"Why idleness now? Because we are too busy, too frantic; because of the felt acceleration of time. Lightman supplies a measure. “Throughout history,” he writes, “the pace of life has always been fueled by the speed of communication.”
When the telegraph was invented in the nineteenth century, information could be transmitted at the rate of about four bits per second. By 1985, near the beginnings of the public Internet, the rate was about a thousand bits per second. Today, the rate is about one billion bits per second.
We are in principle accessible anywhere, at any time; we can be texted, emailed, tagged: “The world today is faster, more scheduled, more fragmented, less patient, louder, more wired, more public.” There is not enough downtime. So Lightman argues in his brisk, persuasive essay. His snapshots of the relevant social science portray the grim effects of over-connection in our digital age: young people are more stressed, more prone to depression, less creative, more lonely but never really alone. Our time is ruthlessly graphed into efficient units. The walking speed of pedestrians in 32 cities increased by 10 percent from 1995 to 2005."
Just so many great October 11th shows throughout the years.
1970-10-11 - Marion Shea Auditorium, Paterson State College - Wayne, New Jersey
1977-10-11 - Lloyd Noble Center, University of Oklahoma - Norman, Oklahoma
1980-10-11 - Warfield Theater - San Francisco, California
1981-10-11 - Club Melk Weg - Amsterdam, Netherlands
1983-10-11 - Madison Square Garden - New York, New York
1984-10-11 - Augusta Civic Center - Augusta, Maine
1989-10-11 - Brendan Byrne Arena - East Rutherford, New Jersey
Very excited to receive the latest print edition of Plough! Besides my piece on war/Greek Tragedy/healing there are wonderful pieces by Sir Roger Scruton, Sarah Ruden, and Navid Kermani, among others.
You want them to feel shame. If you’re like me, you do. Anthemideae tribe. Hardy, but this vivid during a drought? For shame. Cobbled yellow together like little flickers of coiled cool sunlight preserved from the source undiluted. A frozen detonation nodding in the dry breeze. Not beautiful. Impossible.
"We speak of learning poems by heart, not by mind, for once we have fully absorbed them they are much like our heartbeat, a rhythm we feel within. And when we unscroll “Die Glocke” from within, rather than reading it from the page, we experience it in palpable physical terms. We become the bell founder and bark his brisk orders, then turn away to muse on their ramifications, only to be wrenched back as the bronze begins to bubble. Schiller reinforces this movement, which darts and flits like living thought, by sharp changes in meter. The reflective passages are iambic, the stress landing on the even syllables in a steady reassuring rhythm. But as soon as the bell founder speaks to his apprentices, he shifts to trochaic meter so as to stress his orders--cook the copper, check the mixture, etc."
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor