You’ve probably seen a lot of the same articles I have on the web — you know, those achingly stupid pieces about how “the ancient Egyptians communicated in what could be understood as a rudimentary form of social media!” Or, “The relationships between characters in Jane Austen’s novels reflect the ways in which we communicate through social networks!” Nothing is too staggeringly facile or utterly uninformative to be published as long as it somehow references social media, because lord knows, Facebook is the teleological endpoint to which human existence has been striving lo these interminable eons, and Twitter is the ground of all being, through our relationship to which we come to truly know ourselves.
Most of the time, I deal with the brainache by making a drinking game out of Maria Popova’s use of the word “timeless”, and in no time at all, unconsciousness claims me and the torment ends, at least until the next time I open my laptop. But do you know how to recognize when you’ve really spent way too much time obsessing over gadgets and filtering the world through a narrow, tech-related prism? When you write shit like this in earnest:
This is kind of blowing my mind…because of the compression of history, I’d always assumed all these people were around the same age. But in thinking about it, all startups need young people…Hamilton, Lafayette, and Burr were perhaps the Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg of the War.
Yes. The Revolutionary War as a Silicon Valley start-up. What a totally illuminating metaphor that in no way sounds myopic or narcissistic. Holy fuck. Maria, save me.