Daily Archives: June 24, 2010

Responses to Student Blogs on Reading

In internet parlance, fisking refers to a point-by-point criticism of an article. You take a line, put it in blockquotes, then criticize it. Take the next line, put it in blockquotes, criticize it. Repeat for entire article. I’M NOT GOING TO DO THAT! However, I am going to isolate certain lines that strike me and respond (not necessarily criticize).


While reading an article on the internet, there seemed to be a constant sense of urgency, and I couldn’t really concentrate and take in all of the information.

I think a common metaphor for the internet is that it puts a world of information at our fingertips. But the information isn’t sitting there, waiting to be grabbed. The hyperlink, for example, propels us to its source, rather than merely referencing its source. I tend to liken the internet to some type of oppressor with all the information it can force on us, but I haven’t really thought about “a constant sense of urgency,” as Nicolle puts it. I think this urgency comes from the tug of realtime. The internet wants us to constantly live in the now, always pushing us facebook updates and twitter updates. Wait too long and information becomes stale. Books do not threaten to become stale as blog entries do. If you wait 20 years to finish The Brothers Karamazov, it’s still as timeless as it ever was.

If you quizzed me on the two things I read today, chances are I wouldn’t be able to recall as much of the article on the internet as the two essays.

Studies show it’s now just you, Nicolle. I’ll have to find the references in Carr’s new book.


For me, personally, I only get impatient about stuff on the internet. Like if something takes more than ten seconds to load I get frustrated, however, in actual life it’s expected to be slow.

Oh, here’s something else on the theme of urgency. Not only does the internet force us into a contant now, but it also makes us impatient. Impatience could make deep reading more difficult because harder books/essays force us to take the time to digest the material. On the internet, we want to instantly imbibe the information. (Flashback to The Matrix: “I know Kung Fu.”) So, we may not have the patience to learn. I wonder if there’s any difference in comprehension between those with broadband and those with slower connections.

[more later… or maybe tomorrow. I’m not going to touch on everybody’s blogs. Just things that provoke some thoughts for me.]