Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One more...

...before I get to work

5Oh7 and I were having a conversation on reading and finding time in to read all the things you want to take on in our hectic overburden with distraction, modern age. She sent me this excerpt and link to a New Yorker article which I greatly enjoyed reading (I do subscribe to the New Yorker in my feed...but who has time):
There's no reason to think that reading and writing are about to become extinct, but some sociologists speculate that reading books for pleasure will one day be the province of a special "reading class," much as it was before the arrival of mass literacy, in the second half of the nineteenth century. They warn that it probably won't regain the prestige of exclusivity; it may just become "an increasingly arcane hobby." Such a shift would change the texture of society. If one person decides to watch "The Sopranos" rather than to read Leonardo Sciascia's novella "To Each His Own," the culture goes on largely as before—both viewer and reader are entertaining themselves while learning something about the Mafia in the bargain. But if, over time, many people choose television over books, then a nation's conversation with itself is likely to change. A reader learns about the world and imagines it differently from the way a viewer does; according to some experimental psychologists, a reader and a viewer even think differently. If the eclipse of reading continues, the alteration is likely to matter in ways that aren't foreseeable.
Thanks, boom.

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At 12:37 PM, Blogger dqerwin said...

interesting topic to try to predict the future of, but this guy's got it totally wrong. Just look at the internet: half the world logs on every day and starts out with reading and writing little messages to their friends. Many won't do anything more literary than that, but this is a huge step compared to 50 years ago - I propose that the human race will only get more wordy, more abstract, and more complex as time goes on. Eventually, I will have to build you a dancing, singing robot to show you how I feel because words just won't be sufficient.


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