Salon.com has a piece, Is the Internet melting our brains?, about moral panics created over new communication technologies. It is an interview with Dennis Baron, a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois and author of A Better Pencil. Here is an extract:
We hear a thousand objections of this sort throughout history: Thoreau objecting to the telegraph, because even though it speeds things up, people won’t have anything to say to one another. Then we have Samuel Morse, who invents the telegraph, objecting to the telephone because nothing important is ever going to be done over the telephone because there’s no way to preserve or record a phone conversation. There were complaints about typewriters making writing too mechanical, too distant — it disconnects the author from the words. That a pen and pencil connects you more directly with the page. And then with the computer, you have the whole range of “this is going to revolutionize everything” versus “this is going to destroy everything.”
The Bottom Line came back on BBC Radio 4 this week. The business discussion programme dealt with managing expectations and why the dreaded business meeting is still very much on the agenda.
John Kay has written this piece: The Reform of Banking Regulation. He sets out his vision for the future.
The Onion features this article: Nadir Of Western Civilization To Be Reached This Friday At 3:32 P.M.
John Crace’s digested read dealt with the new Dan Brown bestseller The Lost Symbol.