Think Smarter with Nicholas Carr: Welcome to Nowheresville

Penguin Blog

Author of The Glass Cage, Nicholas Carr, on where automation is taking us and the effect our increasing reliance on digital maps may be having on our minds.  For a chance to win the Think Smarter reading list, sign up to the newsletter by 31st January.

Sat nav devices and digital maps may make our lives easier, but they also steal something important from us.

Nicholas Carr

For ages, human beings have been inventing tools to reduce the strain of travel. History is, among other things, a record of the discovery of ingenious new ways to ease our passage through our environs, to make it possible to cross greater and more daunting distances without getting lost, roughed up, or eaten. Simple maps and trail markers came first, then star maps and nautical charts, then instruments like astrolabes, compasses, and sextants. Lighthouses were erected along shorelines, buoys set in coastal waters. Roads…

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