Saturday, August 12, 2023

First Paragraph

We were changed while we were not looking. Digital technology seemed at first like an unmixed boon - an extension of capacities that allowed us to do the same but better, faster, more efficiently. For people used to the post office, typewriters, and libraries, there was no obvious trade-off to moving online. Nicholas Carr's 2008 article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" was a polemical anomaly, during a time when Google was widely hailed as an agent of wide-spreading enlightenment. Perhaps this might have remained the general prejudice, had there appeared no chasm between our dominant cultural institutions and the sitting president. Even so, it was clear by 2016 that piecemeal changes in how we communicated had added up to another way of doing things, such that someone who had no notion of what was going on online could no longer understand what was going on off. Things were not just communicated differently but happening otherwise. It was then that I (like many) first took closer notice. This book is the outcome of my efforts to keep everything in mind.

- From A Web of Our Own Making: The Nature of Digital Formation by Anton Barba-Kay

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