Books and Twitter: Neither Luddite nor Biltonite (George Packer in the New Yorker)

Neither Luddite nor Biltonite: Interesting Times : The New Yorker

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George Packer at the New Yorker writes:

Just about everyone I know complains about the same thing when they’re being honest—including, maybe especially,, people whose business is reading and writing. They mourn the loss of books and the loss of time for books. It’s no less true of me, which is why I’m trying to place a few limits on the flood of information that I allow into my head. The other day I had to reshelve two dozen books that my son had wantonly pulled down, most of them volumes from college days. I thumbed idly through a few urgently underlined pages of Kierkegaard’s “Concluding Unscientific Postscript,” a book that electrified me during my junior year, and began to experience something like the sensation middle-aged men have at the start of softball season, when they try sprinting to first base after a winter off.

Packer also comments briefly on Twitter, journalism, and information overload.

Interesting to compare the February 5, 2010 Chronicle of Higher Education articles on attention span, memory and distraction from multitasking (David Glenn, “Divided Attention”, Chronicle Review, pB6, 2/5/2010).

(h/t Andrew Sullivan, Daily Dish)

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By Paul Romaine

Paul Romaine is a grant writer and independent curator in New York City.

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