Lofty titles aside (really, I sometimes just make up titles to posts because I feel like my site design looks terrible without one. I digress), I do have a not that impressive thought on what surfing of the Internet does to our brain. I’m currently reading The Best And The Brightest and while I don’t currently have comments about that book specifically (though I hope to soon, it’s a fascinating trip through the history and the events leading up to our involvement in Vietnam), I do have a more abstract comment on what happens when you read something that takes intellectual power to comprehend and follow it immediately with “The Internet”.
Specifically, you forget everything you just read. More and more, I’m beginning to think the shit I read on the Internet makes me stupid, not because it’s inherently stupid in content (though much of it is) but because it saps attention in a way that makes it impossible to retain the previously read material. This isn’t particularly groundbreaking but it’s eye-opening when you are deep into a book that has about as many characters in it as War and Peace and you can’t remember any of what you just read once you check your RSS aggregator.
I’m starting to seriously consider limiting what I read on the Internet and how I use it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place, lots of good porn out there and I certainly have learned more from Wikipedia than I could ever have imagined. But still, the disgusting mental sickness I feel after doing nothing but surfing the web all day is starting to open my eyes to everything that’s wrong with the constant jangly thing dangled before my eyes on the web.
As usual, no amazing conclusions here. But I’m really think I’m getting dumber each day I fire up Firefox.
Apropos of nothing, if you want to read a phenomenal book about the political history that led us into Vietnam, read The Best And The Brightest. It’s really that good. If you want a history of just the Vietnam war and how our leaders let us down, check out A Bright Shining Lie. I highly recommend both.