Between Attendance and Appreciation

(this is a cross posting)

The headline “we are all writers now” caught my eye this morning. Anne Trubek makes the case that blogging, twittering, and other forms of new media communication are not cheapening our writing skills and reducing our intelligence. Instead, she says that more people are reading and writing than ever.

Hmmm… the amount of reading and writing is not really the issue though. It’s the quality and the depth of modern day writing and thought that is diminishing. People talk about “mass intelligence” as if it’s improving, but this piece by George Balgobin makes some very good points about the commodification of art and artistic knowledge — what he calls gaining intelligence through acquisition rather than knowledge.

Hey, I’m guilty of being somewhat proud of the collection of books on my shelf, but it’s worth pondering: how much do we really understand about life? Have we glorified the purchase of our degrees and knowledge rather than true appreciation of the virtues within them?

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Short Stories Worth Reading

A River Runs Through ItIf you don’t go back far enough you tend to think your ideas are somehow original.  I have to remind people, for instance, that history is longer than the past eight years of the Bush Administration, and that there was a time before September 11, 2001 when people did f***ed up things to the world. Continue reading