Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Donnie Darko soundtrack is depressing me right now

Went to Borders at Union Square last night. The first thing I noticed was that The Washingtonienne's book is out. Predictably, the pages that it fell open to when I grabbed it off the shelf included a discussion of anal sex. [Insert obvious Andy Warhol quote and unoriginal reflections on the downfall of our culture here.]

Books bought, and why:
  • Book: Bowling Alone, by Robert D. Putnam. Why: Because I'm lonely. And because I like pop sociology.
  • Book: Lynch on Lynch, edited by Chris Rodley. Why: For obvious reasons.
Book finished:
A lot of the ideas in this book didn't seem all that new, but that may be a reflection of the pervasive influence of Lessig (and like-minded folk) rather than a sign of banal thinking. Anyone who follows the various tech websites already knows about the never-ending copyright extensions, Napster, Hilary Rosen, the Creative Commons countercounterrevolution, etc. Still, the book usefully collates and gives context to all the Internet happenings of the past few years, and puts into concise words those assumptions that have been behind the online rantings of lesser--or at least more casual--thinkers. For example, the idea that innovation in a network is best facillitated by keeping its intelligence at its outskirts (what Lessig calls "end-to-end") seems like something I already was aware of, but hadn't heard put so well until I read this book. The concept of layers in a network--physical, code, and content--and the possiblity of different levels of control at those different layers was useful. Also, it was interesting to learn what people mean when they discuss the "Tragedy of the Commons," too. In sum, we're very lucky to have someone like Lessig on our side.

Movie watched:
I became a bit uncomfortable watching this with the roommate's girlfriend after it became clear that it would be full of chauvinistic comments. She seemed able to take it in its 1945 context, though. Anyway, lovely little film, kept me in suspense, has a nice twist that I didn't see coming, and Ingrid Bergman is still hot.


At 7:18 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

As far as the books you commented on, I pretty much don't know what you're talking about. But I thought I'd let you know that I'm reading your blog and nodding heartily as if I do. :) How's the running coming along?


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