Monday, July 29, 2013

1995: "when the web had just been born"

Mac from 1995 (from: dishinwithedna)

"... But it seems to me that the kind of writing that's done in the electronic media has a sort of evanescence to it. There's an impermanence to it. A book, though, is something you can hold on to. It is a permanent thing. There is something else going on here, too. And that is what happens in the process of reading. When you read a book, there's a kind of a silence. And in that silence, in the interstices between the words themselves, your imagination has room to move, to create. On-line communication is filling those spaces. We are substituting a transitional, impermanent, ephemeral communication for a more permanent one….
     I thought that Sven Birkerts summed up our collective concern about the internet in this perfect one line of poetry from the Harper’s conversation: 'If you touch all parts of the globe, you can't do that and then turn around and look at your wife in the same way.' However the literary tone of Birkerts’ nostalgia implies regret: that we should be unhappy to alter our perspective of our own family. Or it implies that the new perspective is, without questioning, an undesirable one.
     But we could just as easily imagine the experience of contacting the rest of the world as a process that enhances our view of our spouse. 'I have touched all parts of the globe and now I see my wife differently.' But this possibility is not suggested by Birkerts’ wonderfully crafted line of poetry. Instead his koan contains an inherent conservativism in which any change is assumed to be negative."
The Technium

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