One of our new junior fellows, J. David Nolan, considers the internet in his piece for today’s On the Square:
My fear is that the unstructured nature of many online browsing patterns runs counter to any sort of discipline, spiritual or otherwise. The Internet exploits—delightfully and at times even helpfully—our desire for short-term diversion. But focused attention is essential to any serious study of ideas, and as highlighted by Simone Weil, a prayer life. . . .
Read the rest here.
My alma mater used to have deliberately terrible internet for more or less this reason. Halfway through my stay there, they upgraded the connection. I am not sure about the effect on my study habits, but I did scream at my computer a lot less. I floated this experience by David, as we sat in the junior fellows’ office, but he claims that when he uses a slow internet connection it does increase his attentiveness and patience. The only conclusion here seems to be that J. David Nolan is a much better person than I am, so you should probably listen to him.