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Author Topic: Distraction and Obsession  (Read 1274 times)
Joe Carillo
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« on: May 30, 2009, 12:40:08 AM »

This week we are featuring two very interesting articles for your off-hours reading:

1. Sam Anderson’s very timely piece, “In Defense of Distraction: Twitter, Adderall, lifehacking, mindful jogging, power browsing, Obama’s BlackBerry, and the benefits of overstimulation,” which came out in the May 17, 2009 issue of New York Magazine.

“In Defense of Distraction” begins:

“I. The Poverty of Attention

“I’m going to pause here, right at the beginning of my riveting article about attention, and ask you to please get all of your precious 21st-century distractions out of your system now. Check the score of the Mets game; text your sister that pun you just thought of about her roommate’s new pet lizard (“iguana hold yr hand LOL get it like Beatles”); refresh your work e-mail, your home e-mail, your school e-mail; upload pictures of yourself reading this paragraph to your “me reading magazine articles” Flickr photostream; and alert the fellow citizens of whatever Twittertopia you happen to frequent that you will be suspending your digital presence for the next twenty minutes or so…”

Read Sam Anderson’s “In Defense of Distraction” in full now

2. Robert McCrum’s “The Masterpiece That Killed George Orwell,” a retrospective on George Orwell, whose book, 1984, is considered one of the most significant novels of the 20th century. This article came out in the May 10, 2009 issue of The Observer in the UK.

“The Masterpiece That Killed George Orwell” begins:

“‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’

“Sixty years after the publication of Orwell's masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, that crystal first line sounds as natural and compelling as ever. But when you see the original manuscript, you find something else: not so much the ringing clarity, more the obsessive rewriting, in different inks, that betrays the extraordinary turmoil behind its composition.

“Probably the definitive novel of the 20th century, a story that remains eternally fresh and contemporary, and whose terms such as “Big Brother,” “doublethink,” and “newspeak” have become part of everyday currency, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been translated into more than 65 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide, giving George Orwell a unique place in world literature…”

Read Robert McCrum’s “The Masterpiece that Killed George Orwell” in full now

Enjoy your off-hours reading!


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