David Roberts spent 12 hours in front of a screen everyday, frequently hit the daily tweet limit, and saw “every sunset as a potential Instagram.” So he decided to quit the internet for a year and lived to tell the tale for Outside. Yet disconnecting isn’t as easy as signing off Twitter. “One striking feature of the digital-self-help literature is that it treats distraction, overload, and frazzlement almost entirely as personal challenges. If you’re stressed out and unable to concentrate, you’re not enlightened enough. Meditate harder.” Pair with: What’s it like to be from the last generation to remember life before the internet and our own Edan Lepucki’s (slightly shorter) social media detox.
“You could call Zero K a grand summation of DeLillo’s career themes and prose stylings. You could also call it recycling.” Tony Tulathimutte reviews Don DeLillo’s “techno-prophetic novel,” Zero K. To revisit DeLillo’s prior work, check out David Rice’s review of The Angel Esmeralda.
Over at The New Inquiry, Alison Kinney writes on narrative opportunity, the true function of the literary orphan, and the rage of the real orphan. This moving piece by Matthew Salesses for The Millions on adoption and searching for oneself in a strange place is a nice complement.
“McDonald’s, I am here and I am hungry, feed me, let me eat it all and let me eat it now! Oh, what a hymn, what a hallelujah you sing to me, two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.” Michael Murray imagines “Jack Kerouac‘s Lost Restaurant Reviews” for Hazlitt and they are absolute joys.
It’s 2014, but we still don’t have self-driving cars despite Isaac Asimov’s predictions. In 1964, Asimov contemplated what the world would be like 50 years later. He was fairly accurate according to David Wogan at Scientific American. “Asimov got a lot right…about how technology keeps advancing at a rapid clip, freeing humans from mundane and routine tasks. It’s the Google-fication of everything.”