About Me

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Armchair theorist, poet, and occasional IT manager, Sascha B. is equipped with a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas, and is not afraid to use it. His work has been published by the University Press of America, Edwin Mellen Press, University of Texas Press, and a variety of small journals nationwide. He is also the proprietor and baker for 3141 Pie, of which you should eat many.

The Deal

I stopped blogging in 2013, when life overtook me. My father became ill and died shortly thereafter, and my mother was left with increasing dementia. I became the primary caregiver, and now orchestrate my mother's care and our family estate.

Now, I am coming up for air again.

Looking for the next book to read. All suggestions welcome.

My reading list is over here.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

On Technology, Communication, and Modernity

Direct from the offices of TPM in Washington, DC, this made me sigh:
Across the street from our office, some people have just taped a big paper sign on their balcony that reads "@cliffbot: twitter is down"
You see, if you haven't heard, twitter was the recipient of a Denial of Service attack today.

It's stories like these that reinforce my belief that for all their benefit, our rapid advance toward social networking sites as our sole or primary source of connectivity with people, and our jump to eBooks and Kindle-style digital readers, and even our conversion to mobile phones from landlines has its insidious downside. Technology is, and always will be, vulnerable in ways that have little parallel in the tangible world of paper and presence. Batteries die; networks fail; hackers hack; and when that occurs you have no control over the outcomes.

With the old POTS phone lines, we had about five nines of surety that some sort of service would always be available, even during catastrophic events. The power might go out, but the phone would still work. Not so with your mobile phone, and a digital relay tower, and an earthquake.

for my money, I'll still go buy an old dog-eared book. No one can take it away from me, or edit it without my knowing, and its battery won't ever die. And if I want to share my thoughts about it with a friend, I can meet them for coffee and bring the book.

(of course, here I am blogging, so what does that say about my own idiosyncratic hypocrisy?)