Neuroplasticity, the phantom limb experience, Aristotle’s idea of brain, Relation between brain/mind, Clock and Map’s evolution as intellectual technologies and their impact on civilization, Arrival of silent reading practice, printing press’s impact on society, Short novel’s popularity in Japan in 2007, Human memory mechanism v/s computer’s, Interruption design of the internet, Fallacy of IQ scores, Flaw in Google’s mission statement, transition of data from short term to long term memory, ELIZA.
Let me begin by saying that this book does not slam internet. Rather it puts the responsibility on us. The author travels through the evolution of technology to store knowledge in major steps i.e. invention of writing in primitive times, discovery of paper, printing press evolution, arrival of digital medium and finally the Internet. The author compares the steps its impact on human brain in a very scientific approach citing experiments conducted by scientists in various times. The book begins with the author describing issues he developed with prolonged use of internet and builds on it.
The author challenges the notion that receiving more information is good for ability of human brain. Citing neurology and functionalities of our neural network he makes his case that excessive cognitive load stresses the brain out. The analogy between functioning of the computer and human brain is one more idea that the author rejects claiming that the later’s functioning of short-term and long-term memory are no way as simplistic as that of a computer. He warns and justifies through biological experiments that our brain modifies the neural network depending on our usage. This neuroplasticity may mean that if we choose to use our brain only as a data mining organ, it will become so.
Conclusion & rating:
Definitely worth investing your time and money. The amount of knowledge the author has put in shows the research that has gone into it and the tone of the book is quiet good. Note: Just 2 reviews in Amazon.in! One of them is a one * due to some service issue with Amazon. Please do not search Amazon.in by “best sellers”, most of that list is useless junk 🙂