Friday, July 1, 2011

Three Signs of Cultural Decay: The Anthropological Crisis

A friend relayed a story of a meeting at the school where he teaches that covered changes in the library. Surprisingly, the focus was on introducing and adding new technology that would serve to entertain the students. It was as though books were forgotten as a relic of the past. I have heard similar rumors at the university where I teach that the library would stop collecting physical books and focus on adding electronic copies that students can check-out electronically and read on their computers. It may be a less expensive option for administrators, but it will make it harder for an education to be an introduction to reality and work as a tool for our freedom. This is a sign of a crisis where we fail to understand our needs and desires.

A Country Without Libraries by Charles Simic | NYRBlog | The New York Review of Books

The proposal to make search engines neutral may sound good at first glance, but it gives the government the ability to determine the results you see when you conduct a search on Google or Bing. Although the searches online are biased and work to increase the revenue for Google or Microsoft, allowing the government to make these decisions is a dangerous precedent that would further increase the cultural power that prevents us from understanding our humanity.

SHEFFIELD: Google gets hammered by monsters it created - Washington Times

David Foster Wallace has some interesting thoughts on what is wrong in our cultural environment, but he does not understand the answer. His thoughts are similar to Walker Percy in his understanding of where we are moving as a country.
‘A Frightening Time in America’: An Interview with David Foster Wallace by Ostap Karmodi | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

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