The opposite of the internet isn’t a book but a school

Idea. That knowledge on the internet is all “lateral” and no amount of reading it will result in depth, but any amount of habitually reading it will result in considerable breadth.

(Corollary: books are naturally creators or enablers of depth and not breadth. With a book, a person is stranded on a topic, while the internet is always offering detours and escapes.)

(Counterargument: the opposite of the internet isn’t a book but a school, where there is a an authority over you and other students along with you… The internet, as well as the library, is for autodidacts and most of us don’t know how to be autodidacts.)

Idea. That “at the computer one thinks computer things.” In the church one thinks church things, and in the grocery one thinks grocery things, and so forth, but at the computer it is concealed one is thinking of computer things: you feel you are just thinking. This is the opposite of activities that really cause you to think of things utterly unrelated to it, like walking.

Idea that in literature you strive not for an ideal world, but one in which our real selves without surfaces encounter each other. In writing we try to locate and express those real selves, a preliminary step to utopia, which can probably never be taken.

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