The digital world offers us many advantages, but if we yield to that world too completely we may lose the privacy we need to develop a self. Activities that require time and careful attention, like serious reading, are at risk; we read less and skim more as the Internet occupies more of our lives. And there’s a link between selfhood and reading slowly, rather than scanning for quick information, as the Web encourages us to do. Recent work in sociology and psychology suggests that reading books, a private experience, is an important aspect of coming to know who we are.


Zach Galifianakis’ ‘Hangover’ ends, but the comedic party keeps rolling

(GIFs courtesy clarence-odbody)

Zach Galifianakis warned Brian Williams that viewers would turn off a long interview piece with the actor if it aired on “Rock Center.” But after watching several candid minutes with the comedian and “Hangover” star on Friday night, it was hard not to be left wanting more.

See the full interview.

I’m quite concerned that in the future someone might not know what author they’re reading. You see that with music. You would think in the information age it would be the easiest thing to know what you’re listening to. That you could look up instantly the music upon hearing it so you know what you’re listening to, but in truth it’s hard to get to those services.

I was in a cafe this morning where I heard some stuff I was interested in, and nobody could figure out. It was Spotify or one of these … so they knew what stream they were getting, but they didn’t know what music it was. Then it changed to other music, and they didn’t know what that was. And I tried to use one of the services that determines what music you’re listening to, but it was a noisy place and that didn’t work. So what’s supposed to be an open information system serves to obscure the source of the musician. It serves as a closed information system. It actually loses the information.

So in practice you don’t know who the musician is. And I think that’s what could happen with writers. And this is what we celebrate in Wikipedia is pretending that there’s some absolute truth that can be spoken that people can approximate and that the speaker doesn’t matter. And if we start to see that with books in general – and I say if – if you look at the approach that Google has taken to the Google library project, they do have the tendency to want to move things together. You see the thing decontextualized.

Jaron Lanier in interview with Salon
I think the radio will change-– and the sooner the better. Because no matter what way you look at it, the most pleasurable experiences you ever have is when something’s played to you you don’t know. Like going round to a friend’s house and they’ll stick a tune on you. Or going into a store when I was a kid and the new Smiths record’s come out and I’m going up to the guy-– and he’s really cool, the indie store in town-– and just talking to him about music for 20 minutes.
Thom Yorke talks to Alec Baldwin (!) about music discovery and so much more in this great interview from Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing” radio show. (via pitchfork)