Cheap art


In the 1980s I worked as a theater critic. I spent a lot of time in expensive Broadway theaters and ambitious nonprofit repertory companies. But some of my most memorable experiences were at street theater events by groups like the San Francisco Mime Troupe and Vermont’s Bread and Puppet Theater. I first saw them in […]

In Defense of Links, part three: In links we trust

linked hands

This is the third post in a three-part series. The first part was Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification. The second part was Money changes everything. Nick Carr, like the rest of the “Web rots our brains” contingent, views links as primarily subtractive and destructive. Links direct us away from where we are to somewhere else […]

Miscellany: SAI, Crooked Timber, MediaBugs and “Inception”

Part Three of “In Defense of Links” coming later this week! Some little stuff in between: I have begun an experiment in crossposting some of my stuff over at Silicon Alley Insider/Business Insider. Same writing, grabbier headlines! As it is, my posts appear here, and then also at Open Salon (where Salon sometimes picks them […]

“Perfecting Sound Forever”: great book on history of recording


I’ve written a bit here about the curse of over-compression in recorded music: For those of us already unhappy with the music industry’s bungling of the transition to digital distribution, here’s another thing we can blame them for. Seeking to have their products “stand out,” they entered a sonic race to the bottom… The irony […]

Does the Web remember too much — or too little?

The End of Forgetting (New York Times)

Jeffrey Rosen’s piece on “The End of Forgetting” was a big disappointment, I felt. He’s taking on important themes — how the nature of personal reputation is evolving in the Internet era, the dangers of a world in which social-network postings can get people fired, and the fuzzier prospect of a Web that prevents people […]