The Eavesdropper: Saving the lost art of conversation. Sherry Turkle, MIT’s digital psychologist, (an academic interested in the relationship between humans and machines) has an enlightening interview with Atlantic’s Megan Garber. Conversation is messy, full of pauses, interruptions and topic changes, she admits. So Turkle and Garber take us on a tour through a local Apple stores, noting that everybody’s talking, but nobody’s talking about anything except what’s on the machines—to prove her point. My protégé recently responded quite affirmatively to my comment that techies are usually the poorest conversationalists in an organization, especially when compared with folk in, say. . . marketing. But I have no complaints. Their inadequacies brought in big consulting bucks. In her new book she’s going to “out” herself as a “partisan of conversation.” Why do you think that’s actually important? I can give you a pot full of reasons.
In a formal recant, Ross Douthat gives us Confessions of a Columnist. I suspect he’s taking a tip from David Brooks’ paean for humility. Douthat intrigues us with several important big mistakes which he made in 2013. He told us, in effect, that he’s a poor predictor. . .