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    The New York Review of Books | Tom Scocca | 21 min
    13 reads11 comments
    9.8
    The New York Review of Books
    13 reads
    9.8
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    • thorgalle
      Top reader this weekScribe
      3 weeks ago

      the liars of the George W. Bush administration were focused on the truth and said the opposite, in order to conceal it; the Trump administration simply offers an incoherent flood of bullshit, in which the truth may as well not exist at all.

      Extracting the juicy bit:

      an incoherent flood of bullshit

      Yes, that’s tiresome.

    • Plum1 month ago

      Maybe it was the word meatspace describing the old world....Usually I can think of solutions to disturbing trends but I feel at a loss with this. Maybe even despondent. Any ideas out there?

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Some ideas:

        • A widespread awakening that involves a return to nature, the environment, the land. (The wind and trees and animals have the answers.)

        • Extreme reduction in overall use of screens. Screen time should be a private-only activity. New cultural norms that you should never take your phone or laptop out in front of another person, in public or amongst friends. That should be considered rude.

        • When we do use screens, make it count. We need more platforms like Readup that enrich us, challenge us.

        • The end of the two party system, and maybe even the end of the United States. The "project" that is democracy needs a shake-up so that we all remember we are participating in it. If there's more turmoil, we'll be forced to participate, and if there aren't tribes and teams for us to latch on to, we'll be forced to think for ourselves.

        • Acceptance of the fact that some people will "get it" and others just won't. This is already happening. Some people have been lost to TV, porn, etc., just living as couch-potatoes. This will get worse before it gets better, but its not about converting the people who would rather check out.

        • We must always leave the door open for those who wish to return. (Current: "Its never too late to start eating healthy, going to the gym." Future: "Its never too late to get your brain back, if you're willing to work for it.")

        • A resurgence of reading (and writing) as "essential" activities.

        • A resurgence of art creation (and appreciation) as "essential" activities.

        • Absolutely no computers in school! We need consensus that the entire "education technology" industry is a farce.

        • Therapy and support for people who are addicted to the internet. (Alcoholics Anonymous for social media.)

        • Sex and love. More of that. More freely. More publicly. More queer.

        • Less stigma around religion, faith, prayer and more faith-based communities popping up all over the place.

        Everyone needs a purpose. Good news: the world has lots of purposes. When you go outside and look at the world you can see: I am needed. I can help - that homeless person, that hungry child, etc.

        Work, love, work, love, work, love. And, as Winston Churchill said, "Never, ever, ever, ever give up."

        • Karenz
          Scribe
          1 month ago

          Bill, I love this!! Downright uplifting! There is a lot of awful stuff out there and it sells but the good stuff is still there too—like art and artists and writers who are courageous; like Readup which gave me my brain back! Love the line at the end of the article about self-righteousness taking over righteousness!!

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            4 weeks ago

            @Karenz, I can’t stop smiling! Thank you so much! Words like this are a huge burst of energy. It’s been a joy to have you here with us on this exciting journey. Readup gave me my brain back too. And my heart. Sending you a big digital hug, right through the screen :)

            • Karenz
              Scribe
              4 weeks ago

              Thanks, Bill. If you decide on a subscription to keep Readup going, I’d be glad to join!

              • bill
                Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
                4 weeks ago

                Amazing! That's exactly the plan. @jeff and I are working on that every single day now. And half of your contribution will go to the writers you read - a win-win-win!

        • Plum1 month ago

          OK These ideas cut through my despondency. Please put them together and publish!

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            1 month ago

            Haha. Yay! Glad you dig. That was quick and dirty, typed frantically, as a brainstorm. Not refined ideas, some over dramatic. But what's cool (I'm just now noticing) is the way that many of those bullets reinforce each other. As though they're all the same thing. Anyway, plenty to be optimistic about!

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Attention span has been declining and it leads to consuming bite-sized contents. Too much content requires curation. Sometimes we learn from random things, but allegedly "attention-seeking & activating emotions" content leads to chaos.

      What “activating emotions” undermine is a sense of context and proportion. If enough people are paying attention to something—if you, personally, are paying attention to it, and it feels to you as if others are—it’s nearly impossible to conclude that it’s unimportant, or even to fit its importance onto a scale of relative importance. Likewise, if a thing gains and then loses public attention, it seems to have correspondingly lost importance.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      This is exceptionally solid reading about the attention/information economy and how and why it debases us, assuming you're not too exhausted to keep reading about how the internet is wreaking havoc. If so, totally understandable!

      I love non-fiction book reviews like this because then I don't need to read the actual books and can focus my "book time" on fiction, classics, and stuff that has stood the test of time.

      I wonder what will happen first: Phelps-Roper joining Readup or Marantz writing about Readup. Probably the latter, but I hope that both happen sooner than later. Very interesting people with interesting perspectives.