Beginning of Class Writing: Carr, The Shallows, Ten and Epilogue

At the beginning of our penultimate class, write a summary of your reading of the last chapter and epilogue from Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows. Think about how Carr approaches his argument and counter-arguments throughout his nonfiction book. How can you incorporate his approach to argumentation in your own writing?

14 thoughts on “Beginning of Class Writing: Carr, The Shallows, Ten and Epilogue

  1. Vaswanie Cover

    Chapter 10 starts with Joseph Weizenbaum and his student’s study of a computer program that study’s a person individual message and provides an almost human response. This experiment then lead to the realization that, the computer should be a lot more like the human brain because, the human brain is a type of machine. The chapter also points at the human brain and technologies following various algorithms. Computers started to contain more elements of artificial intelligence was approached from a psychological level which helped to form the computer’s personas. ELIZA was one program that was helping humans with their questions. All the program was doing was rephrasing the question each time as a reply. There are also other ways of approach with objects/ technologies. For example, “When a carpenter picks up a hammer, the hammer becomes, as far as the brain is concerned, part of his brain.” Carr also stayed to his belief that technology is numbing an individual.
    In the Epilogue, Carr talks about a reading he came across that says, the Edexcel (Times Education Supplement) grades student’s essays instead of the teachers. This system would decline fast because, the computer/technologies is bringing us together but, it is actually tearing us apart. Carr also ends by saying, “Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence. Overall, we are becoming machines ourselves. Also, the way Nicholas Carr stood by this point that technology is dulling our senses inspired me to make my claims in my future essays way more convincing than the counterclaims.

  2. Claribel

    In chapter 10 of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, Nicholas Carr practically sums up the entire book. He also explains the effect we are having on technology and the effect technology is having on us as a society and humans ourselves. Basically what Nicholas Carr says is that we created technology as a form of help. We use technology to help us in times of need and assistance. But everything has its limits. And we are starting to use technology for any little thing. Even when we can do the task at hand ourselves. The more we use something the more we start to mold it to act like ourselves or get it the way we want it. From the looks of things were making technology act like humans. They will one day be able to think like us if we continue. Nicholas Carr speaks about a group that became dependent on a software assistant they were using, while a group that was doing work all themselves was able to solve the given problem easily without the assistance of anything. The first group became dependent on the robot and didn’t know how to do anything themselves. The internet has such an amazing impact on us and our brains that it is even hard for us to comprehend.

  3. rahat ahmed

    Rahat Ahmed
    Professor Ellis
    English 1101

    The Shallows

    In this particular chapter of “The Shallows” Nicholas Carr mainly talks about how we as humans shape technologies and how they shape us. The sad truth is that we let computers control our lives because of how brainwashed this generation really is. As Nicholas Carr said “We shouldn’t allow the glories of technologies to blind our inner watchdog to the possibilities that we’ve numbed an essential part of our self”. Due to the excessive usage of computers we as humans don’t give our brains the ability to obtain or stable knowledge at most times. The Internet in general has become a huge part of the human life due to its instant and consist information that it gives. To sum it all up I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole book from the very first chapter and I think Nicholas Carr gave us some very important information on how the modern day technology can either make or break your daily life.

  4. nowshadhossain

    To understand the effects of a computer one has to see the machine in the context of mankind’s past intellectual technologies. The tools which we have been using for years, like the map and the clock, they transformed our nature and altered our perception of reality. Such technologies usually become part of the very stuff out of which man builds his world. Once they are adopted, they can never be abandoned. At least not without putting the society into great confusion and possibly an utter chaos.
    Our ability to meld with all manner of tools is one of the qualities that most distinguishes us as a species. In combination with our superior cognitive skills, it’s what makes us so good at using new technologies. It’s also what makes us so good at inventing them. Our brains can imagine the mechanics and the benefits of using a new device before that device even exists . As our technologies become extensions of ourselves, we become extensions of our technologies. Every tool imposes limitations even as it opens possibilities. The more we use it, the more we mold ourselves to its form and function.
    The price can be particularly high with our intellectual technologies. The tools of the mind amplify and in turn numb the most intimate, the most human, of our natural capacities — those for reason, perception, memory, emotion.
    To sum it all up I think I think it is a good book. I like it when Mr. Carr talks about the usefulness of technology in our life and why it might be a great part of history of human beings . But I dislike it when he tells it could be harmful and we should abandon it. In the end I would say this book discuss about a controversial topic and it’s very difficult to just choose a side. But Mr. Carr has done a great job to show both side of the topic !

  5. marcus.lamothe4

    In the final chapter of Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows”, he argues about the overall effect of the internet on our minds as a whole and shapes our very being in an end result. The use of the internet isn’t particularly a bad thing but like one’s unhealthy addiction to drugs, we start to lose part of ourselves without really knowing it. Rather than forming natural intelligence through personal discovery, we begin to develop a sort of “artificial memory” that can misguide us in more ways than one. Nicholas Carr once stated, “Our ability to engage in “meditative thinking”, which he saw as the very essence of our humanity, might become a victim of headlong progress. The tumultuous advance of technology could, like the arrival of the locomotive at the Concord station, drown out the refined perceptions, thoughts, and emotions that arise only through contemplation and reflection” (Carr, Par.3). In other words, the natural process of thought and reasoning can drastically change altogether due to our fixation on technology and the internet.

  6. PrinceM

    In the final chapter of “The Shallows”, Nicholas Carr concludes this book by saying that we shape our technology through the process of invention, but in turn. our technology shapes us. If we think of the way every major technology has changed not only the way we live, but the way we think, this becomes more and more apparent. The telephone, for example, changed our societies in obvious ways, by facilitating long distance communication, but it also changed the way we think, almost unbeknownst to us. With this technology in existence, we think of long distance as possible and common. Before that, humans had to make preparations and send letters weeks before they were to be read in some instances. Now, we can call someone on the other side of the world by accident, and not think anything of it. Similar small changes in how we think about life in general happen with all major technology – cameras, calculators, computers, printers, and television to name a few – and as a result, our brains are rapidly changing as a whole, and with each new groundbreaking technology, will continue to change.

  7. Sasha

    In the las chapter in The Shallows, Ten and Epilogue, Nicholas Carr discusses how a computer scientist named Joseph Weizenbaum created a software application called ELIZA for parsing written language. A student sitting at one of the systems terminals would type a sentence into the computer, and Weizenbaum’s program, following a set of simple rules about English grammar. The system would identify a salient word or phrase in the sentence and analyze the syntactical context in which it was used. The program would follow another set of rules to transform the sentence into a new sentence that had the appearance of being a response to the original. After testing the program on his secretary, within a couple of minutes, she felt uncomfortable and asked the professor to leave because she was shocked how intimate the conversation has gotten. After many experiments, many people were surprised how real ELIZA felt while interacting with it

  8. MarcG

    After reading the last chapter of the shallows, Ten and epilogue Carr argue that The effect of Technology on use. How we shaped it and also how it shapes us. Carr also talked about Joseph weizenbaum a computer scientist who invented a software application called Eliza to understand writing language. The way it works was that you say something and based of that Eliza will say something back. Joseph decided to test the program on his secretary after a while she asked him to leave the room because the conversation with Eliza had gotten intimate. Carr also talked about an experiment, Two group of people one who were using Eliza constantly and on who weren’t. The on who weren’t were able to solve a given problem easily. Carr writing has develop his writing to convence any counterclaims.

  9. Shamani Patton

    In Chapter Ten, A Thing Like Me, explains how Technology is shaping people, the way we think, we speak, we feel and even the decisions we make. Digital technology like computers are communicating with us on how we feel. A material thing is acting as a human itself, for example in the beginning of he chapter, Weizenbaum provided example on how his software for written language worked. If a person typed the sentence “I am very unhappy these days”, the computer responds, forming a bond with that person. It would respond with “How long have you been very unhappy these days”. There was a different kind of computer language with the way it gave “clarity”. Technology has successful changed and it is only getting better. Digital technology would soon start to gain human like characteristics, it s already apart of our daily lives, soon it will be apart of who we are. Plenty of people cant even survive without the use of the internet. Digital technologies are becoming a thing like us.

  10. Jonathan Valverde

    In the final Chapter of Nicholas Carr ‘The Shallows’ he wants wants the reader to understand how technology will shape us in the near future. He goes on to say, “We’re likely going through another such adaption today as we come depend on computerized CPS devices to shepherd us around”. In other words we are relying on technology more and more.(212) He also refers to Norman Doidge, Doidge states, “people who write on a computer are often at a loss when they have to write by hand”.(209) The individual will adapt to tapping on keys on a keyboard that a monitor displays what they write. Overall the final chapter ‘A thing like me’ discusses how the technology affects our mind dramatically.

  11. Bilal.Shadizai

    In this chapter 10 of the book The Shallow by Nicolas Carr, Carr talks about how the technology made by humans then later changed human brain in some ways. According to Carr, “it planted in his mind a question he had never before asked himself but that would preoccupy him for many years: what is is it about the computer that has brought the view of man as a machine to a new level of plausibility?”. This caught my attention because this shows that people do not just simply use technology, the way we use technology affects our way of thinking. The more people use technology the more dependent they become on technology. All these tools are made by people and now all those tools are forming human brains in a new way.

  12. sher syed

    In chapter 10 Nicholas Carr explained about the overall effect of technology on humans. Humans invented technology and just as the time passes the technology began to devlop. The evolution in technology also changed the thinking and life if humans. Now a days humans rely on technology in their daily life. We depend on technologyn and it making us lazy because we dont use our own brain to memorize things and to perform tasks related to brain. In some ways technology is help because it lead to advancement in the lives of humans and helped to explore more things that increased our knowledge. It also help you acess data you want to know about and easily get answer for any question. However humans get addicted to technology and the continous use of technology made bad impact on humans. Our way of thinking is changing through technology and we dont realize it.

  13. younisa97

    In this chapter of “The Shallows”, Nicholas Carr talks about how the Internet affects our minds as a whole. The Internet has its pros and cons, and how you use it will impact your life drastically. Emotionally, mentally, and behavior wise, the Internet is something that impacts everyone as a whole, because it isn’t slowing down but is actually growing at a really fast pace. Social media, video games, cell phone technology, all these things are being held by all age groups. From my little brother who is playing on his iPad when he’s home to my grandmother, who has one of the new cell phones to use viber, whatsapp, and whatever other app that she may have. Technology is out in the open and no one can shield themselves from it.

  14. AntonioC

    In chapter 10 of The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, he talks about how technology has effected the life of humans. He speaks on how it’s irony that humans made the internet but the internet changes humans. He says how it impacts our life in huge way, not only emotionally but mental and behavior wise. We all use different forms of technology whether it’s an app or a video game technology is here and we can’t find from it.

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