Adam Gopnik: How the Internet Gets Inside Us (The New Yorker)

There is, for instance, a simple, spooky sense in which the Internet is just a loud and unlimited library in which we now live—as if one went to sleep every night in the college stacks, surrounded by pamphlets and polemics and possibilities. … To see that that is so is at least to drain some of the melodrama from the subject. It is odd and new to be living in the library; but there isn’t anything odd and new about the library.

How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker.

A pretty good article, though I think it trails off towards the end.  I mainly am a Ever-Waser, though in my more idealistic moments Never-Better convictions get the best of me (a quick scroll through any popular site’s comments pages is usually enough to cure me of that idealism.)  Perhaps I most strongly am an anti-Better-Never–I find their arguments utterly unpersuasive.  The current furor over “screens” just so clearly echoes past worries about TV, or novels, or writing.  Gopnick does a good job of noting this pattern and also explaining it in a way that I hadn’t thought of before: “This makes you think that what made television so evil back when it was evil was not its essence but its omnipresence. Once it is not everything, it can be merely something.”

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