Take Up and Read...Offline

The intellectual and sprititual hazards of a hyperlinked world.

Andrew Sullivan has written an unusually honest and reflective column for The Guardian on the intellectual tradeoffs of living in a one-click-away world.

A veteran of the blogosphere now publishing at a rate of 300 posts per week, Sullivan rhapsodizes over the transformations this has worked on his brain functioning:

I process information far more rapidly and seem able to absorb multiple sources of information simultaneously in ways that would have shocked my teenage self. In researching a topic, or just browsing through the blogosphere, the mind leaps and jumps and vaults from one source to another.

Leaping and vaulting at high speed sounds like the preoccupation of extreme sport adrenaline junkies, which may partially explain Sullivan's quick jump to panicky lament in the next few paragraphs:

When it comes to sitting down and actually reading a multiple-page print-out, or even, God help us, a book, however, my mind seizes for a moment. After a paragraph, I'm ready for a new link. But the ...
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January/February
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