A piece by Timesman David Brooks returns again to the vexing subject of the Internet’s effect on our ability to concentrate for any length of time on a topic, and Nicholas Carr’s new book The Shallows, whose title pretty much sums up Carr’s view of what the Intertubenblogosphere has done to our minds.
It’s thoughtful stuff, but I must confess that while trying to make my way through this 600-word newspaper column, I was distracted no less than seven times in ways that would not have been possible before the Webbed World came into being.
First, after reading two graphs, I stopped to send the piece to my wife, since it might have some bearing on our Facebook-addicted teenager.
Second, I hit the word “summer,” which reminded me of a summer-themed song I’d been meaning to hear, so I popped over to iTunes to grab it.
Third, I decided to link the piece to my blog, but when I went to my blog I saw another intriguingly titled blog on the WordPress home page, so. . .
Fourth, I clicked on the blog, called The Wisdom of Gavroche, because I recognized the name of a minor character in Les Miserables (I love the musical) and wondered why anyone would name a blog after him, so
Fifth, I quickly read a couple of Gavroche entries, finding them fairly insipid, and
Sixth, decided to go ahead and write this post while I was at the blog, and
Seventh, thought of the phrase “lost train of thought,” which the sadly under-praised Ray Wiley Hubbard used as a CD title some years back, and wondered if I should change this blog’s name to “Boarding the Lost Train of Thought.”
Now I’ll go back and finish the Brooks piece. I think I’m illustrating Carr’s point.