Kresta in the Afternoon – July 14, 2009 – Hour 1

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    First Topic – Is Stupid Making Us Google?

    “Is Google Making Us Stupid?: What the Internet is doing to our brains” is a magazine article by technology writer Nicholas Carr highly critical of the Internet's effect on cognition. It was published last year in The Atlantic magazine as a six-page cover story. Carr's main argument is that the Internet might have detrimental effects on cognition that diminish the capacity for concentration and contemplation. James Bowman has a different take, and has published “Is Stupid Making Us Google?” We talk with him about which came first – the stupid or the google?

    Second Topic – Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion

    We live in a cynical age. Cynicism is in the air we breathe; it is a cultural norm; it is the default setting and lens through which many of us view the world. Why is cynicism so pervasive? What does it promise? How does it work? And what does it deliver? Dick Keyes probes the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of cynicism in its modern and postmodern manifestations. In analyzing our cynicism toward individuals, institutions and God, he gives cynicism the scrutiny it deserves, arguing for its merits as a tool for discernment while pointing out its limitations.

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