Marshall McLuhan believed that every technology “has the power to numb human awareness during the period of its first interiorization.” And it seems we have digested our devices; they can numb us, now, to the pleasure of patience. They can numb our enjoyment of that older literary experience.
I actually read this in the newspaper (that’s a whole other topic) and wanted to post it but forgot to. It came up in today’s Next Draft email newsletter so I figured now was the time.
I’ve never been a great reader. I struggled with high school-assigned books because I preferred to read non-fiction but even now - non-fiction still my preference - I find it hard to carve out time to read books. I have a stack of them sitting on my night table1 but whenever I look at them all I can think of is how long it’s going to take to finish them and opt to do something that’s fleeting instead. Or just go to sleep.
Omar El Akkad’s American War, Matt Taibbi’s Insane Clown President, Hobbes’ Leviathan, and Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli ↩︎