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  1. Patrick says:

    You present a conundrum: How does one implement a digital sabbatical without missing such thought-provoking blog posts?

    Here, in my college library, we constantly face the fashionable trend of eliminating physical books in favor of embracing cloud-based infotainment. I don’t like it, and I can cite the same sources as you have for why enforced illiteracy is a bad idea. It’s hard to reason against the toxicity of pop-culture with people who don’t read, though.

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  2. mcfeats says:

    Which is why Huxley is the one who really hit the nail on the head. People are not cajoled into pursuing thoughtless activities in BNW (or at least not the Alphas, who are not genetically modified in any serious way). They participate voluntarily. There has to be some impetus to push someone beyond the world of immediate gratification. The desire to do something with one’s life has to outweigh the desire to do nothing with one’s hour.

    Regarding your first statement, I think the design of a social media platform matters. Blogs function more like pages, and they require more active participation from readers. They require effort for writer and reader. Facebook creates the steady stream of changing stimuli full of bells and whistles. No one wants to read a long post on Facebook. The rhythm of consciousness is being controlled by soundbites.

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  3. Richard P says:

    “Feeling lurks in that interval of time between desire and its consummation.” I had to retype that to get it in my head. Very good. — Even on a blog, which doesn’t suffer from the frenzy of more modern social media, I feel the itch to post my reply right away, to get an immediate result. It’s pernicious. The delay enforced by non-digital means of communication promotes feeling, reflection, and depth.

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    1. mcfeats says:

      I was talking about this with my students today. There is no lasting solution. I think it takes a concerted effort, on a daily basis, to create a space for thought—especially for those of us who must use tech for our jobs. Resistance has to be ritualized.

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