In the Kitchen of the Apartment (And Trying Not to Check E-mail)

Self is taking a brief break before going back to her e-mails, her phone calls, her book (still Virgil’s The Aeneid:  must weigh at least a pound, and she lugged it in her handcarry all the way from San Francisco, that is how much she loves it), her on-line class, and her writing.  Of course, she bought a Wall Street Journal as soon as she got up this morning.

The Bookshelf has a review of a very interesting book.  It’s by Nicholas Carr and it’s called The Shallows.  Here’s how the review (by John Horgan) begins:

While toiling over what you are now reading, I scanned my three email accounts dozens of times and wrote a handful of emails; I responded on my cellphone to a score of text messages from my girlfriend and kids; I checked the balance of my bank account to see if a promised payment had arrived . . .  and so on.

Further on:

My own Internet usage feels compulsive, addictive.  Which raises another matter posed by Mr. Carr:  Are we really choosing these information technologies of our own free will, because they improve our lives?  Our Blackberrys and Droids offer us infinite options, but such virtual freedom masks a deeper loss of control.  Mr. Carr quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s aphorism:  “Things are in the saddle/ and ride mankind.”

Wow.  That’s a very very nice review.  The Shallows sounds like a book that accurately depicts the splintering of self’s current reality.

Stay tuned.

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