As I explained in an earlier post, my essay "Twilight of the Books" appears in the 24 December 2007 issue of The New Yorker, and as an online supplement, I'm summarizing some of the data that I drew from, organizing...
"Television is the familiar villain in the death-of-reading story. But how much is it really to blame? On his wonderfully named blog Steamboats Are Ruining Everything, the writer Caleb Crain sorts through the data and concludes, essentially, that television may indeed be guilty, though the crime may not have been committed in as sudden and absolute a way as is sometimes alleged. But lurking in Crain’s statistics is a hint that books face stiff competition not just from the idiot box but from another common appliance: the Weber kettle. According to one 2005 survey of leisure activities, Americans engaged in the reading of books about as often as they barbecued—twice a week."---JENNIFER SCHUESSLER
"For those who live with status updates, check-ins, likes, retweets, and ubiquitous photography, such an understanding [of the world as fundamentally documentable] is near inescapable.There’s always tension between experience-for-itself and experience-for-documentation, but social media have brought that strain to its breaking point...Documenting the present as a future past, as conventional photographs do, asserts the facts of change, impermanence, and mortality. The temporary photograph [as represented by Snapchat] does the opposite: It interrupts the traditional photographic fixation of the present as impending history by positing a present moment that’s not concerned with the past or the future. As such, the temporary photograph is necessarily less sentimental and nostalgic. By being quick, the temporary photograph is a tiny protest against time."--Nathan Jurgenson.
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