Reading List: December 8

Looking for some good reads on a Sunday afternoon? We’ve got the goods for you:

Here’s how The Post covered the ‘grand social experiment’ of the Internet in 1988 – Washington Post

As a cub reporter at The Washington Post, Barton Gellman was assigned to cover an obscure but rapidly growing computer network called the Internet. The year was 1988, and a 23-year-old graduate student named Robert Morris had just created the first major “worm,” computer software that spread from computer to computer by exploiting security vulnerabilities. In a Nov.  20 article that reads like a dispatch from a foreign country, Gellman describes the “grand social experiment” of the Internet, where half a million people swap emoticons  engage in flame wars, and trade tips on everything from cooking to computer graphics.”

a culture of seven year olds comic

This So-Called Digital Life: Re-Evaluating the Value of Time Spent in Social Networks – Brian Solis

“There’s a saying…a rising tide floats all boats. Slowly, over the years, I’ve felt the tides of connectivity come in. As a result of social networks, smart phones, pervasive Internet, this tide has floated an always on society. But this rising tide has also washed away a bit of me that valued elements of an unplugged life and human interaction. It’s evolved of course. I’ve changed. Those around me are changing. Every day there’s a growing divide between the connected and those who choose not to rise with the tide.”

The Future of Technology is Human- the Currency Conversation – Medium

“All through my education and career, I’ve heard over and over again that design is a problem solving discipline. We find problems that plague humanity and we solve them. We design for pain-points, but in the process completely forget about joy-points. We don’t design enough for the basic things that make us human. For joy, for emotions, for connections and for conversation.”

Media Diets: Our Most Pretentious Obsession – New Republic

” But if today is the golden age of news, it is also the golden age of the “media diet,” in which bold-faced names of the culturesphere catalog their reading habits for public consumption. First formalized by the Atlantic Wire in 2010, the feature has since cropped up in countless other incarnations—from a flood of personal blogs and Tumblrs to magazine items like AdWeek’s “Information Diet,” which interviews Hollywood B-listers about their favored modes of news acquisition. (John Stamos reports: “It used to be newspapers; now it’s the computer.”)”

Twitter Isn’t Spreading Democracy—Democracy Is Spreading Twitter – The Atlantic

“Until now the dominant story has been that the Internet democratizes. For many, any mention of the Arab Spring immediately calls to mind a “Facebook revolution.” For similar reasons, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State promoted a foreign policy of Internet freedom. And, the mantra that the Internet democratizes everything is repeated over and over in the media. Just in the last few days, for example, herehere, and here.”

Other articles

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About the Contributor

Benjamin Robertson

Benjamin Robertson
Benjamin Robertson is a founding editor at Second Nature. He has worked in advertising for the Chicago Tribune and Gannett, and now is a web developer at Mediacurrent. He studied Communications and Media Studies under Dr. Read Schuchardt at Wheaton College in Illinois. He has presented papers on Marshall McLuhan, media ecology, and Christianity at the Media Ecology Association, National Communication Association, and the McLuhan's Philosophy of Media Centennial Conference in Brussels. He lives with his wife, Ruth, in Greenville, SC. His personal website is

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