Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Futurism - TL;DR

If you are someplace where the weather has you reading on the couch instead of enjoying the sunshine, here are a couple good though lengthy pieces I came across and now got around to reading.

I've been following James Bridle's blog for a while. He's one of the more forward thinking people in the (book) publishing industry, and consistently links to really interesting pieces, adding a bonus of thought-provoking commentary.

The above is a list of seven more lengthy posts on his thoughts. The whole thing is a great read, but if you have time for nothing else, at least make time to read the 7th. It's a short story to tie together some of the ideas, and does so beautifully.

Good piece contrasting the different schools of thought (Utopian, Distopian, and Plus-ca-change) about how the Internet is affecting culture, thought, and thinking. Seemingly objective, and perhaps as a result of being so, it seems to side with the Plus-ca-change'rs. Regardless, it does a good job of taking a contrarian view to each point of view and as a result is a good read. Fave quote:

at any given moment, our most complicated machine will be taken as a model of human intelligence, and whatever media kids favor will be identified as the cause of our stupidity. When there were automatic looms, the mind was like an automatic loom; and, since young people in the loom period liked novels, it was the cheap novel that was degrading our minds. When there were telephone exchanges, the mind was like a telephone exchange, and, in the same period, since the nickelodeon reigned, moving pictures were making us dumb. When mainframe computers arrived and television was what kids liked, the mind was like a mainframe and television was the engine of our idiocy. Some machine is always showing us Mind; some entertainment derived from the machine is always showing us Non-Mind.

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