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As the author describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by 'tools of the mind' - from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer - he interweaves an account of discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. The brain, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to people's experiences. The technologies used to find, store, and share information may literally reroute the neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr aims to make a case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic - a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus the attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, he argues that the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption - and the Net is remaking people in its own image, losing is their capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.