Saturday, January 23, 2010

E. O. Wilson: Trailhead : The New Yorker (+ Jaron Lanier in Harper's)

A few colony/hive themes to ponder on a sunny Saturday morning:

From the latest issue of The New Yorker – an excerpt of beautiful writing by E. O. Wilson:

(Hmm – the Web designers at The New Yorker automatically inserted the link above when I copied/pasted into Windows Live Writer; very handy…)

From the latest issue of Harper’s MagazineThe Serfdom of Crowds, by Jaron Lanier. Harper’s has not made the full article available to non-subscribers, but I found it on this page; an excerpt:

At the time the Web was born, in the early 1990s, a popular trope was that a new generation of teenagers, reared in the conservative Reagan years, had turned out to be exceptionally bland. The members of "Generation X" were characterized as blank and inert. The anthropologist Steve Barnett saw in them the phenomenon of pattern exhaustion, in which a culture runs out of variations of traditional designs in their pottery and becomes less creative. A common rationalization in the fledgling world of digital culture back then was that we were entering a transitional lull before a creative storm - or were already in the eye of one. But we were not passing through a momentary calm. We had, rather, entered a persistent somnolence, and I have come to believe that we will escape it only when we kill the hive.

I’m hopeful both publications will be available in full digital content subscription options sometime soon -- maybe on the Apple tablet :) -- in the meantime, I am a very happy subscriber to the dead-tree editions of both.

p.s. you can download an extensive sample of Jaron Lanier's latest book, You Are Not a Gadget, on this page; if you don't have a Kindle, download the free Kindle client app here

E. O. Wilson: Trailhead : The New Yorker

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