In the July/August issue of The Atlantic
, author Nicholas Carr discusses the effect of technology on our thinking process in his article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?." Tracing the developments of oral history, writing, the printing press, typewriters, computers, and the Internet, he speculates on the impact of the various mediums of writing and reading. I resonated with many of his comments. Although I find many interesting articles though Google searches, if they contain any significant depth and require deep study, I find it difficult to focus on the material on computer screen, I have to print it out, highlight important passages, and make marginal notes in pencil. When taking notes during session with a client or when conducting case consultations, I find it best to take my notes with a favorite fountain pen, a well balanced Pilot Nakmiki (retractable, very fine point), using dense, black ink, on smooth, green tinted, wide-margin paper. The aesthetic pleasure of writing with this beautiful instrument, cannot be achieved with any ballpoint or fiber-tipped pen I've tried. I can do an abundance of searching on the Internet, and find it fascinating to organize and brainstorm material using outliners like Ecco Pro and graphics programs like Edge Diagrammer, but when it comes to the homestretch of in-depth study, a good pen or pencil on paper seems to be more appealing. Also, the popular fascination with speed, seems to minimize the relevance of affect--subtle feelings often take time to digest.
Labels: Internet, reading, technology, thinking, writing