Nicholas Carr was born in Ohio; grew up in Texas, Michigan, and Connecticut; received degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard; spent some time in Colorado; and now lives in Western Massachusetts. His books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He has recently been a visiting professor of sociology at Williams College, and earlier in his career he was executive editor of the Harvard Business Review. In 2015, he received the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity from the Media Ecology Association.
A New York Times bestseller when it was first published in 2010 and now hailed as “a modern classic,” Carr’s The Shallows remains a touchstone for debates on technology’s effects on our thoughts and perceptions. A second edition of The Shallows, with a new chapter, was published in 2020. Carr’s 2014 book The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, which the New York Review of Books called a “chastening meditation on the human future,” examines the personal and social consequences of our ever growing dependency on computers, robots, and artificial intelligence. His latest book, Utopia Is Creepy, published in 2016, collects his best essays, blog posts, and other writings from the past dozen years. The collection is “by turns wry and revelatory,” wrote Discover.
Carr is also the author of two other influential books, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (2008), which the Financial Times has called “the best read so far about the significance of the shift to cloud computing,” and Does IT Matter? (2004).
Carr has written for many newspapers and magazines, including The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Wired, Nature, Politico, and The New Atlantis. His essays, including “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and “The Great Forgetting,” have been collected in several anthologies, including The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best Spiritual Writing, and The Best Technology Writing. Since 2005, he has written the popular blog Rough Type.
In addition to speaking at a wide range of professional and academic events, Carr has appeared as a commentator on many television and radio programs, including NPR’s All Things Considered and OnPoint, the PBS NewsHour, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CBS Sunday Morning, and the Colbert Report.
In the early 1980s, Carr was a founding member of the unsung Connecticut punk band The Adrenalin Boys.
Photo: Scott Keneally.