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The Shallows Audiobook

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of The Big Switch returns with an explosive look at technology’s effect on the mind.

“Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question in an Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: as we enjoy the Internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?

Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration yet published of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences. Weaving insights from philosophy, neuroscience, and history into a rich narrative, The Shallows explains how the Internet is rerouting our neural pathways, replacing the subtle mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher. A gripping story of human transformation played out against a backdrop of technological upheaval, The Shallows will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

©2010 Nicholas Carr (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Neuroscience and technology buffs, librarians, and Internet users will find this truly compelling.” (Library Journal)

“Cogent, urgent, and well worth reading.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (620 )
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4.1 (427 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 08-14-11
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 08-14-11 Member Since 2010
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    "fascinating commentary"

    I'm a big Carr fan and his latest soap box does not disappoint. Really fascinating to hear his take on what is happening to our brains as the result of our always-on lifestyle. Not only does Carr explain this through current science but also comparing it to another key development in how our brains have been shaped - the printing press.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TR Jensen Salt Lake City, Utah 09-26-13
    TR Jensen Salt Lake City, Utah 09-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Just a curious guy who travels the world.

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    "Great Read ..."

    I loved the provocative subject, but also the very balanced approach the author takes to the question. I was surprised (pleasantly) at the quality and variety of useful background that was provided. Some great research was done here ... the narration was great. I also bought to printed book, so that I could mark and note some passages for review later.

    I think the authors point is an important one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greta Ann Herin 04-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Interesting content, reader mispronounces terms and names."

    The content of the book is interesting. The performance is fine, except for the chapter on neuroscience in which the reader mispronounces terms and names.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dan 03-29-17
    dan 03-29-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Important book for thinking about tech in our lives"

    I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a critical view of how technologies influence us. It's very listenable and engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PatCos Appleton, Wi 01-24-17
    PatCos Appleton, Wi 01-24-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Overkill"

    The author takes over 10 hours of technical, detailed, linear, systematic logic to explain that we now longer think in linear systematic logic due to this internet.

    I accept the premise, but would have preferred the 5 hour version. Only my anal, linear, systematic approach gave me the patience to make it to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse 08-15-16
    Jesse 08-15-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Worth the read for sure."

    I am a very big fan of modern tech and culture.
    I was expecting a rant with snippets of usable information. I found the opposite here. :-)
    There is a good balance of positive and negative ideas on what is happening to us as modern humans. The book is long and wordy but that may be due to recent evolution. (This will make sense after you read the book)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Andrews 08-14-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Weakly supported and somewhat meandering"

    Disappointing. One of the few audible books I did not finish. Too much generalization from anecdote to principle. This may be the way that pop knowledge is created but it's not good science.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Noble Somerville, Massachusetts 06-07-16
    T. Noble Somerville, Massachusetts 06-07-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Not worth a listen, based on the first 5 hours."

    I had to stop listening after listening to the first 5 hours (out of a total of 10).

    The beginning of the book is spent decrying the shallowness of the internet age, without really going into great detail or citing any convincing research. Marshall McLuhan is name-checked, along with his idea that the "medium is the message." The differences between oral and literate culture are discussed, along with the many wondrous changes that Gutenberg's printing press brought to the world. There's a tangent on Nietzsche, and the idea that his transition to using an early typewriter changed his writing style. All of this feels like filler material, simply reinforced by the inclusion of luminaries such as McLuhan, Gutenberg, and Nietzsche.

    Then the rant really starts...

    He complains that reading an ebook in a web browser-based interface is terribly distracting because of incoming emails and other notifications, without mentioning that these notifications can be silenced (so that they needn't even be actively ignored).

    The first generation kindle is described. Much significance is placed on the fact that it had a full keyboard, and that the device could be used to browse the web (a potential distraction!). The fact is, just about every dedicated ebook reader since has done away with a full physical keyboard, and anyone that has bothered trying probably knows that web-browsing on an e-ink screen is an extremely unpleasant experience.

    Second-hand speculations are recounted, such as the idea that books of the future will have "live" comments sections, or that they'll be crowdsourced mashups of previous works, or that they'll be full of search-engine-optimized phrases in order to appear at the top of search results.

    I don't know about you, but none of this speculation or trivia is interesting to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    gorazd 03-26-16
    gorazd 03-26-16
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    "Good book"

    Good story, thats what I needed to listen to. I will probably need to read it again to Understand it fully

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darya 03-02-16
    Darya 03-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved the book!"

    The was an enlightening read. Well-rounded research into the cognitive consequences that computer addiction entails. Excellently written and narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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