Thompson’s “Public Thinking” 9/17/18

An idea from Thompson’s “Public Thinking” that really revealed how useful the internet is how connected the world is. Thompson states that people with similar interests are able to connect and this could prevent an overlap of the same thoughts that happen throughout history. The benefit of this would be that when people aren’t aware of people’s discoveries people aren’t using the newest knowledge available to actually discover new things. The internet allows people to combined minds and interests to further the worlds discoveries. I have a lot of friends who love their online groups and friends they help them develop emotionally and definitely helps them people who can relate to them. One friend has used their platform to develop a place where they are comfortable expressing their interests and ideals. It has led to her to creating an English to Valcun (a Star Trek language) picture book to help people learn the language. This has connected her to many groups who are also interested in learning this strange language and has been commissioned to make more for people. I am pretty sure that this is the only Valcun picture book out there currently and with my friend putting it out there for people who also speak Valcun my friend will learn more and interact with people that will only make the next Valcan book even better.


Thompson’s main argument is that internet and cellphones have changed how people write, how often they write, and how people communicate their ideas.


One of most important claims is that that writing to an audience improves the writing. The author uses a story of a blogger to introduce the concept that people who write for an audience want write better, so they do.Thompson uses a study by Vanderbilt University Professors that proves that having an audience makes you perform better. He also states another study that had the same results but with a different experiment.

The second most important claim is that writing can change how people think. The author uses many quotes from poets about how writing helps clarify thinking.  He also used a phenomenon called “Hand Waving” to prove that you have to have a clear thought to write it down because you can not “hand wave” in your writing. Thompson also uses an old study from 1978 as evidence that writing helps your memory.

The last important claim he makes is that the internet has changed how people communicate and network new ideas. Thompson uses previous scientific breakthroughs that happened more than once around the same time to prove that the internet can connect people and advance society by instead of working on, “needless duplicates,” they can start applying it to people’s lives.


A Rebuttal in Thompson’s “Public Thinking” texting and the internet has created people that have bad grammar. Thompson states that very few writings had any shortened words out of thousands of pieces of writing. Another Rebuttal that was addressed was that college students were worse at writing now than people in the past. Thompson used a study from a Stanford English Professor as supporting evidence that people now write more than ever before.

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