Read only what you find interesting
This seems self-evident, but many people: 1) have no idea what they find interesting, or 2) feel that what they find interesting is childish or lowbrow. That may be the case, but who cares? The point of reading is to enjoy reading. No one can tell you what you should enjoy reading, so read what you enjoy. I believe that as time passes your interests will expand into other kinds of writing, but even if that never happens it’s not terribly important.
If the book you’re reading is too embarrassing to carry onto the subway then find something else to do on the subway, or buy a Kindle. All books look the same in the Kindle.
— Fogus, Reading
Ever since I bought a Kindle, I have been reading more and more books and articles, be it Computer Science related 1 or fiction books, and having a device solely for this purpose has given me more insight in what types of material I enjoy reading.
The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.
— James Whittaker, Why I left Google
How a customer opens a box must be one of the last things a typical product designer would consider. Yet for Apple, the inexpensive box merits as much attention as the high-margin electronic device inside. As the last thing customers see before their greatly anticipated device, Apple’s packages are the capstone to a highly honed and exceedingly expensive process. It begins with prototype design, progresses to a collaboration between supply-chain experts who source the components and product managers who coordinate the assembly of hardware and software, and ends with a coordinated marketing, pricing, and retailing plan to get the devices in consumers’ hands.
— Adam Lashinsky, Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired—and Secretive—Company Really Works
Technology Provides an Alternative to Love
Let me toss out the idea that, as our markets discover and respond to what consumers most want, our technology has become extremely adept at creating products that correspond to our fantasy ideal of an erotic relationship, in which the beloved object asks for nothing and gives everything, instantly, and makes us feel all powerful, and doesn’t throw terrible scenes when it’s replaced by an even sexier object and is consigned to a drawer.
To speak more generally, the ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes — a world of hurricanes and hardships and breakable hearts, a world of resistance — with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self.
Let me suggest, finally, that the world of techno-consumerism is therefore troubled by real love, and that it has no choice but to trouble love in turn.
— Johnathan Franzen, Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts
The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We’re All Going To Miss Almost Everything
Roger Ebert recently wrote a lovely piece about the idea of being “well-read,” and specifically about the way writers aren’t read as much once they’ve been dead a long time. He worries – well, not worries, but laments a little – that he senses people don’t read Henry James anymore, that they don’t read Sinclair Lewis, that their knowledge of Allen Ginsberg is limited to Howl.
It’s undoubtedly true; there are things that fade. But I can’t help blaming, in part, the fact that we also simply have access to more and more things to choose from more and more easily. Netflix, Amazon, iTunes – you wouldn’t have to go and search dusty used bookstores or know the guy who works at a record store in order to hear most of that stuff you’re missing. You’d only have to choose to hear it.
You used to have a limited number of reasonably practical choices presented to you, based on what bookstores carried, what your local newspaper reviewed, or what you heard on the radio, or what was taught in college by a particular English department. There was a huge amount of selection that took place above the consumer level. (And here, I don’t mean “consumer” in the crass sense of consumerism, but in the sense of one who devours, as you do a book or a film you love.)
Now, everything gets dropped into our laps, and there are really only two responses if you want to feel like you’re well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender.
— Linda Holmes, The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We’re All Going To Miss Almost Everything