Oliver Sacks, "The Machine Stops" (2019) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/the-machine-stops

« [People trapped in social media] have given up, to a great extent, the amenities and achievements of civilization: solitude and leisure, the sanction to be oneself, truly absorbed, whether in contemplating a work of art, a scientific theory, a sunset, or the face of one’s beloved. »

Sacks bemoans the end of civilisation just because people no longer read Jane Austen and stare into their mobiles. But he doesn't tell us how reading Jane Austen could help understand a changed culture like ours. What he really laments about in this obsolete form of cultural criticsm is that he can no longer recognise and understand the people around him anymore. But instead of conflating that with the end of civilisation he should rather think about what a contemporary cultural criticism could look like, esp. one that doesn't fear today's technology.

@simsa04 WHile I agree with bits od the sentiment, there is a sense of privilege there which is more representative of the "old civilisation" than literature. How many people actually read Austen as a young girl, or Hume when they're 18?

Like all forms of rebellion, disruption is often against the lack of engagement, support & understanding from the rest of society to begin with. As I get older, I realise that it's up to me to integrate with and handover to younger generations, not vice versa.

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