“How to Write Yourself Into Existence”

“How to Write Yourself Into Existence,” a piece by faculty member David Shields, appears online at The New York Times.


There appear to be three distinct phases that most new technologies undergo. At first, the computer was so big and expensive that only national governments had the resources to build and operate one. Only the military and a handful of universities had multiroom-size computers. A little later, large corporations with substantial research budgets, like I.B.M., developed computers. The computer made its way into midsize businesses and schools. Not until the late ’70s and early ’80s did the computer shrink enough in size and price to be widely available to individuals. (Roughly the same pattern has played out with access to mass communication, access to high-quality printing, Humvees, G.P.S., the Web, hand-held wireless communications, etc. )

The individual has now risen to the level of a mini-government or mini-corporation. Via YouTube and Twitter, each of us is our own mini-network...[Keep Reading]…

David is the author of How Literature Saved My Life (2013, Knopf).


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