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Non-Fiction Book Club: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr, Thursday, October 6, 2011 @ 6:30PM

Thank you book clubbers for last week’s timely discussion of Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938 by R.A. Scotti. We knew when we picked it we’d be reading it during hurricane season but we had no idea the region would still be reeling from Irene. That certainly made for some interesting conversation. It is time once again to reserve your copy of the next book up for discussion and this one looks really interesting: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Thursday, October 6th @ 6:30PM. A few years ago, Carr made a splash with his Atlantic cover story, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and he’s back to try to answer that question with this timely discourse on the effects the internet has had on how we think. From the jacket:

Building on insights from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic–a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption–and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.

Aren’t you glad we have this book club to spend some time in thoughtful discussion over the loss of thoughtful contemplation? Now get offline, find a quiet place and see if you can finish this book.

Another tidbit before you go: Don’t forget our Independent Film Series continues this week with A Screaming Man, 2010 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize Winner.