My colleague on ‘Entanglements,’ Adam Kirsch, posted a perceptive column a few days ago that asked both why we are—as we seem to have been since at least the advent of the middle-class newspaper-reading public in eighteenth-century London, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam—so passionately interested in the affairs of “leaders and nations we don’t know, never will see, and certainly have no power over,” and whether this avidity for consuming news actually brings us closer to reality or instead makes it harder to “see things as they actually are?” It’s an excellent question, whether or not one agrees (I
The Uses of Half-True Alarms
June 07, 2010
Carr grabs our lapels to insist that the so-called information society might be more accurately described as the interruption society. It pulverizes
Life in a Glass House
May 28, 2010
There she was for the whole world to see and hear: a young woman sobbing uncontrollably, completely vulnerable, screaming at her interlocutor on a cell phone, broadcasting the most intimate particulars of her private life on a crowded street in Greenwich Village on a bright Friday afternoon.
We Are Not All Jobsians … Yet
May 20, 2010
My wife wanted an iPad as soon as she saw Steve Jobs’s announcement last January. She even had a place set out for it. It would go in the kitchen where it would be available for looking up recipes, as well as reading the morning newspaper. But life is disappointment: The iPad wouldn’t come out for another four months, and when it did, it cost about $300 more than we could afford. Luckily, one surfaced around The New Republic offices, and I got a chance to play with it for several weeks. And so did my wife.
You Know Who Else Pulled Videos Off Youtube? Hitler.
April 21, 2010
You know those ever-present "Downfall" parodies, in which a scene from the movie with Hitler in is bunker is given subtitles to parody some recent event?
Amazon’s Kindle: Symbol of American Decline?
February 24, 2010
Apple’s iPad is dominating the gadget buzz this winter, but a few years ago, we and others made a big deal about the “polyglot” iPod, turning it into a talisman of the globalized supply-chain. The point was to accent the global context in which U.S.
The PC Officially Died Today
January 27, 2010
The PC era ended this morning at ten o’clock Pacific time, when Steve Jobs stepped onto a San Francisco stage to unveil the iPad, Apple’s version of a tablet computer. Tablets have been kicking around for a decade, but consumers have always shunned them. And for good reason: They’ve been nerdy-looking smudge-magnets, limited by their cumbersome shape and their lack of a keyboard.
January 13, 2010
Google’s reasons for leaving China aren’t as pure as they seem.
Will Facebook Kill Off The Automobile?
January 06, 2010
Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute has a new report out today showing that the U.S. auto fleet shrunk by four million cars in 2009—the first time that's happened since World War II. All told, 14 million vehicles were scrapped and just 10 million were bought (by comparison, auto sales had been averaging about 17 million per year before 2007).
Rumors Before The Internet
November 11, 2009
Forty years ago, the rumor that Paul McCartney had died, and that the Beatles had covered up his death while for some reason scattering clues of it in their albums, leapt from the counterculture to the mainstream, where it briefly transfixed millions. The key event in the rumor going viral was a Michigan Daily article by student Fred LeBour. Michigan Today recounts the story: On the morning of October 14, the university community awoke to the shocking and incredible report that one of the world's most popular and beloved entertainers was no more.