to humanity, gathering up and concentrating information and ideas that were once scattered so broadly around the world that hardly anyone could profit from them.” Observes Wired’s Clive Thompson, “The perfect recall of silicon memory can be an enormous boon to thinking.”

The boons are real. But they come at a price. As McLuhan suggested, media aren’t just channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I’m online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

Maybe I’m an aberration, an outlier. But it doesn’t seem that way. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends, many say they’re suffering from similar afflictions. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some worry they’re becoming chronic scatterbrains. Several of the bloggers I follow have also mentioned the phenomenon.

Scott Karp, who used to work for a magazine and now writes a blog about online media, confesses that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he writes. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

Bruce Friedman, who blogs about the use of computers in medicine, has also described how the Internet is altering his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he says.4 A pathologist on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”

Philip Davis, a doctoral student in communication at Cornell who contributes to the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s blog, recalls a time back in the 1990s when he showed a friend how to use a Web browser. He says he was “astonished” and “even irritated” when the woman paused to read the text on the sites she stumbled upon. “You’re not supposed to read web pages, just click on the hypertexted words!” he scolded her. Now, Davis writes, “I read a lot—or at least I should be reading a lot—only I don’t. I skim. I scroll. I have very little patience for long, drawn-out, nuanced arguments, even though I accuse others of painting the world too simply.”

Karp, Friedman, and Davis—all well-educated men with a keenness for writing — seem fairly sanguine about the decay of their faculties for reading and concentrating. All things considered, they say, the benefits they get from using the Net — quick access to loads of information, potent searching and filtering tools, an easy way to share their opinions with a small but interested audience—make up for the loss of their ability to sit still and turn the pages of a book or a magazine.

Friedman told me, in an e-mail, that he’s “never been more creative” than he has been recently, and he attributes that “to my blog and the ability to review/scan ‘tons’ of information on the web.” Karp has come to believe that reading lots of short, linked snippets online is a more efficient way to expand his mind than reading “250-page books,” though, he says, “we can’t yet recognize the superiority of this networked thinking process because we’re measuring it against our old linear thought process.

Muses Davis, “The Internet may have made me a less patient reader, but I think that in many ways, it has made me smarter. More connections to documents, artifacts, and people means more external influences on my thinking and thus on my writing.

All three know they’ve sacrificed something important, but they wouldn’t go back to the way things used to be.

For some people, the very idea of reading a book has come to seem old-fashioned, maybe even a little silly—like sewing your own shirts or butchering your own meat. “I don’t read books,” says Joe O’Shea, a former president of the student body at Florida State University and a 2008 recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship. “I go to Google, and I can absorb relevant information quickly.”

O’Shea, a philosophy major, doesn’t see any reason to plow through chapters of text when it takes but a minute or two to cherry-pick the pertinent passages using Google Book Search. “Sitting down and going through a book from cover to cover doesn’t make sense,” he says. “It’s not a good use of my time, as I can get all the information I need faster through the Web.” As soon as you learn to be “a skilled hunter” online, he argues, books become superfluous.

O’Shea seems more the rule than the exception. In 2008, a research and consulting outfit called nGenera released a study of the effects of Internet use on the young. The company interviewed some six thousand members of what it calls “Generation Net”—kids who have grown up using the Web.

“Digital immersion,” wrote the lead researcher, “has even affected the way they absorb information. They don’t necessarily read a page from left to right and from top to bottom. They might instead skip around, scanning for pertinent information of interest.” In a talk at a recent Phi Beta Kappa meeting, Duke University professor Katherine Hayles confessed, “I can’t get my students to read whole books anymore.” Hayles teaches English; the students she’s talking about are students of literature.

People use the Internet in all sorts of ways. Some are eager, even compulsive adopters of the latest technologies. They keep accounts with a dozen or more online services and subscribe to scores of information feeds. They blog and they tag, they text and they twitter.

Others don’t much care about being on the cutting edge but nevertheless find themselves online most of the time, tapping away at their desktop, their laptop, or their mobile phone. The Net has become essential to their work, school, or social lives, and often to all three.

Still others log on only a few times a day—to check their e-mail, follow a story in the news, research a topic of interest, or do some shopping. And there are, of course, many people who don’t use the Internet at all, either because they can’t afford to or because they don’t want to.

What’s clear, though, is that for society as a whole the Net has become, in just the twenty years since the software programmer Tim Berners-Lee wrote the code for the World Wide Web, the communication and information medium of choice. The scope of its use is unprecedented, even by the standards of the mass media of the twentieth century. The scope of its influence is equally broad. By choice or necessity, we’ve embraced the Net’s uniquely rapid-fire mode of collecting and dispensing information.

We seem to have arrived, as McLuhan said we would, at an important juncture in our intellectual and cultural history, a moment of transition between two very different modes of thinking. What we’re trading away in return for the riches of the Net — and only a curmudgeon would refuse to see the riches — is what Karp calls “our old linear thought process.”

Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts — the faster, the better.

John Battelle, a onetime magazine editor and journalism professor who now runs an online advertising syndicate, has described the intellectual frisson he experiences when skittering across Web pages: “When I am performing bricolage in real time over the course of hours, I am ‘feeling’ my brain light up, I [am] ‘feeling’ like I’m getting smarter.” Most of us have experienced similar sensations while online. The feelings are intoxicating — so much so that they can distract us from the Net’s deeper cognitive consequences.

For the last five centuries, ever since Gutenberg’s printing press made book reading a popular pursuit, the linear, literary mind has been at the center of art, science, and society. As supple as it is subtle, it’s been the imaginative mind of the Renaissance, the rational mind of the Enlightenment, the inventive mind of the Industrial Revolution, even the subversive mind of Modernism.

It may soon be yesterday’s mind.

12 comentarii:

Kilroy spunea...

Just like Cypher said "you can take your pill, and shove it" ;-)
Fara nici o legatura cu articolul, un Murakami zace pe noptiera de vreo 3 luni (cel putin). Si imi mai vin in minte cel putin doua carti, la care am facut un efort deosebit ca sa pot depasi primele pagini. Si acum imi aduc aminte ca mi-au confirmat niste prieteni fenomenul. Si l-am pus pe seama inaintarii in varsta, hm ...
Era povestirea aceea din Almanahul Anticipatia cu tipul care realizeaza ca NET-ul este prima IA. Si lui i se intampla ceva rau. Nu imi aduc aminte tilul povestirii. Should I google it? ;-)

0Z spunea...

As vrea sa ma alatur panicii, dar ma consider un observator mai fin. Din punctul meu de vedere e vorba de constienta, diversitate si putere. Puterea da dependenta, diversitatea asigura calitatea, constienta este baza.

Mentionez dependenta fiindca daca ceva ne place, creierul nu uita experienta, favorizand repetitia ceva-ului.

Mediul informatic a fost intotdeauna sarac, iar daca comparam pe cel de acum 15 ani, cu cel de azi, contrastul este uluitor. Am avut creierele obisnuite cu diversitate putina si cu calitate rara. Ca o fantana adanca sau un izvor ascuns cu apa pura.

Acum, e mai bine din acest punct de vedere, iar creierul "stie" asta. Traim pe malul unui fluviu de informatie, iar creierul s-a obisnuit sa-l treaca inot, inghitind cat poate, pentru ca informatia este vitala. In acest context, mi se pare normal ca creierul sa ignore vechile tentatii cu "fantani" si "izvoare", preferand abundenta fara margini vizibile a internetului.

Nevoia de informatie este fundamentata in simturile care ne ajuta sa ne ridicam constienta de la un animal in jungla, la un individ intr-un grup , la un trib, la o stat si... prin informatia globalizata, la o comunitate planetara.

Pe scurt: nu mai poti citi cu asa usurinta carti si articole lungi pentru ca ti s-a marit constienta. Nu stiu daca se poate micsora la loc (fara droguri sau accidente vasculare la nivelul creierului).

P.S. creierul nu este un aparat de redare multimedia in care introduci diverse chestii pentru distractie si placere


A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions. Holmes, Oliver Wendell

Kilroy spunea...

Uitasem (2000 little grey cells die every day?). Kubrik, ha? Ia sileste un adolescent sa vizioneze 2001. Curata tortura monsher. Se poarta michael bay acum, filmul construit din 'jdemii de freimuri si freimuletze, cu camera ce se misca intr-una (stiu ca e computer made by, dar e asa de realist, ca imi vine sa vomit) si dialoguri scrise parca de autisti. Yuk.

Turambar spunea...

:) Lectura comentariilor voastre imi provoaca placeri de-alea vechi, lineare, literare pre-interneticale.

@ DumneZero: Da, cantitatea de informatie joaca rolul fundamental in aceasta schimbare de structura mentala. Un comentariu foarte pertinent, luminos, umanist.

Dar tu pui accentul doar pe partea pozitiva a constructului emotional: placerea, bucuria multei informatii. Uiti insa ca linga aceasta emotie pozitiva se construieste in paralel si una negativa: angoasa ca ai atita informatie la dispozitie, insa timpul nu se dilata pe masura. Un tremurici interior in fata prea-plinului care iti sopteste: Si daca nu am timp sa beau tot? Sa avalez tot? Si daca unda urmatoare e mai gustoasa, si eu nu stiu, ca nu apuc sa gust din ea, ca prea adast la asta? Si daca urmatoarea pagina / sursa de informatie este si mai gustoasa / ziditoare / generatoare de placere si alte emotii pozitive? Nu sta, nu adasta, nu zabovi prea mult aici, recentule! Sari repede in urmatoarea, ca poate-poate e mai buna! Nu citi mai mult de trei paragrafe ori patru ori sapte. Nu mai gindi in sute de pagini. Pune-i punct si sari la urmatorul val, in urmatoarea unda.

Hai, ca o dau in trairisme retorice a la Nietzsche. Profet scrie pe fruntea mea si n-am oglinda sa-mi vaz scrisul de golem.

:) :wink:

Anonim spunea...

Nu cred ca 15 de ani de internet pot fi comparati cu o evolutie de fro 10000 de ani.
Ashaaa, acum, trecand de la evolutionismul clasic, de tip spencerian, la cel neo, sa zicem multiliniar al lui Steward ajungem la cine ne intereseaza, adica la Elman R. Service(1971):"Cu cat mai adaptata si mai specializata este o forma socio-culturala, aflata intr-un anumit stadiu evolutionar, cu atat mai mic este potentialul ei necesar ppentru a trece in stadiul urmator". :)
Bref,cu cat ne specializam mai mai mult pe interent cu atat il vom inlocui mai repede. Cu ce? eeee asta e alta poveste. hehehehehe

0Z spunea...


Nu am uitat, doar ca nu am mentionat. Am vrut sa expun cazul "pro".

Emotia negativa, angoasa, anxietatea, panica, frica... acestea-mi par chestii ce se pot controla si sentimente produse de un ego puternic.

La fel de multa angoasa iti poate da si ideea ca traiesit intr-o lume in care un procent mic de oameni sunt ridicol de bogati si tu nu vei ajunge niciodata ca ei. Alte surse de emotie negativa asemanatoare: traiesti intr-un oras plin de femei frumoase si nu reusesti sa te cuplezi cu niciuna; te duci la un eveniment unde este un bufet deschis gratuit si apuci sa-ti pui mancare doar pe jumatate de farfurie, desi ti-e foame; ti-e foame si ajungi intr-o livada de cirese, dar nu ai timp sa stai mult sa mananci (periculos) si nu ai nici pungi la tine... si pot continua.

Emotia negativa este produsa de insatisfactia cu situatia actuala, dar felul in care gradam o situatie, ca satisfacatoare sau nu, este relativ si este influentat intr-o mare masura de "ego". Iar daca intelegi procesul, poti sa-l controlezi, daca asta vrei.

Anonim spunea...

Jonah Goldberg - Liberal Fascism

Cumparati-o de la Polirom ;)

Pongo spunea...

Cum, nu iashte ecstazul in Goagal? :-). Probabil ca nu e. Asa cum de mult s-a demonstrat ca nu e nici in cartzi.
Omul insa are mare dreptate, modul in care iti folosesti creeru' dicteaza structura lui. Pentru simplul fapt ca e o scula si cam atat.
Sigur, asta poate duce la intrebarea extrem de serioasa :"cine esti tu?"

Florin Pîtea spunea...

Am atins şi eu aceste subiecte într-un capitol al unei cărţi pe care tocmai am publicat-o, "Art Wasn't Quite Crine".
O poţi răsfoi gratuit la adresa de mai jos:

Cristian spunea...

"Aprob pozitiv". Eu am ajuns la concluzii similare, dar nu atat de extinse si de frumos aranjate. Eu sunt inginer, am o privire inteligenta si ma exprim greu.

Am ajuns la concluzia asta comparand modul meu de absortie a informatiei cu cel al copiilor mei, adolescenti si pre-adolescenti.

Viteza lor de absortie si de asimilare a lucrurilor noi este net superioara. La fel si viteza de reactie.

Dar asimilarea se face foarte superficial, nu stau in niciun fel sa despice firul in patru. Repede, aici, acum, la suprafata. Cam cum zicea nenea ala, frumos-vorbitoriu: inainte plonjam lent in ocean, la mare adancime, acum ma dau cu Sky-Jetul la suprafata.

P.S. Eu, din fericire (asta e parerea mea!), am fost alterat mai putin. Creierul meu era in proces de "sclerozare" cand a inceput nebunia. Ma lupt cu monstrul asta, atat cat ma tin puterile: citesc cat pot de des, scriu povesti pentru copiii mei (e teribil de greu sa vii cu scenarii originale, chiar si pentru copii), merg in padure si ma zgaiesc ore in sir la pomi sau furnici, imi atrag si copiii in chestiile astea. Lupta e inegala cu monstrul, dar nu ma las...

P.S 2. Am gasit mai demult ceva care ar putea sa fie legat de subiect.

Uite aici link-ul:

Si un paragraf:
Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

ana spunea...

mie mie se pare ca toata creativitatea si modul ala deplans in articol si in carte, modul de a citi, de a contempla etc...well, cred ca daca modul ala a fost vreodata vreun bun cucerit de creierul oamenilor celor multi si muncitori, pai probabil ca s-a intamplat foarte recent si doar in societatile vestice, gen pentru generatiile de dupa WWII pana sa zicem la inceperea folosirii zilnice a webului, deci la mijloc ar fi doar vreo 5o de ani de iluminare a majoritatii oamenilor occidentali, care chipurile citeau in profunzime carti lungi si valoroase si dupa aia veneau cu idei care mai de care pe care le puneau si in practica. ok, granted.
dar in rest, oamenii cei multi au fost de la Adam si Eva considerati prosti de catre cei putini (i.e., de catre "intelectualii" care stau si citesc met/gacarti- hopefully :)- si la care face autoreferire, paramise, Carr) si care oameni oricum n-au avut vreodata timp liber decat pentru distractie (de orice fel).
ergo, mie mi se pare un bun bun www-ul.

0Z spunea...

Revin si eu cu un alt comentariu:

Dilema erei noi are si o natura politica. Fac apel la spiritul liberal din voi, pe care stiu ca-l aveti...

Problema atractiei informatiei, aceasta distragere constanta si extraordinara, nu este un fenomen nou. La fel s-a intamplat in societate cu toate exploziile de informatie... fie cele din lumea vizuala a modei (Cati nu se plang si acum ca sunt distrasi de fustele mini, ca nu mai pot avea viata normala cu atatea femei frumoase imbracate atractiv?), a artelor; cu revolutia transportui privat ieftin, cu aparitia telefoanelor si cu explozia informatica a stiintei sau pur si simplu numarul absurd de oferte pe piata (prea multe brand-uri, clientii devin anxiosi datorita dificultatii alegerilor). Chiar si democratia este o provocare la fel de mare; cati dintre stiti care si cine reprezinta circumscriptia voastra (uninominal) ?

Noi suntem doar o generatie care prinde schimbarea si ne plangem (sincer, si pe mine ma deranjeaza) pentru ca nu putem sa tinem pasul, ca ramanem in urma si ca poate chiar ne pierdem traiul. Avem dezavantajul ca traim in vremuri experimentale si ca am iesit dintr-un regim totalitar, in care totul era destul de simplu - nu aveai de ales, deci puteai sa-ti folosesti timpul liber pentru alte chestii.

Solutia este pastrarea liberalismului, nu adoptarea controlului (totalitarism), si evolutia unor sisteme adaptive mai eficiente. Veti vedea web 3.0 ce schimbari aduce... Mai e nevoie de o interfata neurala (control direct cu creierul, in loc de butonare) si treburile se vor mai simplifica.

Recomand si acest articol, scris de autorul britanic Douglas Adams (de care cred ca stiti)