Data, the novelist and critic Cynthia Oznick once wrote, is "memory without history." Her observation points to the fundamental problem with allowing smartphones and the companies that program them to commandeer our brains. When we constrict our capacity for reasoning and recall, or transfer those skills to a machine or a corporation, we sacrifice the ability to turn information into knowledge. We get the data but lose the meaning. Barring a cultural course correction, that may be the Internet's most enduring legacy.
- Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember