Beginning of Class Writing: Carr, The Shallows, Four and a digression

For today’s class, you read the fourth chapter from Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows. Spend the first ten minutes of class writing your summary of the reading. Remember that you have until before Monday’s class to type and post your summary as a comment to this blog post.

15 thoughts on “Beginning of Class Writing: Carr, The Shallows, Four and a digression

  1. Taylor Marie Hernandez

    Writing had been around for a long time ever since people would were looking for smooth objects around them so they can take notes on what they were thinking or things had to be done. The start of writing technology developed when the Sumerians were around. They started off by writing in cuniform and put this type of writing style on clay tablets this clay tablets came from came from Mesopotamia. Around the year of 2500 BC Egyptians started to use a different concept of writing. Instead of using clay tablets they decided to use papyrus. Carrying clay tablets back and forth from place to place is heavy and takes up to much room. By using papyrus it was less work to carry because it want heavy and it didn’t take up a lot of room. They used papyrus to make small notes, documents, and other types of reminders. Throughout the years, styles of writing have been changing in different ways. Books for writing composition have been created and they were much easier to carry. Back then when the Romans and other types of people would write, they never spaced out their words. They thought it would be to confusing for the cognition of the brain. In the century today, people have many styles of reading and writing. We technology to help us with many things and makes use better readers and writers.

  2. Rolando Barredo

    Carr is making a point that the internet is not good for our brain in many ways, but he is also trying to show in this chapter that this is not the only occurrence in history that has made us think this way. 4000 years ago, we were just starting to develop a writing method. We were starting to write on clay. People back then also felt overwhelmed that back then there was actually going to be a written word. Then, the improvements were starting to become evident. This form of writing is called scriptura continua, or latin for continuous scripture. Guttenberg was an important figure in making the written word faster to make into big books. He molded metal into the shape of a letter, and thus, putting those letters in order when making a page in a book. This made it so much easier, since it took less space than the clay tablets that they started with. How does this all link to the internet and our brain? Well, just like the internet was shaky in the 90’s, we went on to improving it at a staggering rate. Comparing it to the time it took to transition from tablets to pages is quite slower than the start of the internet until now. The digression is also another timeline of how an improvement took place over time with computers and information systems. It concluded with Lee de Forest inventing an audion.

  3. shamach campbell

    In Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” chapter four, he goes on to talk about the way we think and how it’s changed over the years. Carr is points out that the internet isn’t good for our brain in a number of ways, but throughout this chapter he explains that this isn’t the only occurrence in history that changed the way we think. The concept of writing has been around for thousands of years, people were trying to look for smooth objects around them so they can records what they thought or things they did. As time progressed people became smarter and started utilizing other materials for writing, from clay tablets to the paper we use today. Eventually the invention of the printing press made it so much easier, since it took less space than the clay tablets that they started with. A lot more people began reading and it ultimately changed their way of thinking.

  4. alejandra

    During the four chapter and digression Nicolas Carr take the reader into an historical event on how writing has develop through time. He first sated by saying that at the beginning of Mesopotamia, language(writing) didn’t exit, it was after that when they come up with a symbol language on cray, peaces of stone that they used to write, in this specific period of time symbol were used to communicated toward writing, but later on they realize the stone was to heavy, espencive and there was not enough space to keep them all, so they come up with a new idea for writing the scroll, this material were flexible, espencive as well but less heavy to carry out. As time goes on language changes to. During the Greek time writing become a much complex method, they created the alphabet. during this time spaces between each word does not exit, and silent reading either, after a monk and scientist practices it become more popular on the people and since then silent reading is practice.

  5. William Santiago

    Chapter four of Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” which is titled “The deepening page” revolves around the evolution of human writing from way back during a time where writing didn’t exist. He takes us back to where writing had first began, where writing was created through the use of making language on clay tablets. He then goes on to show how we humans have made advancements which brought about the development of scrolls, which were made by the Egyptians. Then later on in history, the development of what we know to be books came about. Books were seen to be much more easy to carry around, nor did it take up as much room as a scroll. So this made books convenient. This chapter not only revolves around books, but also the development of language. With language, it went from abstract symbols, to the roman times, where language was quite complex, to more of a modern day and age language. Where we have letters, grammar and punctuation. This was a development in writing in order to make writing much easier to comprehend.

  6. Alex Feng

    Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” chapter four discusses about the history of writing and reading. Ever since the cavemen, they have been writing down on rocks, wood and bones. However, the Sumerians introduced clay tablets as a form to hold writings, but these tablets were usually hard and heavy to move around. Then the Egyptians introduced scrolls which were in every way better than tablets, but they were expensive. Another important invention was the wax tablet which was the earliest form of book. For scribes back then, they used scriptura continua which were words that ran together without any break. This placed a extra cognitive burden and this affected people’s cognition since it placed stress on how to figure out what the individual is actually suppose to read. Silent reading eventually came to make everybody lives easier, but the natural state of the human brain is one of distractedness so it is naturally difficult for people to focus reading a book for a long duration.

  7. Arjoon H

    Nicholas Carr’s fourth chapter, “The Deepening Page” explains how printed language changed the world and how the age of screen language is once again changing the world. To start he talks about how in the beginning written communication wasn’t as popular as it was today. Also, that it looked nothing like we would expect it to. For example, initially the ancients didn’t have paper, some used wood and clay others used stone. To add, they didn’t use any type of sentence syntax so all the words were jumbled together with no punctuation or order of ideas. This proved to be very stressful for ancient orators who had to read either plays or messages. It wasn’t until after the fall of the Roman Empire that they began to create rules to writing. Even still many books were not made because the authors had to hand write their ideas with no help. At that time having books, and even reading, was for only the wealthiest of people. The next step came with the invention of the printing press and then the movable type. Books could now be mass produced and from that ideas began to flow. Philosophers and scientist were able to tell the world about what they discovered and thought. Another outcome of this invention, which was not planed, was the growth of individualism. People could now read others ideas and form ideas of their own based on what they had read in the privacy of their home. Before people were always told ideas from one perspective and were almost lead to one train of thought, but now they could analyze the ideas for themselves and come to their own conclusion. The evolution of the printed word had revolutionized the way we as humans think and act. Now, Carr says, its happening again but not with print but screen. He proposes that another chain of events like what happened with print will now happen with screen as computers evolve so to will the words and the people’s thoughts.

  8. Jean Betances

    Nicholas Carr´s fourth chapter in ¨The Shallows¨ talks about writing and the way it has been shown throughout the years. He says that the internet is not the only thing that has changed the way we think over the years. Around 4,000 years ago we used to write things in clay tablets but these were not ideal forms of communications. Imagine having to carry these around from place to place, it would be a burden and something nobody wanted to do. Over time people looked for objects with smoother surfaces to write on. We then got scrolls which made it easier to carry and of course books in today’s age. Before books and the rules of writing a form of writing was to have no spaces between the letters so trained professionals would have to decipher what the words and practice before reading that to people. This was meant to save space since the things they were reading it off were heavy and had a limited space to write on.

  9. Carlos Villalva

    Whether we know it or not, writing has have been part of our species since the beginning. The alphabet letter’s was not the first method of recording history or sharing information to one or another. The first method of writhing was pictures and ephema. As our society evolve over time, as well as our written evolve to the point from breaking the oral tradition to the needing of more readers. The more we read, the better our brain is in decoding text, which started the interpretation of the text in our own meaning. This was the first introduction of deep reading. As a result of this, reading became a necessity and became a way of thinking. Reading book was a trend during those times, but what pushed reading books more is the invention of the printing press. The printing press made it possible for every individual to read and it was now possible for the common people to own a book. Pushing the boundary of knowledge was what books where made for, it was the sense of individualism strengthen. It won’t be until the 21st century that our method of reading will change dramatically. That was the time that our brain will rewired itself to instead taking step forward on our deep reading to us taking ourselves a step backward.

  10. Reynaldo

    In the fourth chapter in Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” he starts of with how the technology of writing first started, we mark anything on any smooth face rock, wood scraps, strips of bark, etc. He mentions that they had the advantage of being cheap and having plenty of it but the disadvantage of being able to be lost, broken, or damaged easily. He then dates 2500 BC, Egyptians started to craft scrolls from the trees they had called papyrus. The scrolls were a big advantage over the stones because is was less heavy and easily carriable but they were expensive. He also talks about Deep reading on how when we get really into the ready we read the whole passage per say and when we skimp read we only read the first sentence to get what they are starting with and then skip a few line and read half of the sentence and that goes on until the end of the passage.

  11. Ryan Karran

    Chapter 4 of Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” introduces us to the formation of books, literature, and written language as we know it today. As people first began to write, they would simply just scratch markings onto anything lying around. Then came the development of clay tablets in Mesopotamia along with the development of cuneiform, one of the first writing styles. Years later, Egyptians found a way to strip fibers from the papyrus plant and turn it into scrolls which gave writing a more portable sense. There came many more different inventions used to store written scriptures such as wax tablets and codices until books came along but along with that came different styles of writing. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, we’ve developed the phonetic alphabet which most writers adopted and begun using. At a time, words were written across a page without any spaces or word separation. This is known as scriptura continua. By the thirteenth century, scriptura continua was barely used and people began using spaces and even punctuation marks in order to help ease the process of reading.

  12. p nardeo

    In chapter four Carr starts off by saying that as human, when we first began writing we use anything that was lying around. This change as technology change, the first to use specialized medium for writing was the Sumerians. They were the first one to use the clay tablet, something complete different from what we know today as a tablet. Back then each block was one page. As technology evolved overtime, the scrolls began to replace the clay tablet. It was much lighter and can whole a lot more information. This was invented around 2500 BC. by the Egyptians. As we get more modernize and need to store more information, we develop the book. The book was able to store even more information, and it was portable. In the digression, he talks about another very important invention, the Audion. It was the first electronic audio amplifier. This wasn’t just an electronic amplifier, because as time goes it started to evolved. Without this the way we live today wouldn’t be possible, it eventually became the first device use to control electricity, and with the power of controlling electricity the possibility was endless.

  13. Edinsson.P

    In Nicholas Carr “the shallows”, Carr introduces chapter number three “tool of the mind”. Carr describes art work from a young child. After Carr goes in depth about how this simple doodling advanced. Our environment and age throughout time can improve the amount of details we add on to the simple drawing. Carr mentions that primitive humans did the something. The early human’s art work was the primitive medium of communication back then. In today’s society the primitive drawing has evolve into maps. Moreover, maps are very unique, they have the affordance of being a medium and a tool. Mapmakers put so much experience, thought and artistic detail into maps. “EVERY TECHNOLOGY IS an expression of human will. Through our tools, we seek to expand our power and control over our circumstances—over nature, over time and distance, over one another” – Carr
    In my opinion, this is very true because humans try to do the impossible in order to advance as race. I notice every time I’m late for an event, tend to want the train to go faster than normal speed. Humans made fire arms to hunt animals and gather food for others. in addition, weapon had a final destructive purpose and that is to kill what at that moment seem like the enemy. Furthermore, carr mentions language and the history and how that same history is similar to the history of the mind. This took me some time understand. In other words, this means that if manage to think primitively early in life, now that we have a more organize form of express. The result of this is affined thought that we can share with another.

  14. Edinsson.P

    In chapter number four of Nicholas Carr’s The shallows”, Carr describes how early civilizations improve their media throughout time. Carr talks about Sumerian and how they were the first to specialized medium. The Sumerian craft clay tablets, so their agreement government records and religious documents were permanent on this tables. This is completely different to what the Egyptians did with the same type of media. Egyptians created the scrolls, these were made out of a plant call papyrus. Egyptians would crisscross the fiber from the plant and hammered to have a smooth surface. Carr talks about John Saenger, whom wrote “space between word”, Carr mentions that the greek had different styles if reading compare today’s society. The greeks read none stop, they did not make pauses. Only the highly skill reader would know where to pause and where to end a sentence. Furthermore, Carr brings up the name of German goldsmith named Johannes Gutenberg. Gutenberg created a great system of molds to print letter into paper to make a sentence. This is how some the most organized and proper writing was done.

  15. Terris Greene

    In chapter Four of “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr, entitled The Deepening Page, Carr talks about the history of reading and writing, and how the technology of these systems evolved throughout time along with the growth of technology. From clay tablets to Egyptian scrolls to wax tablets and then leading to the creation of paper, the way we read and write emerged along with the forms of on what we record on did. Punctuation and spacing between words developed, which eventually lead to the invention of the letterpress by Johannes Gutenberg, leading to the development of books. The creation books helped evolve our brain a way similar to how the internet influences our mind now, through the creation of new paths within our brain. The Digression after the chapter on Lee de Forest and his amazing audition talks about the invention of the Audion, the first electronic audio amplifier. This invention helps our view on electric currents.

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