Mass surveillance and predictive policing are all the rage. And in the act of performing identity online, ordinary people help make the world more machine-readable. Why do we play along?
Long before Bowe Bergdahl dreamed of military battle, Leo Tolstoy was writing about the seductive nature of war stories and their ability to lure young men to gruesome and early deaths.
She explained how each of his tweets was actually a message to her. Where the man was talking about the movie he’d seen, he was talking about Hannah, and where his dog had done something funny, he also was talking about Hannah.
There’s a discipline to both religious faith and drug addiction: to maintain either of them you have to ritualize your own frustration. You have to continually hold out hope, see yourself disappointed, and offer your hope up again.
If stress makes us sick, all the more reason for us to avoid it; having medical evidence to back this up helps to bolster that argument. But surely we are not so neurotic as a society, so distrustful of our own subjective experience, that we need the supposedly objective ratification of an outside authority to make it seem valid?
Before you read it, you might see a quote from Roberto Bolaño on the back cover: Let’s say, modestly, that Arlt is Jesus Christ. You can ignore the blurb; you can have an original relationship with the book. Maybe this is what you should do.