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|a time, not so long ago|
by noteworthy at 7:14 am EDT, Oct 2, 2015
The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public.
A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
I do not avoid books ... merely because I believe that life is too short. Even if life were not too short, it would still be too short to read anything by Dan Aykroyd.
The appeal of [Sherry Turkle's] "Reclaiming Conversation" lies in its evocation of a time, not so long ago, when conversation and privacy and nuanced debate weren't boutique luxuries. It's not Turkle's fault that her book can be read as a handbook for the privileged. She's addressing a middle class in which she herself grew up, invoking a depth of human potential that used to be widespread. But the middle, as we know, is disappearing.
Improvements which are not asked for but which change behavior suggest that the product is valued because it changes the buyer.
To be sure, time marches on. Yet for many Californians, the looming demise of the "time lady," as she's come to be known, marks the end of a more genteel era, when we all had time to share.
I believe that there has to be a way to regularly impose some thoughtfulness, or at least calm, into modern life.
Despite our wondrous technologies and scientific advances, we are nurturing a culture of diffusion, fragmentation, and detachment. In this new world, something crucial is missing -- attention.