there’s a growing body of cognitive experiments that show that people fully immersed in the new technology perform worse on abstract thinking, on retaining facts, on inductive logic, on mindfulness etc. And I’m prepared to accept that this is true. But here’s one possible response to it: it’s quite similar to what happened to physical skill when production moved from workshops to factories in the early nineteenth century. People who used to be able to make a Chippendale table now struggled to make a table leg. But if you measured the collective effort it was more efficient and collectively more intelligent. It is no surprise that the fragmented, de-centred, hyper-social self performs badly on tests designed in the Doris Day era.