I’ve been reading a bit more fiction lately (Asimov’s Foundation and A Confederacy of Dunces are the most recent). I am finding it very engaging, after a period of reading quite a lot of quite earnest non-fiction.
Two things I have have particularly enjoyed. Firstly, the lightness and humour woven through the stories I have been reading, even while dealing with quite complicated or difficult things. This contrasts with the often endless seriousness of non-fiction. An (obvious) reminder that jokes are good.
Secondly, all too often non-fiction books consist of a compelling first 60 pages, followed by 200 or so pages of reiteration and exemplification. By contrast, (good) fiction builds throughout, so the final pages turn themselves. I’m not sure if the lesson there is that non-fiction should be more confidently succinct, or that writers should hold a little more back for the end, if they can.
Either way, if you haven’t done so recently, I recommend that you pick up a novel. And if you have any fiction recommendations, I would love to hear them.
The internet has transformed our relationship with the physical world. We are no longer confined to our immediate surroundings, in terms of what we are aware of, what we can do, and who we can interact with.
As drastic as it has been, that transformation is not done. I am interested in the ways in which technology facilitates even greater connection, between our atoms and the internet’s bits. I am sure that we will interact and communicate in ways that feel like science fiction today.
But I am also interested in the internet as a place unto itself, as we become more able to create substantive worlds online (a start). Whether we detach ourselves from our physical forms, and have a meaningful existence in bits or qubits. Whether we will be able to do that. Whether we will want to.
“Going online” sounds like you are there, and not here. It can feel like that, when you are engrossed in your smartphone. We should be thoughtful about the worlds we make, and how we choose to visit them.
Product Lost by @HipCityReg is consistently excellent on this topic in particular. You should subscribe.