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David Weinberger

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The shallows and the narrows

I talked with a journalist today about Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows. It’s a good book to which I have complex reactions, which I’ll save for another time. But I found that I kept calling it “The Narrows.” In part this is because my brain focuses on vowel patterns. But it’s also a bit ironic, since part of my reaction is that if the Net is the shallows (a brilliant title, by the way), then the old media that Nicholas romanticizes was the narrows: narrowing the richness of shared experience to a manageable trickle.

If the choice is between the shallows and the narrows — and, it’s important to remember that that is not the choice — it’s not so clear which to prefer.

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David is the author of JOHO the blog (www.hyperorg.com/blogger). He is an independent marketing consultant and a frequent speaker at various conferences. "All I can promise is that I will be honest with you and never write something I don't believe in because someone is paying me as part of a relationship you don't know about. Put differently: All I'll hide are the irrelevancies."