Compare 1997 and 2017. It’s ugly. If you’re a human American, you’re more likely to live alone or with people who aren’t related to you than you were in 1997. You’re less likely to belong to a church, a bowling league, or a civic association. You’re less likely to subscribe to periodicals you like. You’re more likely to report a shorter attention span. You’re far more likely to have a problem with addiction, whether opioids, porn, or just the flickering screen.
Source: Michael Brendan Dougherty, I write on the internet. I’m sorry.
Eric, a radical hacker who helps Maxine with some hacking errands, puts it best: „every day more lusers than users, keyboards and screens turning into nothin but portals to Web sites for what the Management wants everybody addicted to, shopping, gaming jerking off, streaming endless garbage… Meantime hashlingrz and them are all screaming louder and louder about ,Internet freedom,’ while they go on handling more and more of it over to the bad guys… They get us, all right we’re all lonely, needy, disrespected, desperate to believe in any sorry imitation of belonging they want to sell us… We’re being played… and the game is fixed, and it won’t end till the Internet – the real one, the dream, the promise – is destroyed.“
via Evgeny Morozov reads Pynchon’s „Bleeding Edge“: The Deepest of Webs – Themen – FAZ.
The internet has a much higher write-to-read ratio than traditional methods of mass content distribution. In television, radio, newspapers, books, film and theatre there is a hard division between a small number of content producers and a large number of content consumers. Not so the internet. Many of us go online with the intention of reading, but before we’re done, we’ve written a bunch of tweets, sent off a comment, or engaged in an all out flame war, almost always in the public domain.
Writing online is so nearly effortless that reading (not to mention reflection, deliberation and thought) has become a chore in comparison. It’s easier to jot off a patronizing, indignant or self-aggrandizing missive than it is to take the trouble to read the whole article or give fair consideration to the author’s perspective. Thus the vicious circle sets in…
via The Oxford Comma and the Internet | Angus Croll.
To fall in love requires a bit of unpredictable human interaction. You have to laugh with a person, test their limits, go back and forth, touch them, reveal something true about yourself. You have to show some vulnerability, some give and take. At the very least, you have to make eye contact. It’s easier to substitute texting, tweeting or Facebook posting for these basic rituals of love and friendship because the digital route offers protection. How can you get dumped when you were never really involved?
via Timothy Egan, The Hoax of Digital Life – NYTimes.com.
Cybertheorists love to apply the adjective “smart” to one another but, as a group, they are the most prominent anti-intellectual cadre of our day – little Pol Pots of the touchscreen and Twitter. — Steven Poole
via Invasion of the cyber hustlers.
And there’s the key to understanding the often anesthetic effect of the Internet. Decadence doesnt demand great wealth: Decadence is a useful way to understand any situation in which an existing pleasure becomes cheap, and it takes the ingenuity of a Petronius to fight off the boredom. That is now the case with information—the small burst of satisfaction that comes from a refilled inbox or a new text, from connecting with friends, or sharing the meme of the day. Millions of us are now richer in these pleasures than our parents generation could ever imagine. But our capacity for enjoyment is still finite: Weve built up a tolerance to the pleasures of information, just as Trimalchio built up a tolerance to the pleasures of food. Those who experience our constant connectivity as dulling should be able to identify closely with his guests.
via Gluttony Goes Viral – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.