Wow! One week, you write about monkey-mind and before you know it, monkey-minds everywhere write in to say, Amen, Sister. They’ve commented here, sent emails, started discussions on other sites, blogged, commiserated, argued, wondered and been altogether jolly. Enthusiasm for “Slow” has erupted so widely and all at the same time that I’m rethinking spontaneous combustion.
Someone may be about to jump in and say, “How ironic!” Because after all, we found each other through the internet—the very same gizmo whose “Off” button we have pledged to enjoy more often. Well, of course.
All of which leads me to the point of this week’s blog: Ambiguity, thinking, and the question of what counts as knowledge.
Ever since Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows hit the stage, the debate’s been on about the value of the internet and the value of Carr. Evgeny Morozov, for example, equates Carr’s argument with that of a chap pitiful enough to denounce the telegraph in 1889. Others reach even farther back to those who found moveable type disturbing. (Personally, I’m not yet ready to give up on cuneiform, but that’s perhaps another topic).
Now in our culture the easiest way to make someone sound silly is to call them old-fashioned, and what could be funnier, really, than fearing moveable type? “Ack! The alphabet! On little pieces of metal!” (more…)