A writer needs their tools.
What do all these tools have in common? They help us make permanent that thing that makes us human: language. Language marshalled into journals, books, literary fiction, non-fiction, blog posts, lists – but how do all these tools change the way we write and think?
‘Our writing tools are also working on our thoughts.’
In Nicolas Carr’s now [in]famous Atlantic essay, ‘Is Google making us stupid?’ (which has since become an extended essay in the form of a book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains) is, unsurprisingly, a tirade against the internet, and the way it is detrimentally affecting our reading habits, social interaction and concentration spans.
‘Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?’ is the opening line, and readers are immediately returned to that suffocating limbo space that is the closing of 2001: A Space Odyssey, reminded of all those things we have to fear from artificial intelligence.
But this post is about our intelligence.