Got a Question for Nicholas Carr?

What would you say to a man who claims computers aren’t nearly so important to business success as they used to be, that Web 2.0 tools are “amoral,” and that the Internet is degrading our ability to read and think deeply?

 

If you’re a vendor or fan of one or more of these products, you’d say a lot—and they have.

 

When Nicholas Carr, the keynote speaker at the Closing General Session at the 2010 SLA Annual Conference, wrote Does IT Matter? in 2004, leaders of Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and other makers of hardware and software products objected strenuously. When he used his blog in 2005 to criticize Web 2.0 products that rely on volunteers to provide content, saying they crowd out higher-quality material published by professionals, he was accused of being elitist and undemocratic—though Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, admitted that some information on his site was incorrect. And when the Atlantic published his article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” in 2008, critics countered that the Internet is contributing to the development of “fluid intelligence,” a skill that enables us to solve problems without using knowledge we acquire from deep reading.

 

OK, so we know what Carr’s detractors are saying. But what would you say to him if you could ask him one question?

 

Here’s what I say: Let’s find out. So I’m asking SLA members to suggest questions to pose to Nicholas Carr in an interview I’ll be conducting in a few weeks. The interview will be published in the April/May issue of Information Outlook.

 

Got a question you’d like to ask Nicholas Carr? Send it to me at shales@sla.org. I’ll select a few of the more interesting questions and ask them during the interview.

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