Subjectivity on the Wane

James Shapiro, a famous scholar of Shakespeare at Columbia, honestly talks about what technology did to his reading habits:

This is extremely sad. It’s James Shapiro! A guy who reads for a living.

But it gets worse:

I’m telling you, folks, in a world where focus becomes the rarest of commodities, we’ll have a cognitive elite far beyond anything we can begin to imagine. We’ll have people who not only don’t enjoy being alone with their thoughts for 3-4 hours but who have no idea that it’s even possible. And we’ll also have a small minority that will create fake subjectivities for these invalids. And then sic them at each other for fun.

Well, at least I read 6 novels this month and spent many hours spacing out aimlessly, so there’s some relief on an individual level.

Still Traveling

The problem here in Spain is that I get into a highly productive mood and ready to work around 8 pm local time. Luckily, my conference talk was scheduled at 8:05, so that went great. Other than that, though, I manage to erupt in a torrent of work emails and article edits between 8 and 9:30 pm, and that’s about it.

It’s all worth it, though, because San Sebasti├ín is intensely beautiful.

There are sheep grazing under my balcony. Since there’s nowhere to eat for miles around and the Spanish meal schedules are too confusing anyway, I stare at the sheep, thinking, “Food…” The sheep stare back, clearly thinking, “You wish.”

Hard-working Parrots

It’s very hard to keep holding on to the conviction that these two are homegrown morons and not Russian plants when even in this they so faithfully follow the Russian narrative.

As I pointed out before, the glee over the earthquake deaths suffered by Turkey and Syria has been intense and prolonged in Russia. And it was also pretty instant. I started seeing collective expressions of joy immediately after the news began to come in.

It’s definitely curious how the same individuals in Congress reproduce every Russian meme with the intensity of studious parrots.