The Shock of the Now

A couple of things I noticed while reading some potential material for the next issue of What’s Next. The first is a review of the Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen. The book starts off with a not so gentle suggestion that readers forget about lightly skimming the book on a Kindle or other such sterile screen: “If you’re reading this in a screen, fuck off.”

The second is a passage from a book called Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. He asked whether we’ve “been through some trauma we didn’t know about? Was the noise and speed of modern life the trauma for our caveman brains?” Or is it that “life was a kind of war that most people didn’t see?”

This chimes with a passage from my own book Digital Vs. Human:

“So have we invented any new fears of late? Is it the warp speed of geopolitical change that’s unsettling us? Is technology creating a new form of digital disorder that’s disorientating, or is it something else?”

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