Posts Tagged: technology

The Act of Un-Erasing

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For the Atlantic, Shawn Miller argues that what we decide to erase, through our technology, is often more enlightening that what is kept. Drawing an analogy between Middle Age palimpsests and a 19th-century Italian priest, Angelo Mai, who dedicated his life to finding what past monks had scraped off parchment and written over, Miller wonders what deleted information of ours historians will be interested in examining in the future:

So, the questions we should ask ourselves today: What information are we devaluing now?

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Digital Age Changes Writing

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Technology has changed the way writers write, and that change is not just about the rise of e-books. Composition in a digital world is much more malleable and fluid, and changes in methodology alter the structure of sentences and words. Author Tom McCarthy tells the Guardian:

Writing with word processors has given a new organisation to shaping sentences but it has also given flexibility; paragraphs can be switched, flipped and thrown out with an ease that would’ve been impossible when working with a typewriter.

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Digital Age Fuels Sci-Fi Short Stories

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The digital era has brought on a new golden age of science fiction. Electronic books, self-driving cars, and video phones may not seem too fictional these days, but technology like the Internet has empowered all sorts of new distribution methods connecting sci-fi writing with the fans who support it. New science fiction magazines launch with crowd funding campaigns, while tools like podcasts make fandom even easier— and ultimately, it’s all about the fans:

Sci-fi and fantasy’s online success is down to the strength of its community.

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Taylor_Astra_credit Deborah DeGraffenreid

The Rumpus Interview with Astra Taylor

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Driven by philosophical thought, Astra Taylor—documentary filmmaker, activist, and writer—looks at the way the Internet has affected social and economic change in her new book, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age.

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Fiction in the Digital Age

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Serialized fiction is experiencing a resurgence, and we have technology to thank.

Back in 2012, The Silent History brought the serialized novel to our iPhones (check out our interview with co-author Kevin Moffett here). And now, there’s Wattpad. The New York Times takes an in-depth look the app, which sees “more than two million writers producing 100,000 pieces of material a day for 20 million readers on an intricate international social network.”

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Wired in for Life

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…the unplugging movement is the latest incarnation of an ageless effort to escape the everyday, to retreat from the hustle and bustle of life in search of its still core.

Phones, computers, and tablets, once seen as a way of facilitating interpersonal interactions, are increasingly being seen as barriers when it comes to face-to-face interactions.

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New roles for artists

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“What matters is to know what you want and pursue it,” says Smith. She urges us to recognize that suffering is part of the package for everyone. “Life is going to be difficult.” Ride with it, she urges. Nothing is perfect. There will be “perfect moments and rough spots.”

We’re pioneers in a new time, she argues.” Everyone has access that they’ve never had before.” It’s a ”pioneering time because it is a time of the people…technology has democratized self-expression.

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Roxane Gay on the Joys and Perils of Twitter

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When we debate modernity, we tend to engage in all-or-nothing propositions. Technology is either wholly good or wholly destructive. Somewhere between these two extremes is where we will find the truth.

Our rock-star essays editor Roxane Gay has an essay titled “What Twitter Does” up at Editorially‘s new “writers’ journal on culture and technology,” STET.

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Dave Eggers Gets Google-y Eyed

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Dave Eggers’s upcoming novel The Circle is about a woman whose life takes a turn for the sinister after she starts work at “the world’s most powerful internet company” with its “towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work,…athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.”

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Online Romance…from 150 Years Ago

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From its title (Wired Love) to its tagline (“‘The old, old story’—in a new, new way”), this Ella Cheever Thayer novel from 1880 sounds surprisingly modern.

Substitute texting for telegraphs or OKCupid usernames for telegraph operators’ initials, and the book could almost have been written today—except that its conclusion seems to process contemporary anxieties about technology a little better than we do.

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Jonathan Safran Foer on the Sociopsychological Effects of Technology

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In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Jonathan Safran Foer (award-winning author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) contemplates the implications of living in a society full of “iDistractions,” arguing that the increased daily use of new technology might be limiting our capacity for empathy and compassion.

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