Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr’s article on the effects of Google, the last text you will read this summer, is longer and arguably more dense than the preceding four texts. Take your time over the next ten days with it, remembering that the goal is not exhaustive understanding but responsive thinking and discussion. Focus on his central argument about memory and the plasticity of your collective thinking first; then work your way through the many hyperlinks and references that develop that position. This is a bit of practice for the fall, when you will need to use the resources available to you—the Google-driven machinery Carr discusses—to flesh out your understanding of everything from writing prompts to my feedback. You might share some of your discoveries (e.g., about allusions or anecdotes or expert opinions) in the comments here, since that collaborative skill will be tested soon. (If you are looking for further reading on the subject, you might track down Carr’s The Shallows, a book that explores the same issues in more depth.)

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Always Coming Back Home to You

Our penultimate text this summer is a song by the indie rap group Atmosphere. In the original assignment, I called this a non-fictional narrative; it might be better called a pseudo-fictional narrative, however. This could be a real memory with a few poetic embellishments. It could also be a kind of composite of several memories. As Didion suggests, the point may not be veracity or verisimilitude. Keep in mind what she and your authors have written as you consider the video below. Click this link to view (and buy, if you are so inclined) the full album through iTunes. The unofficial YouTube clip serves as our fair-use placeholder, since you need access to the fully constructed song, not just the lyrics, in order to respond to it. Notice that “Always Coming Back Home to You” is in the first portion of this nine-minute track:

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