That said, Evgeny Morozov's Baffler critique of Carr's
I do agree with much of the first half of the essay, whose thought probably culminates here:
For Carr, the true Stakhanovite, work is a much better drug than the soma of Huxley’s Brave New World.
Take our supposed overreliance on apps, the favorite subject of many contemporary critics, Carr included. How, the critics ask, could we be so blind to the deeply alienating effects of modern technology? Their tentative answer—that we are simply lazy suckers for technologically mediated convenience—reveals many of them to be insufferable, pompous moralizers. The more plausible thesis—that the growing demands on our time probably have something to do with the uptake of apps and the substitution of the real (say, parenting) with the virtual (say, the many apps that allow us to monitor kids remotely)—is not even broached.
Suppose consumers and companies did know better.
Update, March 28: Carr has responded to Morozov. He rightly notes that Morozov is using his book as a stalking horse for a larger critique of tech critics. Beyond that, he notes how Morozov can create straw men, which I kind of touch on, and even more, but indirectly from his POV, the zero-sum and polarities angles of Morozov's thought.
The writer Steven Johnson has summed up Morozov’s modus operandi with precision: “He’s like a vampire slayer that has to keep planting capes and plastic fangs on his victims to stay in business.” With Morozov, a fierce intellect and a childish combativeness would seem to be two sides of the same personality, so it’s probably best to ignore the latter and concentrate on the former.It's worth a read back.
And, since Carr analyzed Johnson's quote about Morozov, I will do the same with his. Maybe the childish combativeness is part of growing up in the former USSR?