Month: June 2015

Will We Start Rejecting Technology?

At PJ Media, I write more about how the Internet ruins lives and is doing so more frequently. I consider two conceivable reactions in the future: either people will reject digital technology to some degree (though not completely) or they will push for more stringent privacy legislation for the web, such as that in Europe.

Here’s a taste:

Though the Internet has been an important feature of our civilization for years, we are all still figuring out how to cope with its effect on our society, personal lives, and livelihoods. As technology improves, it presents us with new social and ethical problems, which we can never resolve before the new set of problems arrives. The backlog is now evident. At every level of our existence we are thinking about, and often despairing of, technology’s encroachment. You can, if you wish, dismiss this as the hand-wringing of Luddites, but we are still not any closer to answering these valid questions. Each week, for instance, a different writer warns about what automation will eventually do to the global economy, offering dark Victorian scenarios of mass unemployment. Entire industries are dying. Media companies still really don’t know how to make money in the Internet age, despite years of trying different models.

At a more personal level, people are now genuinely frightened of what social media could do to their lives. There is little room for error. An unfashionable view, a careless phrase, an interaction with the “wrong” person, a tasteless joke, a slip-up in politically correct terminology—all could mean consignment to the pile of the unemployed and unemployable. Do you think that Alberto Iber, the (former) principal of a high school in Miami, thought he’d lose his job simply for saying that a white police officer acted appropriately in a recent confrontation with a black teenager?

Shyness vs. Introversion

At PJ Media, I highlight a few of the differences between shy people and introverts:

There are, of course, levels of introversion. It is possible, at least in my amateur opinion, to be an introvert with certain extrovert characteristics, or vice versa. For instance, I am perfectly comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people. I love it, in fact, and don’t tire of it while I’m doing it. So I am in the peculiar situation of being more comfortable in front of crowds than I am inside of them.

I am pleased to see many fellow introverts posting in the comments section, particularly about how their introversion is something with which they are perfectly happy. One person even writes about how his introvert tendencies help him in the practice of law. As a writer, I, too, find my introversion to be a professional boon.

 

Why I Left The Libertarian Movement

At PJ Media, I reflect briefly on why I am no longer an orthodox libertarian:

I used to identify as a libertarian. There are many reasons why I no longer do so. One is the libertarians’ often obsessive attempt to figure out every question in life as if it were a matter of simple algebra: plug in The Perfect Libertarian Axioms and get The One True Answer.

Another reason is a style of debate, common among the younger, orthodox libertarians, that allows for no disagreement without denunciation.

 

 

#BringBackOurBookstores

At PJ Media, I mourn the steady death of chain bookstores:

Borders is gone, as are B. Dalton and Waldenbooks. The market was left wide open for Barnes & Noble, but they chose to downsize. Most recently, the residents of Forest Hills, New York, are trying to save a Barnes & Noble located on Austin Street, a popular spot for eating and shopping. The store is a “community cornerstone,” according to the online petition fighting to keep it.