Human Brain vs. Computer

Google is one of the forerunners in the internet revolution. Google started up in the late 90’s and has since then provided online users with endless information. Any question you have, or doubt can be verified through Google. The search engine constantly provides us with information in seconds. Its also great because the ads are filtered by popularity, so the client is not overwhelmed by online spam.

Carr however picked up on Google’s somewhat scary and almost dystopic view of technology. Google’s CEO Larry Page had stated that the brain can only contain six-hundred megabytes, as opposed to a computer with can contain up to two hundred gigabytes. This statement may have excited many people who looked up to the silicon valley start up company, but it revealed to some, the warped perception Google had about the human mind. As Carr goes on to explain, the human brain does not store data in any way that could be exactly replicated, as much of it still remain unknown. I also found an article that maintains that although scientists estimate that there are between – and – terabytes in “storage space” in the human brain, this is not a proper form of measurement because the two are distinctly different.

I think that the more we view the human brain as a computer, the more we disconnect. Carr reflected on a scientist that released the ELIZA operating system and after realizing the how warped people’s view on it became, became very conscientious and weary of the affects of technology. Recently, the movie Her was released. The movie’s synopsis screamed to me ELIZA. The movie is centered around a man who falls in love with his operating system(think of Siri), and faces the repercussions of it. I won’t spoil the movie, but it does give an interesting take on what we could potentially face in the coming years.


While argumentatively you can compare the human brain to a computer system, the two are distinctly different. If we get too caught up in the similarities, we lose our sense of being grounded; being human. A computer system is programmed by humans to perform certain tasks and to produce exact responses. It can mimic human qualities, but it is not human. Therein lay the dangers of blurring the lines between the two.

As I finally finished The Shallows, I felt both happy and frustrated. I was happy to finish the book and finally understand what the internet was doing to our brains. I was frustrated however because the reader was not given a solution to the problem. It may be naive, but I was expecting some kind of big revelation. I did self reflect a bit while reading the book, but I did not come to a clear cut conclusion, besides the fact that we need to become less codependent on the internet and its many addicting counterparts.

By maggiebania

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