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The Digital Triptych

A millennial recently bragged to my friend that he no longer has much reason to leave the comfort of his basement office. There, he enjoys a tri-screen computer setup and can simultaneously manage his business, view porn, and compete in online gaming tournaments from a single cushioned reclining chair. Continue Reading »

Cryogenic Monks

Don DeLillo's novels suggest that the fundamental yearning that underlies all action, the creation and the destruction of civilizations, is the yearning to escape personal mortality. But the feats of modern science have tempted some to believe that science can defy human mortality altogether. Continue Reading »

Supple Mind

The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousnessby david gelernterliveright, 320 pages, $26.95 What in the end makes The Tides of Mind a brave and exemplary book is not so much Gelernter’s conclusions as his method. It has become fashionable among computationalists and others to argue . . . . Continue Reading »

Look At Me

Even if the Church could keep screens out of her sanctuaries, people strongly attached to them would still be people poorly positioned to take advantage of what the Church has to . . . . Continue Reading »

Repurposing Europe

For the Frenchmen who lived through World War II, the defining event of their lives was quintessentially political. It was the great refusal, embodied by General Charles de Gaulle, to accept the defeat of June 1940. With that refusal came a determined commitment to reestablish national sovereignty. . . . . Continue Reading »

Fie Upon Phi

A venerable rule of predication is that certain words—or, at least, certain homonymous terms—admit of univocal, equivocal, and analogical acceptations. That is to say, there are times when a term has precisely the same meaning in two or more discrete instances of its use: say, “blue” as . . . . Continue Reading »

Swiping for Soul Mates

Previous generations of Americans married the boy or girl next door—literally. According to one study from 1932, one-third of married couples grew up within five blocks of each other. But things have changed. Now, boy and girl are matched by an app; boy texts girl. Girl schedules a meeting. Or she . . . . Continue Reading »

Mobile Technology: A Complication in the Human Condition

On the surface, this is another book about how smartphones disrupt conversation. It draws from social science studies and a raft of interviews to confirm what we already knew through experience. But the book is important because it captures the other 90 percent of the iceberg: how smartphones preempt solitude and the essential connection between solitude and conversation.

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