Critical Linking: May 21, 2012

“Then suddenly, in the 2000s, we saw a spike in far-future stories, many of them about posthuman, postsingular futures. It’s possible that during periods of extreme uncertainty about the future, as the 00s were in the wake of massive economic upheavals and 9/11, creators and audiences turn their eyes to the far future as a balm.”

Seems reasonable. Another interpretation: during times of extreme uncertainty, the present already feels like the future, so to imagine a real “future,” you have to create a version of it that is extremely different from the now.


“But it also crosses my mind that, as an ex-novelist, I could have reassured him that it was okay not to be a novelist, that many people get through life without writing anything at all, and that the literary life, as he should have understood from writing biographies, is often deforming.”

Is there any profession as romanticized as being a writer? Not actor, teacher, nurse, director, musician, painter, nor politician.


“Authors who read their own works take a real risk. Few are professional actors, and oddly, they tend to lack the skills to do justice to their own works. But they do offer a connection with the reader, and some provide happy surprises…”

My favorite audiobooks are generally read by the author. So too are my least favorite…


“A new survey found that more than half of media professionals polled immediately leave a website after encountering a paywall. One-quarter said they were unlikely to return to the site, and 63 percent said that they expect to see no ads after crossing over a paywall.”

Useful info. Quick thought: how representative are “media professionals” of wider sentiment and behaviors in relation to paywalls.


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