The event wasn’t supposed to be some run of the mill afternoon of discourse. It was anticipated like an Ali-Frazier bout of verbal sparring, and it featured two thinkers with polarized views about my favorite subject: whether technology is good for the culture.
In one corner of this New Yorker festival production was best-selling novelist and maybe-lovable curmudgeon Jonathan Franzen. He was there to represent a starchy, Luddite view. Franzen is the author of million-selling The Corrections and Freedom (and two other novels!) but others know him best as the man who defied Oprah. In the other corner was media and technology theorist Clay Shirky. Shirky is the only [...]
It was when she asked for my business card that I knew we’d never fall in love. What I had hoped would be a flirtatious conversation quickly became an elevator pitch about her investment bank’s philanthropic efforts in Latin America.
I’ve always been willing to go beyond my comfort zone in dating. Earlier this year, I gladly let an almost-girlfriend coerce me into a Bed, Bath & Beyond trip for high-thread-count bath towels that I neither wanted nor needed. In high school, I saw an inordinate amount of ballet, hip-hop and modern performances for someone whose real interest was West Suburban Silver Conference football. I’ve gamely eaten vegan Mexican food, [...]