Writerly occupational hazard: Mental DDOSs

DDOS: Distributed denial of service. Shutting down an internet server by launching an attack from a number of sources to overwhelm the targeted system with data.

Exposure to the internet amounts to an effective DDOS on your brain.

There’s too much information out there, and the filters — both in terms of search engine devices and user self-discipline — just aren’t up to the task. It appears we humans are hardwired to be seduced by all the supposed opportunities for … Read more

Zombie nation: Shutting down

In my previous post I suggested that persons and cultures, our very realities, are narrative in structure. What happens when you interrupt such narratives? Many of us are finding out, thanks to our increasingly ubiquitous and much-beloved digital communication technologies. There follow two especially obvious ways this is happening.

Applying a cell phone to the side of one’s head in public has the effect of disconnecting the brain. In this condition, cellphone users show characteristic signs of aimlessness, milling about … Read more

New, improved reading experience. Not.

“Alice” fans and critics (see my last post) likely fall into opposing iPad and Kindle/Sony camps. The former will view Alice as a new and improved kind of reading: “Great! It’s just like browsing the Internet.”  The latter — i.e. those who actually enjoy extended reading — will view it with horror: “Whoa! This is just one more patch of digital quicksand.”

In the spirit of deteriorating attention spans and debilitated Muses, and  because it’s way easier than writing … Read more