Carr Supplement

Here’s a supplement to the reading that we’ve done today. Nicholas Carr’s famous Is Google Making Us Stupid?


Notes Nick Carr “Vital Paths”

1. What is the point of the story about Nietzsche?
2. What was the old assumption regarding the structure of the brain? (2)
3. How does Carr use the word plastic? (2)
4. What did William James say about the brain and what did he mean by using the term “vital paths”? (3)
5. How did the industrial age shape the metaphor of how the brain was discussed? (3)
6. What was Descarte’s conception of mind vs. brain? (3)
7. Carr writes: “As reason became the new religion of the enlightenment. . .” Read this with Postman in mind. What, do you think, technological development do you think was one of the causes as to why reason replaced religion? (3)
8. What did Norman Doidge mean by “neurological nihilism”? (4)
9. Why was Merzenich’s experiments with monkeys such a big breakthrough? (4) What is the word that Merzenich uses to describe the event of the monkeys’ brains reorganizing their neuronal structure? (neuroplasticity)
10. How did experimental theraphy help the man who had a stroke and lost mobility in the left side of his body? (5)
11. How did tools such as rakes and pliers affect the brain maps of animals? (7)
12. What did the study of the taxi drivers reveal concerning the proporortion of brain space to different activities? (7)
13. What does Doidge say is the “paradox of neuroplasticity”? (8)
14. How can we apply what we learn here to the ways new technologies are changing our brains?

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