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Michel Roland-Guill

Why Abundance is Good: A Reply to Nick Carr | Britannica Blog - 0 views

  • I think Carr’s premises are correct:  the mechanisms of media affect the nature of thought.
  • there are a host of people, from mathematicians to jazz musicians, who practice kinds of deep thought that are perfectly distinguishable from deep reading.
  • in either the availability or comprehension of material on scientific or technical subjects
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  • it’s not just Carr’s friend, and it’s not just because of the web—no one reads War and Peace. It’s too long, and not so interesting.
  • The reading public has increasingly decided that Tolstoy‘s sacred work isn’t actually worth the time it takes to read it, but that process started long before the internet became mainstream.
  • we continued to  reassure one another that War and Peace or À La Recherche du Temps Perdu were Very Important in some vague way.  (This tension has produced an entire literature about the value of reading Proust that is now more widely read than Proust‘s actual oeuvre.)
  • because the return of reading has not brought about the return of the cultural icons we’d been emptily praising all these years, the enormity of the historical shift away from literary culture is now becoming clear.
  • William Sayoran once remarked, “Everybody has got to die … but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case.” Luddism is a social version of that, where people are encouraged to believe that change is inevitable, except, perhaps, this time.
  • Luddism is bad for society because it misdirects people’s energy and wastes their time.
  • our older habits of consumption weren’t virtuous, they were just a side-effect of living in an environment of impoverished access.
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