Doug Bruns

Posts Tagged ‘The Social Network’

Review of Miscellany

In Books, Reading, Technology, Wisdom on November 5, 2010 at 8:17 am

In a piece called Generation Why? one of my favorite contemporary writers, Zadie Smith, reviews The Social Network in The New York Review of Books. I mentioned it because I found the movie an unlikely favorite, a sort of Melvillian study in obsession, à la Moby Dick, but with a computer replacing the whale.

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There is a terrific article in the current The New Yorker on Daniel Patrick Moynihan‘s collection of correspondence and letters. I confess to infrequently investing in a full reading of a New Yorker article, but this one was different. I knew of Moynihan, of course, but didn’t really know why I knew of him.  Moynihan: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” The piece is a nice introduction. Where are the Moynihans of today?

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My favorite local beer–local or not, always a favorite–is Allagash White. But there is a contender, though not local, but close. Three Philosophers beer from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown. I mention it because of the label description, which reads: “cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.” If one were so inclined, there is an apt and wonderful epitaph.

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In the category: Not yet read but going to read: Hamlet’s Blackberry. As you may know from reading my occasional rants here, I am conflicted over the import of technology on our lives. This book takes up the question. One reviewer, quoted on the author’s homepage, states: “To those dithering over whether to close down Facebook accounts, resign from the Twitterati, and resume a more contemplative and more properly connected life, this remarkable book presents the answers and the validations for which you have been hoping.  William Powers, brave in intent and wise in argument, offers in these pages an oasis of serenity and sanity, a sanctuary from a world fast turning into a limitless digital Sahara.

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There are three blogs I read regularly. I thought I should link them here. There is The Millions, a site for readers. It was here I started my David Foster Wallace Infinite Jest journey. There is The Rumpus, a terrific site for all things cultural (popular). And then, The Nervous Breakdown, an energetic blog of ideas and notions, leaning in the writerly direction. I contribute regularly to The Nervous Breakdown (TNB). To wit, a new essay, “I have no natural capacity for anything.”

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I leave you with a quote: “Doubting pleases me no less than knowing.” ~ Dante

Odds and Ends…

In Creativity, The infinity of ideas, Uncategorized, Writers on October 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

Observed on the corner of Fore and Exchange: An older woman leaning into a younger woman. The older woman asks, “Are you going to return the ring?” The young woman relies: “Hell no. I’m putting it on eBay.”

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Graffiti spotted on the Eastern Prom: “Got a thought?” And in that vein, I love the scene early in the movie, The Social Network, where Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg) sits down at the desk in his dorm room and says to himself, “I need an idea.”

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Moleskine note: an idea has no meaning until you do something with it.

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Quote of Roland Barthes: “What literature is: that I cannot read without pain, without choking on truth.”

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Factoid: On average, every two weeks one of the world’s recorded 7000 languages becomes extinct.

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Darwin did not write “survival of the strongest.” He wrote of the “survival of the most adaptable.”

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Quote, The New York Times: “We have surrendered our independence to a technology we cannot master.”

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And lastly, please consider my review of the new biography of Montaigne, How to Live, linked here (MostelyFictiondotcom).