There’s nothing deep about these shallows

[English 2000]

In chapter one of Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows he gives personal evidence of how the World Wide Web has warped his learning process. Before the Internet he was able to sit down read lengthy articles and comprehend them well. When he became victim to the Internet his learning process suffered. He was no longer able to sit down and do hours of research, rather he research the way people often times do on Google by skimming over pages and clicking links within links. In relation to the movie clips from The River and Slumdog Millionaire, this same theory is true. By getting further from what is true to tradition and genuine our minds adapt and mold to what may be popular or commercial to the changing society.

In the clip from The River, the Indian woman is doing a traditional style dance. She is in dress that represents the Indian culture and is dancing to music that is orchestrated by typical instruments to that area. The clip is not as commercially portrayed as Slumdog Millionaire is. In the clip from Slumdog Millionaire, we see the young boys hustling for food to eat. They go on stealing food and hopping trains while MIA’s hit Paper Planes is playing in the background. I have never been to the India, but I would suspect it is not exactly portrayed like Slumdog Millionaire portrays it. I imagine that kids are working for their families and selling goods on the street, but as far as train hopping and hustling I do not see that happening.

Carr’s theory on how digital media negatively affects our brains is relevant with cinema. If I wanted to know what real Indian culture is like I would not sit down and watch Slumdog Millionaire. On the other hand, if I wanted to be entertained and see how that culture is commercially in the eyes of English society. In order to fully understand the culture without visiting there myself, I would choose an encyclopedia or an informational book on Indian/Arabian culture.

Movies like Slumdog Millionaire warp the way our minds see different cultures just like Google warps the way brains process information. They are equally harmful to the way we learn and soak information in.


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