What Carr describes and is most worried about, how we “skim” and “bounce” around in our reading, is actually akind of new orality: We are reading as we speak when we are in a group. We “listen” to one statement, then another and another in quick succession: Our reading on the Web is like listening to a bunch of people talking. It’s hybrid orality. We find ourselves once again the naturally gregarious humans we always were. We find ourselves creating knowledge continually and rapidly as our social contacts on the Web expand. We have re-discovered new ways to enjoy learning in a social setting.
No, Google is not making us stupid. What Google and the Web are doing is helping us re-claim our human legacy of learning through a rapid exchange of ideas in a social setting. Google is, indeed, making us smarter as we re-discover new ways to learn.