“ … I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense and “cathedral-like” structure of the highly educated and articulate personality—a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West. … ”
This tradition might be typical for Anlo-saxon (aristocratic) world with its overload of literature in education, Shakespeare, Milton, and essays in education. Might be a cultural difference.
Nicholas Carr was/is selling a book, that is reason to be very critical or even suspicious about motives. Selling a book is an economic project and has no connection to academic discourse. (It is not at all a crime to sell books, but it is not an academic business )
Could books be obstacles for learning? Books do have a certain authority, printed matter is more trustworthy, in the eyes of many. These books need more critical reflection.
Books are valuable commodities, that may influence the content of books. Lots of books do not exist because no publisher wanted to publish them.
Mistakes, lies, false statements never will be erased when the book is sold. Only sometimes a 2nd edition is edited.
Once a month me and some friends have an evening to discuss one book. Most of time everyone has a different story about the one book we read. Reading a book is very subjective, and discussing a book is never a dull evening.