How this post (and the Internet) are rewiring your brain

Nicholas Carr has an on-point Atlantic essay for we bloggers (here).  While I think that the copy editor over-reached with the headline, there’s a lot of grist for the mill.  I especially relate to some of his struggles with concentration while reading books:

My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore.

As I said, I relate to the feelings, but I’ve found that they’re most strong when I’m reading non-fiction or business books…note the distinction ;-)   Carr quotes someone who hasn’t read a book in ages.  I’ve found that I read at least as many books, though the mix is more weighted to novels now.  I don’t feel anywhere near as distracted when reading quality fiction.  Like the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, or the novels of Harold Robbins…you know, the giants.

I do, however, deliberately tailor my posts to a shorter attention span, especially making sure that a post doesn’t bleed off the screen (or if it is hard to shrink, putting the “more” link earlier in the post).

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