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Paro the robot baby harp seal was the final straw.

I had vowed to myself not to think about or write about “the internet makes you smarter, the internet makes you dumber” argument.  Even when some of my favorite authors (Steven B. Johnson, Clay Shirky, Nicholas Carr, and Jonah Lehrer) weighed in, I thought it best not to participate.

And then I read about Paro, either “a disturbing turn in our treatment of the elderly or the best care-giving gadget since the Clapper.”  This $6,000 Japanese robot is approved by U.S. regulators as a Class 2 medical device, and some believe it soothes dementia patients and helps them communicate.

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