DOZENS of intellectuals address the impact of the Net in a new book, How Is The Internet Changing The Way You Think?
To the question 'How is the internet changing the way you think?' the right answer is 'Too soon to tell'. The deep changes will be manifested only when new cultural norms shape what the technology makes possible.
CLAY SHIRKY, author, Cognitive Surplus
Some people will find ... an intellectual environment suited to their mental proclivities. Others will see a catastrophic erosion in the ability of humans to engage in more meditative modes of thought. Many likely will be somewhere between, worried about its long-term effects on the depth of individual intellect.
NICHOLAS CARR, author, The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains
The internet hasn't changed the way we think any more than the microwave oven has changed the way we digest food. [It] has provided us with unprecedented access to information, but it hasn't changed what we do with it once it's made it into our heads. JOSHUA GREENE, cognitive neuroscientist and philosopher
The rise of the internet only reminds me how little any of us have changed since the modern human brain evolved more than 35,000 years ago... We just have a much louder megaphone with which to scream who we really are.
HELEN FISHER, research professor in anthropology
Faster, more ubiquitous, and cheaper Internet may hasten the long-awaited downfall of ayatollahs, mullahs, popes, televangelists, and all who wield power through the control of gullible minds. RICHARD DAWKINS, author and evolutionary biologist
From How Is the Internet Changing The Way You Think?, edited by John Brockman, Atlantic Books, £19.99