Memex to the present
By Christopher P. Winner
Now, however, such quasi-philosophical and socioeconomic thinking may no longer be optional. Questions abound.
How will connectedness influence future government and human relationships, since many such relationships are now forged and maintained virtually, with public interaction often less regular and the distinction between social and antisocial behavior losing its distinction?
Will cultural and political criticism that increasingly depends on snap judgments permit any form of objective detachment, whether in law or politics?
As democratized thinking continues to welcome all incoming information, and likewise ideas, will the growing thicket allow for perspective?
With rambling populists including Beppe Grillo and French National Front leader Marine Le Pen as well as online-friendly figures such as Renzi putting casual irreverence ahead of stodgy ancien rιgime political discourse, how will future statesmanship be defined and function? What, aside from transmitted tidbits, will permit any politician to stand out?
Is the ever-widening catalogue of choice and options further civilizing the human condition or generating unconscious anxiety based on a "too-muchness" few choose to recognize?
Will the instantaneous sharing of extreme global suffering make populations more sensitive to such suffering, and determined to extinguish it, or will they instead behave only as voyeurs who then return to private concerns, reasoning as the late Susan Sontag did in 2002 that the awfulness to which they are made instantly privy is "too vast, too irrevocable, too epic to be much changed by any local, political intervention."
In the waning months of World War I, fiery nationalist Gabrielle d'Annunzio scored a propaganda coup.
Progress in LGBT rights remains painfully limited in Italy, but the underlying reasons suggest a change in approach.
Rolling Stone's University of Virginia rape story fiasco has hurt both women and journalism.
Family dynamics can help make sense of conflicts that seem stuck in adolescence.
Vladimir Putin may be a barbarian to the West, but his Crimea move wasn't premeditated.