Nicholas Carr is a worrywart. His critique of Socrates can be applied directly to his own worries about the internet: “He couldn’t foresee the many ways…” Just as Socrates feared that writing might supplant mental knowledge, and Renaissance humanists feared that printed books would “undermine religious authority,” Carr cannot see far enough into the future to see that no, Google is not making us stupid.
Some of what Carr suggests may be true; use of digital media may change the ways in which we read, encounter, and experience ideas. But he is just as afraid of new things as Socrates and the humanists. The internet will not remove all knowledge, but it will continue to change it.