When a star athlete gets in trouble, as Michael Vick has done recently, one thing that commentators often say is that, out of a sense of misplaced loyalty, the athlete (often from a poor, black background) has hung onto the wrong friends and the wrong values. I do not think that Michael Vick's troubles are due to the machinations of the white power structure. Rather, they're due to his brutality. But this particular response - call it the anti-loyalty objection - has racist undertones and deploys a horrendous set of distorted values, revealing if nothing else the moral blankness and slavish viciousness of, um, white people. We've seen it dozens of times - for example, when Carmelo Anthony participated in a anti-snitching video, or when Alan Iverson got busted with a gun in his home state (and Vick's) of Virginia. Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post: "Vick was so concerned with staying true to his roots that no amount of paternalistic lecturing from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank could persuade him to dump his old associations. . . . He never really got away from the place he grew up." I don't mean to pick on Jenkins; her approach is typical. Like many sports writers, she sticks scare-quotes around "keeping it real," and calls on young wealthy gifted black men to transcend their pathetic past, and, I suppose, accept white "paternalism". Now that they've got money, they should, I suppose, also buy new friends, new families, perhaps race-change surgery. But a life without loyalty is neither possible nor desirable. It is not recognizably human. The fact that you grew up poor, black, surrounded by crime does not mean that you have fewer connections or debts of gratitude or less love for the people you grew up with or who helped you grow up. Quite the reverse. It may seem obvious that there are good people and bad people and that if you grew up with good people in a good neighborhood you should show those people loyalty, while if you grew up with bad people in a bad neighborhood, you should escape and never look back. The truth is always more complicated than that. All of us were raised in morally mixed circumstances by and with morally complex people. If we are loyal to them anyway, that only shows that we retain some fundamental decency. You might not like the look of an entourage of large black people who dress flashily and speak ebonics. To a nice white lady like Sally Jenkins, these folks may seem threatening and thuggish, uneducated and potentially criminal. But you don't know what these people have gone through together, or what connections there really are between them. You don't know what they owe each other. It may seem obvious that we want children and the adults they grow into to buy into the structures of authority that surround them. We want them to tell those authorities when their friends are committing dangerous crimes, for example. Some schools maintain drop boxes for anonymous denunciations. But when you get down to it, every decent person hates a snitch, for very good reasons. Life would be intolerable if everyone was reporting everyone's minor transgressions. Banding together to withhold information from authority unites groups of people, and if it didn't happen, every little school and every little town would be an absolutist nightmare. Loyalty has to include not reporting people for breaking various rules or laws, up to a certain point of seriousness. As I say to my students, any college kid who reported every instance of underage drinking that she sees would deserve at a minimum to be ridiculed and left friendless. People who cover up other people's crimes may cause great damage. But people who effortlessly identify with the authorities and their rules are the merest Eichmanns. It's hard to decide when your friends have gone too far, but institutions and governments and laws go too far as well. And if you put institutions and laws ahead of family and friends, you are a moral nightmare , and you are preparing us all for further nightmares. So Michael Vick's problem is not that he is too loyal to his friends, or even to some features of the lifestyle in which he grew up. It's that people - wherever they're from - shouldn't torture dogs.
Crispin Sartwell teaches philosophy bat Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
here dan balz mounts another proof that the emptiness of the rhetoric of politicians is at least matched by the emptiness of the coverage of politics. in the evolving debate about, um, change, there are distinctly separately different, um, styles. when america figures out what change stylings are beautifulest, a nominee will emerge, no doubt.
The Democratic nomination battle has rapidly evolved into a debate
about change, but in Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards,
Democratic voters have distinctly different styles to choose from. The
question is, who best fits what the country wants.
Those negotiations need to deal with all real and alleged facets of
Iran’s many dangerous behaviors: its nuclear ambitions; its sectarian
meddling in Iraq;
thus the times today, echoing the administration line. but obviously, it's hard to condemn a next-door neighbor's "meddling" when you've invaded, conquered, and occupied a country on the other side of the globe, and when you're dealing with a sunni suicide insurgency that thinks killing everybody is a strategy.
with no particular respect to anne kornblut, this is everything that is wrong with american politics. it's the utterly empty claptrap about "framing" that makes some professional rhetoricians from communications departments or idiot media reps or media consultants reduce a campaign to "change" or whatever, or make it look like the purpose and essence of political leadership is to mutter some little phrase over and over. it's false to the real tactics and what's at stake, but worse than all that, it is insanely, pointedly boring. ps, i will keep america safe.
With Bush's approval ratings at historic lows, almost everyone on
both sides agrees that the race could be summed up at this point in a
single word: change. But a change to what?
Will 2008 boil down to
continuing the U.S. commitment to the Iraq war and simply changing the
commander in chief who's waging it, as several of the Republican
candidates hope? Or will it be about a more radical sort of change -- a
shift to the first female president, to the first African American
president, to a new generation of leadership or even to a third-party
Will the electorate's primary consideration be
competence and experience, after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina
and its mournful aftermath? Do voters want to relaunch the 21st
century? To catapult forward into a different era? Or to return to the
easier and more prosperous days of the 1990s?
Appearing at a forum for gay voters on August 9, the top Democratic candidates, with many a hem and a haw, restated their opposition to gay marriage. Among many symptoms of the deep cowardice and entirely compromised ethics of the party, this is as clear as any. If you have any notion that people deserve equal basic rights, if you have any commitment to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, if you have any reservations about treating certain groups as second-class citizens, if you were ever inspired by the words of King, then you must be in favor of gay marriage. At one point in the debate, Obama, declining to endorse marriage in response to a question from the pop singer Melissa Etheridge, said "I am a leader now" on gay rights. And, as Dorothy Parker might put it, I am the Queen of Rumania. If this were 1960, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, and (believe it or not) Barack Obama would mouth the language of equality, integration, and Christian love, boldly declaring their own leadership as they rejected the core demands of the Civil Rights movement for things like, say, voting rights. I assume that these four candidates all privately support gay marriage; it is the only position on the issue that has any consonance with their constantly-mouthed basic political values. So I assume that their public pronouncements are simply false; that they're misrepresenting their own convictions. But it's a difficult dilemma: either they are genuinely committed to bigotry and a policy that enforces it, or they are misrepresenting their own egalitarian beliefs, feeling that endorsing equal basic rights would keep them from getting elected. There is no third possibility, and either is enough to refute a political life, to indicate that these people don't deserve any position of public trust. The cowardice of Democrats is a theme of our political era. You'd think, with a series of political successes behind them - including taking control of Congress - and the prospect of more in the offing, they would be, in the current military phrase "emboldened." You'd think, even for the most calculating and convictionless politician, now would be the time to delineate and endorse a basic set of values. But nothing really serves to embolden the shy little bunny rabbits and yipping lap dogs that the Democratic party daily parades before the public. They can still be railroaded into any compromise of basic American liberties, as in the vote as they went to recess to empowering Alberto Gonzales and company to spy on Americans. Meanwhile, they condemn Gonzales for his lies and equivocations before Congress about these very same surveillance programs. I'd like to see Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel - the two Democratic candidates who endorse gay marriage - start to poll in double digits. Not only would this be an indication that Democratic voters have more conviction than their major candidates, it would put pressure on the major candidates to try to square their policies with their professed values. At any rate, I think it's fair to say that no civil rights movement has ever basically succeeded through the political process; it takes decades after conscience has spoken for the American political system to catch up. Lincoln was still opposing the abolition of slavery as the Civil War began. The NAACP and the civil rights movement had to force equal rights and integration onto the government agenda by decades of hard work. It took the American feminist movement a century to achieve even suffrage. And we should expect the same with regard to the gay rights movement: there will be lots of hard work, slogging state to state, dragging the system kicking and screaming into some sort of consistency. But if you expect political figures to lead on this sort of thing, you're barking up the wrong country.
Crispin Sartwell teaches philosophy at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.
i'm straight as the dick is long, and even at times describe myself as "homophobic." (the origins of this would take a long time to describe.) but to me, the fact that hillary, obama, edwards etc can't just endorse gay marriage is sufficient to eliminate them as possible recipients of my vote at any time. it's as clear a civil rights issue as jim crow, though not as great an injustice. these people are fucking pathetic, utterly without guts or conviction.
i think that filesharing has to be a kind of bottom-line issue for any libertarian/anarchist/fan of actual democracy or freedom. so check this and this and this:
Barney and Harry Reid By Crispin Sartwell
The Senate recently passed legislation enlisting colleges by law in the effort to police p2p networks and file-sharing, to prevent "piracy" by their students of music, movies, and for that matter, books. Now one might wonder exactly why Harry Reid, who introduced the amendment, then tempered it when there was an outcry from college administrators, is concerned about campus filesharing. To find out, you might consider the patronage of the Democratic party by the entertainment industry. According to The Chronicle of Education, Reid's measure "called on the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America to draft annual lists of the 25 colleges receiving the most notices of copyright infringement. Those colleges would face a choice: Either use technological tools to block peer-to-peer file sharing, or risk forfeiting federal student aid." The punitive portions of the amendment were withdrawn after college officials reacted with outrage, though it is likely that similar measures will be slipped into various bills in the future. One might wonder how in the world or why in the world Reid or these trade organizations believe that colleges should be in the business of enforcing the copyrights of Hollywood studios. The reasons given by the institutions for not wanting this sort of regulation are that it would be costly and outside their purview or expertise, burdensome and likely ineffective. True. But I hope that this has got college administrators quietly wondering about the whole notion of piracy, and about the role or function of copyright in relation to the educational mission of their institutions. Offhand, it would seem odd for an educational institution to oppose disseminating or sharing information; that, and not football, dorm life, or counseling services, would seem to be the irreplaceable essence of education, its business end, if you see what I mean. From what we might call a purely educational point of view, it is obviously vastly preferable for information to be perfectly liquid than coagulated or knotted or monopolized. Even films and music contain important information and are the subjects of pedagogy and academic research. That textbooks can cost $100 a pop represents not just the unfortunate result of a property claim to information, but a concrete barrier to education. Google's idea of putting whole gigantic academic libraries online for free - a project from which they've retreated bit by bit because of pressure from publishers and other copyright-holders - would obviously be entirely desirable from the point of view of education: it's the wet dream of a Milton or a Dr. Johnson. The function of copyright with regard to this project is merely to present a barrier; in the age when all forms of communication can be digitalized, copyright might have certain functions, but for research and teaching, the functions of a university, it is merely a problem, literally a cost. In scientific research, there may be a phase of competition during which you don't want other practitioners working along your lines; you want to publish first; you don't give the information away, and when you are finished it is to some extent owned: by yourself or by your institution or funding agencies. But this phase, though perhaps unavoidable, is all things considered unfortunate, and if the various labs were co-operating they would be likely to make faster progress. And if, at the end of this process, you refuse to share your detailed procedures, or patent and manufacture the only equipment that can reproduce your experiments, then you've turned from science to an authoritarian model of knowledge. Rather than enforcing anti-sharing rules, colleges ought to be investing in and exploring the potentials involved in filesharing software and sites. Much of the content that an institution of higher education provides is also already available on the internet, and colleges had better get about the business of sorting it, evaluating it, a re-presenting it, the sort of thing their expertise is good for. In the immortal words of Barney, sharing is caring.
i think this misses the point. actually, first, the evidence given is a long way from confirming 200,000 weapons in the hands of whomever. but, whom? well surely the shia paramilitaries who are connected to the government, not for the most part the "insurgents," i.e. sunni forces.
I don't believe in God or the afterlife, and in a mild way I'm enjoying the rising tide of atheism. Though there have always been strident skeptics about religion, the current crop - Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris - are particularly forceful and clear. But their arguments are incredibly simplistic and self-congratulatory. The recent bumper crop of atheists contrast faith with reason, superstition with science, fanaticism with freedom. They blame religion for most of the nightmares of human history, and credit science with leading us out of the darkness. In short, they explain an incredibly rich and complicated history by throwing up a single dualism. But "reason" and "science" are extremely complex phenomena, not simple canons of clarity or good sense. They themselves rest on certain varieties of faith. Reason and science arise in particular cultural contexts and display those origins in their results. And though obviously religion has often swallowed up whole cultures in incomprehensible conflagrations justified by sheer mumbo-jumbo, reason and science (whatever these are, exactly) may doom the planet entirely, extinguishing life on earth and leaving it a sterile rock hurtling meaninglessly through the void. At the origin of science is an overwhelming faith: that we can find the truth and should try. William James, in his great defense of faith "The Will to Believe," says this: "Our belief in truth itself, for instance, that there is a truth, and that our minds and it are made for each other,--what is it but a passionate affirmation of desire, in which our social system backs us up?" Of course, many a thinker with a vivid sense of human limitations has denied that our minds are capable of finding the truth. That there is a truth and that we can come to know it: these are claims that could not possibly be scientifically proven, since science massively presupposes them. Or consider the most basic principles of logic, for example the principle of non-contradiction: if a proposition is true then it is not false, and vice versa. Now can this principle be proven logically? Only by making other assumptions without grounds. Logic presupposes but cannot justify principles like that. If a claim can be both true and false (and believe it or not, many philosophers have argued that this is possible), then an argument for non-contradiction cannot even begin. In other words, the basic principles on which rationality rests are themselves necessarily adopted irrationally. And I think that you can see the faith underneath the work of the New Atheists, see the passion, the resentment, the need, the particular biographies that drive the polemic. They have arguments, but underneath the arguments are the sort of contingent experiences that drive every belief. The logical structures they raise are not at the heart of their skepticism. At the heart is resentment, or fear, or an expression of the need for power or superiority. At the heart is a particular kind of intellectual training in a culture obsessed with technological control of the world. The origins of their belief is, in short, more or less like the origins of religious belief, because every belief is the product of a real and complex subjectivity in a rich social situation and a bewildering environment, a welter of emotions and reasons, needs and strategies to meet them. The claim that, unlike Christian or Muslim dolts, New Atheists believe only for good reasons, is not only false but an attempt to cease taking responsibility for their own beliefs, which are now attributed not to themselves but to the giant benevolent abstractions of reason and science, as once one might have attributed one's beliefs to the Church. One strategy to justify religious skepticism is pragmatic. Though the foundations of reason and science may themselves be unjustifiable, there is no doubting their effectiveness. Prayer is a useless wishing, but science leads directly to effective control of the environment. Now what it means for a belief to "work" and whether to take that as a mark of truth: these are debates within which ultimately there can be no reasons, because they concern the nature of reasons. The Dark Ages sucked. But then, so did the age of the Gatling gun, Zyklon B, and the atomic bomb. Hitchens argues that, for example, the Soviet Union and its death-dealing policies - such as the collectivization of agriculture - are analogous to religion: an irrational cult of Stalin rather than Jesus. But this seems to be the product of a fanatical faith that every historical disaster has its roots in religion. The Soviet Union regarded its Marxist ideology as scientific, and concentrated on nothing so much as the technological transformation of its environment. We human beings are messy creatures, and the things each human being believes emerge from a particular mess. This is no less true of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens than it is of Pope Benedict, Osama bin Laden, and Pat Robertson.
Crispin Sartwell teaches philosophy at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.
yo help! i wonder whether any of you can help me turn a kind of lame joke into a column by writing some sick blurbs. wikitorial.
My wife Marion has been ecstatically reading a book about Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress. “One of the blurbs says that ‘this book takes over your life,'” she said, “and it’s really true.” I haven’t read the book and intend not to, partly because I don't intend to cede my life to any bundle of ink-stained cardboard and paper, even one with sex and architecture. But evidently it’s a real page-turner. You can’t put it down. Indeed, for me the blurb has killed all other forms of literature. I can’t read books at all anymore, because as I read I start blurbing in my head. There is nothing left, nothing: only the blurb. Perhaps the genre of today is not the novel - not even the non-fiction pseudo-novel or the amazing story of sawdust, the stuff that changed everything – but the blurb itself. On the other hand, if the blurb becomes the sole remaining genre, we are going to have to commit ourselves to excellence and innovation. I offer these blurbs, free, to any publisher, to use on any book, over my name and degrees. “A vicious little martinet of a book." "Reading this book shows us what it would be like to be illuminated by the voice of God, if God had written an emotionally wrenching historical novel about Benedict Arnold's dog." "I couldn't put this book down. Finally, using solvents, I got it off my hands but it stuck to my face: I could see almost nothing, think of almost nothing else for days." "I simply couldn't stop until the very last page. Faithful Dog of the Traitor is a long book and I am a slow reader. When they found me, I was emaciated, lying in a pool of my own excrement. They hydrated me intravenously." "This book will remain with me forever. I couldn't burn it; evidently, it is impervious to fire. I tried tearing it to little pieces, eating it, shredding it, taking an axe to it, hitting fungoes with it, using it as skeet." "You might think that a dog is an unlikely hero for a military romance set in the 18th c. If so, you haven't been to a bookstore lately." “This book takes you on an amazing journey of memory, yearning, and imagination, to a realm outside of space and time themselves, an elegiac world that constitutes the very essence of human emotion. ” “Reading A Natural History of Sawdust: the Crap that Saved the World was like having sex with Marilyn Monroe and then with Rita Hayworth, and then with both of them together. All I can say is ‘wow.’” “Once in a generation you come across a book so powerful that it crushes your head like a grape, leaving you a twitching, babbling idiot. This is such a book.”“ “Like floating in an ocean of Dinty Moore Beef Stew.” “Like being tickled by a thousand mischievous little leprechauns.” “Like simultaneously sneezing and having an orgasm.” “If Jorge Luis Borges and John Grisham were to get married and then adopt an autistic child, this book would be that child.” “This book throws you down and rapes you, repeatedly, with incredible sneering brutality, as you scream in simultaneous agony and ecstasy. Simply, it makes you its bitch."
watcha been lookin at, crispy? well when we were up in massachusetts, ma and i visited the norman rockwell museum. i came away convinced again that rockwell was america's genius of visual communication: profound, amusing, clear, smart, and always fundamentally kind. and as a handler of paint and a draughtsman, he has no superiors. he is comparable to figures such as twain and whitman, and connected to them directly. or: he was twentieth-century eakins. the fact that he's dismissed as a hack, or used to be, just goes to show you how aberrant was the art world circa 1860-1990 or something. fortunately, picasso and pollock never sold a painting, thus maintaining their aesthetic purity. consider the work of comparable figures such as william hogarth or jan steen: well within the realm of fine art.
It would be monstrous to suggest that the Democrats in Congress, and in particular Hillary Clinton, authorized Bush to invade Iraq because war was polling well, that they decided to kill tens of thousands of people on the grounds that around 70% of Americans believed that that was a good idea. That would be like - in fact, it would be precisely like - killing innocent people, without provocation, because of peer pressure. And it would be almost as disturbing if Hillary now (kind of) opposes killing people for the same sort of reasons. If there is an after-life, that sort of stuff will get you spit-roasted by Satan. Nevertheless, no doubt by coincidence, Hillary's position on the war - like that of, let's say, John Kerry - has exquisitely mirrored the polling numbers throughout. And in honor of the minority view - or perhaps in an attempt to be elected by acclamation or to be able to take it all back later - she's hedged every bet. When the American people were 70% in favor of the war, she was 70% in favor of the war. When they got to 50/50 around the time of the 2006 elections - as Hillary was running for reelection to the Senate - Hillary was half for the war, half against it. Now that 70% oppose the war, she's 70% against it. Not only that, but - like Kerry during his repulsive presidential campaign - she presents her ambiguous, constantly shifting positions in a ringing voice, as a matter of the deepest moral principle. She's the Martin Luther King of frozen waffles. October 2002: CBS/New York Times poll: 67% favor military action to remove Saddam Hussein. Hillary on the floor of the Senate: "So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed." Note the "conviction" and also the hedge: she's not voting for war. She is both giving Bush the resources and support to go to war, and declaring that the responsibility is his and, hence, not hers. That remains her position or, if you like, her excuse. December 2005: CBS/New York Times poll: 46% in favor, 50% opposed. Hillary as she geared up for a Senate reelection campaign: "It is time for the President to stop serving up platitudes and present us with a plan for finishing this war with success and honor--not a rigid timetable that terrorists can exploit, but a public plan for winning and concluding the war." Hillary's approach at this point was that the invasion and occupation were good and necessary, the execution botched, and we must now march on to victory. July 2007: CBS/New York Times poll: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?" Disapprove: 69%. Hillary: "Our message to the president is clear: it is time to begin ending this war -- not next year, not next month, but today." 69% is a good time to "begin ending the war." When it hits 80%, it'll be time actually to end it. The message is, er, clear. I think you'll find that when the public lines up, she'll be in favor - as a matter of principle, mind you - of gay marriage and nationalized health care. As long as the polling is close to even, her positions will be vague or incoherent. It's hard to imagine that Hillary in her heart of hearts opposes gay marriage. But for her, the political risks of taking a clear position in favor of equal rights outweigh those rights. Now, it is possible at this point actually to be nostalgic for a meek government that focus-groups every little policy shift: the Clinton administration, for example. Hillary Clinton would never have invaded Iraq, even if she had been convinced that Saddam was perfecting a nuclear arsenal: there was far too much political risk involved. And Bush sticks with his attorney general and his war even as the poll numbers go south. But a moral disaster requires not only evil leaders, but followers without any steady commitment to any values whatever, people who are too confused or cowardly to distinguish between their deepest moral convictions and what most people think at a given moment. In short, a moral disaster of the sort that the United States currently constitutes requires not only Dick Cheneys, but Hillary Clintons.
I'll miss the newspaper, but I'll survive. In ten years, I think, there will be no real reason to read the paper paper. Almost anything that can be delivered on paper can be delivered better on the internet: faster and more conveniently, and in a searchable, interlinked, customizable framework, with access to archives and original documents, such as the texts of treaties, laws, and court decisions. I think that the newspaper business had better stop thinking in terms of having a web presence and start thinking in terms of having no other presence. I do not say these things because I'm a technological utopian or a hater of newspapers. Indeed my father, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather were all newspapermen, and I was a paper boy and a copy boy in my day. It is an almost sinful pleasure for me to settle down with the Sunday New York Times or Washington Post. Whenever I travel, the first thing I do is get the local paper. I like the feeling of a broadsheet in my hands. But of course the newspaper reflected the technology of its time: it became possible with mass printing technologies and cheap paper. There is nothing eternal about the newspaper: it was the product of a certain moment. That moment is over. A paper is pretty convenient, usually. But of course it is even more convenient to have the daily news on your phone, if it is as legible as it is on the page. The iPhone bids fair to be the first of many devices that bring this day nigh. Of course, not everyone can afford an iPhone (I can't, for examaple), and it is important that access to news coverage and help wanted ads be universal. The newspaper is a democratic institution in that a copy of today's paper is within almost every budget. But in the long run, as computing power grows ever larger and cheaper, the per read costs of web publishing will be far lower than paper publishing, if they are not already. This means that, contrary to what you might think, it will be overall less costly to buy your news from the web than to buy the paper out of the box, even if publishers continue to reap the same profit margin through advertising. The only question is how to provide the material in a way that respects universal access. Now first of all, it is no fantasy to think that a device such as the iPhone, in five years, might cost $50 or be a giveaway with a newspaper subscription, say. This has happened to generations of mobile communication devices. Public libraries, schools, and other institutions provide free net access. And even the paper box is replaceable, perhaps as a kiosk with a screen and a coin slot. Or we might produce a throwaway news device with a few chips. The newspaper business these days is in financial crisis, and is producing less and less real news coverage or other material, such as book reviews. Papers are dumping their foreign bureaus; editors are resigning in protest; rapacious owners are demanding the next layer of cuts; newsrooms are lapsing into chronic despair. Part of this has to do with the basic conservatism of the newspaper biz, which in some ways is admirable. Somewhere, I like to think, crusty old men like my ancestors are doing things well, and doing them the way they've always been done. There is, already, something retro about the newspaper, a slight feeling that we're in an historical re-enactment. The newspaper with its gothic type and misprinted color photographs is a charming slice of Americana. It may be that it will be a long time until news ceases entirely to appear in the form of a newspaper, but it may happen sooner than we think. Then we have to get into a full exploration of the possibilities opened by web publishing. On the net, the news hole of any publication is potentially vast, and can be produced in part in a dialogue with its readers. Video and audio can be delivered as easily as text. The pace at which such potentials are becoming obvious is breathtaking. So in 2017, if I'm still around, the idea of the newspaper will make me a bit wistful for the world of my ancestors. I'll kind of miss the process of unfolding and refolding, the feel of newsprint. But I'll try to be brave.
Crispin Sartwell teaches philosophy at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.