Monday, October 19, 2015

My Mind and the Machine @3QD

I decided to do something a bit different this time out on 3 Quarks Daily, I decided to indulge myself and write a personal essay – about me! It’s well over a decade that I’ve been reading articles about how the internets are rotting our kids minds: they’re distractible and flit endlessly from bitty little thing to little bitty thing, can’t go for the long-haul essay, New Yorker style, much less a book, oy vey! Well, I’m in the intertubes hours upon hours day after day, I go light on long-form essays – though if one really grabs me, I’ll read it – but I don’t read many books any more.

That’s my starting point. Don’t read books because the web has warped my mind. I don’t believe it of course, but a boy’s got to start somewhere, doesn’t he?

There’s another reason I chose that as my starting point, and I go into this in my essay. Back when I was in graduate school (reading two novels a week, plus secondary literature) – it was in the TV room and library at the house in Allentown – my father told me that he no longer enjoyed reading novels. I’m sure we must have had a little conversation about that, but I don’t remember what we said. My father had loved to read at one time, had a decent library (and an excellent collection of books about golf) and read literary classics to me at bedtime. I assume that he found this lack of interest a bit puzzling, which is why he mentioned it to me, his son who was in effect getting a graduate degree in reading (English literature).

Like father like son it would seem. That’s the premise of my current 3 Quarks Daily post: Have the Internets Rotted My Brain and Wrecked My Mind? Things happen to your mind on the far side of 60, though just what and why is a bit of a mystery.

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