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Coming to Terms with Rewriting

October 5, 2015

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll try to apply some of the forwarding and countering strategies that Joseph Harris identifies in Rewriting to the kind of public discourse we might encounter online or in popular magazines and publications. To that end, tech_brainon next Tuesday we’ll discuss a couple of readings that engage in a kind of conversation with each other about the way reading and writing online influences our patterns of thinking.

For Tuesday’s class next week, please be sure to read Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

As a companion to Carr’s piece, I’ll also provide you with a handout reading from Clive Thompson’s recent book Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better.

As you read these two pieces, please be sure to note the way that the two authors interact with each other. They each briefly reference each other’s work directly, but more important, they are clearly engaging in a shared conversation about the way our minds and lives are shaped–for the better and the worse–by the technology we use. Look for moments, in particular, where you see examples of forwarding or countering in their own arguments. How are these authors enacting the kind of intellectual conversation that Harris is exploring in his own text?

For our next writing project, I’ll ask you to identify a similar kind of public conversation about an issue that you can contribute to. See the details now available on our Writing Projects page, but I hope you’ll see this as an opportunity to put some of Harris’ ideas to work for yourself.

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