Question Forum 1
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Discussion Questions:

1. Chapter 2 of The Shallows explains findings that suggest our brains are not concrete and set in their ways, but that they are plastic and can be changed and influenced over time. How do you think this affects the notion that we are being re-wired as we live with technology? If our brains are never truly set in their ways, can we ever be permanently rewired? Do you consider this “re-wiring” as a black/white change or a steady evolution? Or do you not buy into it at all?

2. Carr suggests that "a medium’s content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act" and that "a popular medium molds what we see and how we see it." If we believe this, how does it affect our job as consumers? How can we better receive a clear and unbiased message without our opinions being affected by the medium or what is popular? Is that even possible? If we don’t believe what Carr is suggesting, what is the purpose of the medium?

3. One of Carr’s premises is that collectively our attention spans are shorter, less focused, and we approach text more selectively as if we’re always looking at the internet. How then, would he account for huge literary phenomena such as the Harry Potter series, Twilight, and the Eragon series, where millions of people are reading lengthy texts that require attentive reading? Do we feel like as English majors, we’re set apart from the rest of our peers?

Katie Stitt - Response to Question 3

I have never been great at math. In fact, I’ve never been even good at math. For me, the written word is comfortable and easy to understand. It has always been that way, which is why I filled out applications to English departments during my senior year of high school and will be graduating with a degree in English in May. I joined the Harry Potter phenomenon in elementary school, and eventually plugged into the Twilight series as well. However, I’m not alone – friends from all disciplines have also met me there. So how does that explain the crazy cult following for these books when there is so much technology out there that competes for our attention?

Carr insists in the first chapter that our attention spans have shortened, “chipping away capacity for concentration and contemplation” (Carr 6). While I do agree with this statement, I think there are a few reasons for such a surge in these series’ popularity. When the first books of Harry Potter emerged, I was in a classroom with one computer that was the size of a small television. It was for a math assessment test, a new initiative by our school system to start integrating technology into the curriculum. While video games and TV occupied a lot of my peers’ time, the internet was a new medium that for most us, was off limits. My escape was in books. I loved the writing style, the conversational tone, and the characters in the Harry Potter series. As I grew up, I held on to a few classics, but the Harry Potter series held my attention longer than all the other books I read. I loved the fact that I was reading a modern story. I think that instead of sifting through Charles Dickenson’s lengthy paragraphs just to decipher a few seconds worth of action, I flourished in 800 pages of short succinct paragraphs with modern dialogue.

I’m not suggesting that J.K. Rowling knew exactly what she was doing in terms of addressing a technology-addicted audience, but she was on to something. In the second chapter, Carr discusses the notion that our brains are “plastic.” In a decade, I went from one computer per classroom, to the fast-pace world of the internet. Blogs, audio systems, and web sites now feed my addiction to the digital world. The literary world has also taken advantage of this, and my brain has adapted. Though
I will always harbor a soft spot for Jane Austen, I now enjoy concise writing styles more than lengthier ones. My patience and attention span have changes to the media I consume heavily. I agree with Carr that the internet has changed how we think by teaching us new ways to process information. Its influence has even reached the literary world, where so many still cling to the out-dated writing styles.

New devices make it easy to access texts, and in many different formats. Movies (though not a new concept when connected to the written word), audio books, e-readers, fan web sites, blogs, and iTunes have made reading not only “cool” again, but accessible to everyone. Unlike the classics, these series have modified our brain to want to participate in the story instead of just reading it. Like Carr suggests, “just as the brain can build new or stronger circuits through physical or mental practice, those circuits can weaken or dissolve with neglect” (Carr 35). After years of reading and learning on the internet, readers have learned to skim or connect with content in the form of shorter paragraphs. Thus, the interest is still there, but the challenge for many is delivery. Conversational dialogue in books has come to reflect this in both the Harry Potter series and the Twilight books. Readers latch on to these stories because authors (both in print and online) condition participants to form new associations with the presentation of information, even if it is recreational. The marketplace has even grasped this concept through the creation of movies, paraphernalia, web sites, and giveaways.

While it is exciting that the literary world is now more tangible, Carr does have a point when he discusses the consequences of a “plastic” brain. It is great that there are now extensions of some of my favorite stories. I think this is why so many differently “wired” people have latched on to these series. Math and science majors have joined the English lovers in enjoying these stories, even if it isn’t through the literal pages of the text. Here is the problem though; if our brains can change so quickly to adapt to new mediums, why is it that we do not like to revert to our old ways? Carr argues, “Nothing says the news state has to be a desirable one. Bad habits can be ingrained in our neurons as easily as good ones” (Carr 34). I argue that though it is interesting to see so many people flock to a story, the way we do it is different. I can’t read books on the e-readers; there is something nostalgic about physically turning the page, and knowing its smell. But others’ brains have adapted to the point where physically reading the book is no longer enjoyable or in a few cases, doable. Some of us are leaving patient and time-centric habits behind. This is where I think my discipline stands out from the others.

While other disciplines encourage the “forward” progression of technology, mine relishes in preserving a way of life and an old function of learning. For English majors, the push for technology has been encouraged, not forced. For others, new modes of information processing have changed their brain’s processing to a point of “least resistance” (Carr 35). Carr argues that it is possible to revert to old habits, but for many, going back is not as stimulating when there is so much more flexibility in the new. Our society, especially in the education sector, makes a strong case for technological progression. It is no surprise to me, then, why so many of my peers claim to have no time or patience for an hour in front of a book when there is much access to content via the internet.

Despite this, while many criticize the loss of a literary focus in our culture, I am not deterred. There will always be book lovers and those devoted to its craft. I’ll admit, it frustrates me when someone has never read the text version of a favorite series when engaging in discussion about the story. However, in the end, I have to remember it is not interest in content that people are leaving behind, but the old way of engaging in it. And that can’t necessarily be a bad thing.

Caty Gordon, response to question 1

For the most part, I agreed with Carr’s assertions that our brains are malleable and change over time. As with language, technology, habits, etc we, as humans, are consistently adapting to our environments. I think Carr said it best on page 27 when he posits, “What we learn as we live is embedded in the ever-changing cellular connections inside our heads.” In this way, the change is not a black/white change but a steady (and consistent) rewiring as our technology adapts. Take, for example, the cell phone. At first it simply dialed other numbers. Then we learned to text. Next we could download games and ringtones. Soon we could take pictures and videos. Now, cell phones aren’t phones at all but mini-computers that perform every function we could possibly need (or often don’t even require). Just as the cell phone adapted so too did our response and understanding to such technology.

Maybe one day our malleable brains will accept the technology that could permanently rewire our minds. But as Carr suggests, our plastic minds will adapt with change. We learn this from infancy as we develop cognitive and motor skills that adjust as we grow older. The same is true of technology. The evidence of this re-wiring is pervasive. Communication today is instantaneous whereas twenty years ago humans did not rely on cell phones, Twitter updates, Facebook statuses, Skype, etc to interact with others.

My friends are often quipping, “What did people do before cell phones?” This rhetoric stipulates the degree to which we’ve become accustomed to the change of technology and have embedded it into our lives. It seems unfathomable in today’s technologically advanced society that we should be without cell phones and instant communication. We’ve grown so accustomed to change with technology that we even have laws restricting our use of it. The anti-texting and driving campaign resulted in legal fines for offenders. There’s now a social norm to pressure us against what’s appropriate communication: don’t talk or text while driving, don’t gab on the phone in the grocery line, no texting during class. Some professors don’t allow computers in class anymore, either. Our society is continually learning how it operates with (or without) technology on a daily basis, and we as consumers play an equal part in that transition.

In conclusion, Carr’s conjecture about the nature of technology in relation to our brains is reasonable and to be expected. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. As we as a society adapt to changes in technology, the technology will continue to advance. Because we are malleable and not permanently rewired we will continue this cyclical relationship with technology throughout our entire lives.

Eric Kambach responding to question 1

I think the idea of the human mind being changed throughout time based on specific influences is nothing new, especially with technology. But I don't like the notion of being "re-wired" as we live with/through technology, or that we are currently being permanently "re-wired." There is more to it than that.

For one thing, and this is commonly stressed with this topic, humans possess the ability to choose what they want to believe. This ability is called free will, and not even the most powerful for of technology or artificial intelligence can take over that without destroying a human. Sadly, with the attraction that modern technology displays, people slowly lose their willingness to think or act for themselves since a piece of equipment can do it for them or guard against any physical, personal or psychological consequences. People will always have the ability to shape their minds and consciences they way THEY choose to, but are just too lazy to do so thanks to the help of technology.

I also don't buy into the idea that it's simply a new stage in a steady evolution. For me, based on just observing people interact with technology, it is a combination between a love affair and total possession; there is nothing natural about it. We are seduced by the ease that technology allegedly brings to our lives, and we spend as many intimate moments with or machines as possible until, eventually, the relationship becomes more like drug abuse, where we crave to get back on as soon as possible because we are totally reliant on its affect in our lives. I feel that that is not "re-wiring," but complete and strategical human destruction.

To a certain degree, I agree with what the chapter 2 findings suggest in respect to the forming of the human mind and conscience. But I feel that there is significantly more to it than simple modifications or a steady evolution.


Lindsey Macdonald: Response to Question 3
(Disclaimer: I have this book as an eBook, so I think my page numbers may be different.)

When the first Harry Potter book came out, I “jumped on the bandwagon” so to say and started reading the series. I only finished the first two, and then for some reason became uninterested and haven’t picked up any of the books since then. I also haven’t read Twilight, Eragon, Gossip Girl, or any other huge young adult literary hit. But despite my lack of knowledge on the specifics of these series, I still think I have a general idea as to why they all became so popular.

In Chapter 1 of The Shallows, Carr gives many examples of both his and his friend’s inability to read long texts since the Internet emerged because of the “immediate access to such an incredibly rich and easily searched store of data” (21) and the exhilarating feeling of traveling through the maze of hyperlinks and information. It’s almost like a new fantastical world that provides escape from everyday life. Similarly, books like Harry Potter and Twilight take the reader into worlds they had never imagined before, just as those alive before the Internet never imagined its existence. Furthermore, Carr says that “the linear mind” that we used to absorb information while we read through long texts “is being pushed aside” to make way for bursts of information from every direction (26). In many instances, the plot lines of these stories are not all that linear, with anything from flashbacks to unexpected twists, to keep the reader’s mind going in different directions and bringing in new information. This keeps the reader interested in these kinds of stories rather than the orderly plot lines of 19th century literature like Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

Furthermore, these stories are being delivered through media other than books. Fans of Harry Potter or Twilight can watch the words jump from the page on to the big screen, on to their televisions, on to their computers, and even on to their iPods. Carr describes becoming trapped in the “upgrade cycle,” having to keep up with the latest versions of technologies that come out on the market (32). Those that are behind the production of these books are buying into people’s needs for having the latest technology and making content for all these different types of media.

Although I am an English major and am probably fonder of reading than my engineering friends, I don’t think I’ve “escaped” this shift from the linear mind to wanting fast bursts of information. Before I knew what the Internet was I would read several books a week at an extremely fast pace and remember many of the details. Once I got to middle school and discovered AIM, my love for reading began to dwindle, and I found that I couldn’t as easily pay attention to those details anymore. I still enjoy pleasure reading when I find the right book, but I’ve found that I’ve become really picky and sometimes even resistant to change to the point where I’ll just stick with the same books (I’ve read The Perks of being a Wallflower and Black Beauty at least five times each). I really wish I could read the way I could in elementary school, but with the ease of the Internet, I can’t say that I wish it never happened.

Lauren Kaye: Response to Questions

In the response to the question asking, “Do you consider this “re-wiring “ as a black/white change or a steady evolution? “ I think Carr’s response would reiterate what the second question asks: “How can we receive a clear, unbiased message without being affected by the medium or what is popular?”

The “re-wiring” has happened because we have chosen to buy into the medium. Carr gives several examples of colleagues/peers who were classically trained (I’ll call it) the people Prensky calls “digital immigrants.” These individuals did not grow up on digital media, but they have integrated it as a value and a tool, a way of life, because they believe in it. This suggests that if consumers didn’t believe in the medium, the re-wiring would not happen or be an inevitable outcome. So I would say that it is not black/white or necessarily a steady evolution; rather, it’s a result of what we believe evolution to be. Technology is smarter, better, faster, therefore, using technology will make us smarter, better, faster.

In the first chapter of “The Shallows” Carr asserts that the internet is re-wiring the way we do things and the way we think about things because we have unlimited access to seemingly limitless information. The internet has created a convenience that won’t be trumped by convention; however, this is a choice consumers have made.
Carr recounts how his ever increasing experience with computers has lead to the “re-wiring.” At first, his Plus computer was a tool, but he later felt that “it was a machine that, in subtle but unmistakable ways, exerted an influence over you,” (13) because he switched from manually editing to electronically editing. I would say that Carr makes too strong a statement when he says the computer exerted an influence over him; it was his belief in the computer as a superior tool that influenced the way he did his work.

Carr references Cornell student Philip Davis as an example of how the internet has made us shallow readers. He quotes him saying, “You’re not supposed to read web pages, just click on the hypertexted words!” (7). This is not necessarily true, but it does reflect what some people interpret as the value of the internet. The content is important because someone wrote it and put it there for people to read, and clicking hypertext will just lead you to another page that you won’t read, and then another page that you won’t read. In fact, if no one is really reading his blog, but just clicking the links he posts, this would counter Carr’s belief that the internet has made his writing more accessible and popular. The users choose how to use the medium based on what they think is it’s intention. For example, internet users may surf and skim websites this way because of Davis’ belief, but that doesn’t make it the inherent value of the internet.

Carr is dead on when he describes the way he feels when trying to concentrate on reading. He says, “I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do (5).” We all do that because we have developed those neural pathways in our brains. In the same way that the car accident victim thinks his amputated arm is being touched when he is touching our face, we have re-routed our sensors. Now, getting on the computer might also trigger getting online and checking email, facebook, news pages. We have trained our brains the same way London cab drivers have. We’ve developed one area, and in the process, we have lost other areas. This would explain why our capacity to absorb lots of knowledge at once has grown and the ability to engage in one source has diminished, or been lost, as Carr (dramatically) argues. Carr quotes Bruce Friedman who says he has “almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” (7), and follows it with Davis who says that though he is a less patient reader, it has made him smarter: “more connections to documents, artifacts, and people..” (8).

In response the third question that asks, “Do we feel that as English majors we’re set apart from the rest of our peers?” I say, a little bit. I do have the same attention deficit when it comes to using the internet, but not when reading a book. Online, I like to have multiple things going on—a search here, a website there, a song in the background—because I get restless and bored with just one thing. While writing papers I’ll repeatedly go online to see what’s going on on the internet for no real reason. I separate myself from Carr’s argument because I don’t believe I have lost the ability to focus, nor do I want to. I believe I could read War and Peace, and I readbelieve it or not, I don’t always skimthe contents of articles and web pages.

Casey Whitehead
I do not entirely agree that our attention span as a group has shortened. When reading Carr’s piece I thought about it in the perspective of a college student. I believe that most students can still focus and read an entire book without “drift[ing} after a page or two” (Carr 6). I do agree that the Internet has made many readers more impatient (8). But the problem is not the attention span of the reader but the content of the reading.

I have felt the effects of constantly being on the Internet and understand the arguments being made. However, I have found that when I am really interested in an article or book or blog, I’ll read it in it’s entirety, no matter how many pages or words it may be. I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling’s stories are interesting and intriguing. The language is very conversational which makes it easy to follow, but because I enjoy the ideas and story I enjoy reading it.

When I think back to reading in high school I found many times when I was forced to read something, I hated it; mostly because they were forcing me to and second because the story usually wasn’t interesting. A key example in my life was reading Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. I read it the first time in high school and really didn’t enjoy it. Last semester I read it for a second time and it was a completely different experience. I think a lot of it had to do with my choosing the story and taking my own time to read it.

I don’t believe that being an English major has too much of an impact on my attention skills, other than keeping me in practice of reading. I am not a lit student therefore reading really isn’t my strong suit to begin with; however I am an avid online news reader. I have found that it is actually harder for me to read online than in book form. I am more easily distracted online because the ease of being distracted is greater, especially when I am not intrigued with the material at hand. If students really want to learn about the material they’re reading, they will read it; otherwise they will succumb to the temptation of Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Jay Speidell

I don't buy the re-wiring at all. Carr's opinion about the modern attention span is one that has been shared by millions of people and published in countless publications. So is this a valid opinion? Are we really getting dumber? I argue that this opinion is only valid in the world of bullshit occupied by politicians, news commentators, and nonfiction authors.

Yes, it is true that we are often impatient and don't like to spend a lot of time reading things… on the Internet. Books are still 250 to 800 pages, and even on electronic readers like the Nook and Kindle, we have absolutely no problem dedicating our attention to reading for hours on end. That refutes both the attention span issue in general, and the attention span regarding electronic devices. The technology doesn't change the way we think, the way we think changes dynamically in response to what we are doing. When you push Play-Doh through a square hole, it molds into a square shape. When you push it through a circle, it changes to being a circle. It can still go back to being a square, you didn't fundamentally alter it's properties. When we want to read a text message, we only want to invest three seconds. If we want to read an article, we only want to invest five minutes. A book? Hours.

So why does Carr's opinion seem so reasonable? Well, the nonfiction information book market is pretty competitive these days. In order to get people to buy it, you have to hook them with an idea that you have insight about how society is about to change drastically for the worse. Liberals are destroying America! Illegal immigrants are about to crash the economy! Cell phones are going to give you cancer! The internet is going to make you all retards!

Well, you have an outrageous claim, how can you make it seem true? It's simple, one part distortion, one part making things up, and five parts taking things out of context. So, what does he use for evidence for the attention span claim? Websites and other technical venues specifically tailored for quick reading. Hmm, so this page has tidbits of information, I'm going to skim though, ooh, here's a link, I'll click it. And the Alexa rankings seem to support this idea, we hit up the ADD sites way more than the websites with lengthy articles.

But wait… The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and all those other news sites are pretty high up in the rankings as well. You can't skim a lengthy, multiple page news article, right? Nope, I guess it's different people going on those websites, right? Hold on again, you say millions of people link those news websites to Facebook and Twitter? Hmm, are those the same people who post status updates about reading books? So if we are being rewired and can no longer handle a session of lengthy ready, what is going on?

Cell phones didn't give us cancer and MS13 didn't go anywhere that there weren't already gang problems! That's right, it was all a misdirection, we adapt on the fly to whatever media we are consuming. If you dig up Thomas Jefferson, give him your computer, and show him a blog, he's gonna read a bit and move on to other, more interesting things. If you show him an article on Al Jazeera, He's gonna say “God damn, that's a lot of oil in the ocean. Not sure what that means, but I'll look it up later.” and keep reading the article.

There is no real scientific evidence that our attention spans are changing. We have the capacity to do a lot with our brains in different contexts. Homo erectus didn't sit around discussing international politics, they ran around chasing rabbits with sticks. An attention span isn't something you gain or lose, it's something that has to be captured, and Twitter doesn't do that. News does. Magazines. Science. Books. There is a reason Jersey Shore lasts twenty minutes and Star Wars is two hours long. Nobody said progress has to be linear, and that new only replaces old. This is just another folder in “The Sky is Falling” binder, to be filed away in the Twilight Zone between the danger of nuclear power and the threat of robotics when people are done making money off of it.

Annabeth Wonch Response to Question 3

When asked what my hobbies are, I always seem to include reading and the Internet. It’s an unlikely combination, but one that I cannot seem to avoid. And even though I always try to make time to read books for pure enjoyment, I find have my phone near, or my computer open on my desk. Its something that I can’t escape, and I will reluctantly admit that I spend more time on the Internet than I do reading, and this has somehow affected the way I read. I find that I cannot totally engage myself in any reading material without totally “unplugging.” Its some form of digital ADD and even when I make a point to sit down and read my phone is never out of reach and my laptop stays open on my desk. And as I was reading Carr I was agreeing with nearly everything he said. I skim articles online, or blog passages that are too long. Its like I have been trained that I can understand an entire story by just reading the bolded headlines and captions.

However as an English major, it seems like we feel an obligation to keep books around. I find myself hearing my colleagues saying that they can’t stand reading on a screen and that Kindles are superfluous. Something about holding and reading a book is something that I personally enjoy and I think that is something that most English majors have in common that most people don’t understand.

Yet there are the phenomenon of Harry Potter and Twilight, both franchises that I have succumbed to. And while I really enjoy Harry Potter (I read Twilight to see what the big deal was, I found it to be trite and somewhat embarrassing) I think most of why makes them so popular is the concept that “everyone is doing it.” Most people don’t like to read but don’t want to be left out of a cultural phenomenon. Its kind of like the upgrade obsession Carr mentioned. Everyone has to have the hottest thing out there and if it’s a book, people will buy it. Yet popular series can’t even be finished without being turned into a movie, a visual medium that is more accessible, less time consuming and profitable. Though frustrating, I think books that capture the attention of millions of people are few and far between and though it might take a long time I think there is a chance for digital medium to take over printed literature.

Lenise Phillips: Response to Question 3

Last semester I studied abroad in France, where the education system seems to be a lot less interactive than our own. Classes are no less than an hour and a half each, and I had 13 of them a week. There are no text books, no PowerPoints, no visual media, no class websites - nothing. I didn't even have Internet in my dorm room. And while I loved being over there, after a couple weeks, I started to go crazy. Being that "disconnected" from the world was really starting to wear me down. I felt like I couldn't communicate with the people I wanted to communicate with. The classes I was taking were way too long; I couldn't sit still or concentrate to any of my professors lecturing for 90 minutes. It was impossible. I was convinced that I had ADD. WebMD even told me so. I remember complaining about it to my American friend, and she told me she was going through the same thing, saying it was because in the United States, we're over-stimulated. That struck a chord with me, so I definitely agree with Carr that our attention spans are shorter and less focused. Our whole manner of processing information is different to what it was years ago. I don't want to go so far as to say this is a phenomenon that has solely touched the United States, but based on my experiences with technology in Europe, I would definitely argue that technology has touched cultures in very different ways. It's just like Nye said: cultures pick and choose what technologies they want to adopt. France, as far as I know, isn't rushing to make wireless available everywhere, just like they don't rush back to work after a daily 2 hour lunch break.

I don't think we can assume that the audiences reading the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Eragon series are necessarily reading these books attentively, though. Sure, kids read these books. They love them. They buy the T-shirts. But how do we know for sure they aren't reading these texts as if they're looking at the Internet, understanding the general idea but barely processing the information? I'd love to be able to say that I'm different from my peers because I'm an English major, but I don't think I set myself apart at all. I love to read. I love the smell of books, and I love dog-earring my pages and writing in the margins, underlining my favorite parts just so I can read them again later. But even if I read more than most people my age, I'm not sure it's fair to say that I read differently, or that I read a text more selectively. I'm just as affected by technology as everyone else my age. Take Harry Potter for instance. I'm a huge fan; I went to all the midnight premiers of the movies and the books. I didn't mess around. But I distinctly remember staying up all night reading the last book, and in my excitement to finish, I completely skipped over a small sentence in a paragraph in one of the last chapters where JK Rowling had written about Colin Creevey's had died. I didn't notice I had missed it until I was discussing the book with a friend a couple days later. And it made me realize that this wasn't the first time I'd done this while reading a text. How many important details had I missed while reading books because my brain wanted to process the information on the page too quickly? It's almost as if we care too much about how quickly we can read something, rather than how well we can read something. It's all about getting things done fast. My point is that I read that book - a book from a series that I considered to be the highlight of my childhood - like I would have read something on the Internet, with shifty eyes and an anxiety to get to the end - to get to the point.

Christopher Roubo: Response to Question 3

I sympathize with Carr’s notion that our minds aren’t “going… but changing” (Carr 5) to no longer read into lengthy texts. I don’t Twitter or blog at all, however I do enjoy checking out forums where the conversations are short and simple. However, I still tend to enjoy reading long novels; currently I am reading through the Lord of the Rings series, which I feel helps support and debunk Carr’s arguments at the same time.

What I mean by this is that while I do enjoy reading these novels, I often find at times that I just skim through large portions of the story that I don’t understand. The Fellowship of The Ring for instance, while an otherwise entertaining book, is full of names and terms that are made up for the sake of the story. If I was more interested in J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology, I could keep up with the various mentions of races and countries, but instead I find myself quickly reading through these sections and not really absorbing any of the given information. After reading each chapter, I can tell you the basics of what happened, but I couldn’t get anything specific or that could generate discussion.

While I may possibly an abnormality when it comes to this, I feel like many people may replicate this method of speed reading. I recall back even in my AP History class in high school, my class was required to do a vast amount of reading for each assignment. My teacher would show us methods on how to read through the text in the quickest way possible while still retaining as much information as possible, which may have stuck with me throughout the years and contrast whatever “re-wiring” my brain has undergone.