Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Great Regulars: The point being that long-form TV in particular--

think The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad--has usurped the role of the realistic epic novel that aspires to describe a whole society. Cinema has also stolen the novelist's primary device of showing not telling. You tell by writing, for example, "John was uncertain"; you show by describing his uncertain behaviour. Filthy Rich started out as a description of Pakistani society and ended as a life story in the form of a self-help book. It also tells rather than shows.

In this short- to medium-length novel, [Mohsin] Hamid creates a huge range of unnamed characters and a vast city. Neither the people nor the place need be specified; indeed, it is preferable that they aren't.

from Bryan Appleyard: from the Sunday Times: Mohsin Hamid: Help for the Dislocated Self


More jobs will be destroyed and wealth will become even more concentrated in the top 1% of the population. Our present ­technology produces shrinkage rather than growth.

It need not have happened. [Jaron] Lanier argues convincingly that the design of the net is at fault. It is a one-way system, so the user cannot actually see what is going on. In a two-way system you could, in theory, see everything--every theft of your information, every time your mortgage was traded between banks, and so on.

from Bryan Appleyard: from the Sunday Times: Rage Against the Machines


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