Too often the rushed, half-thoughtful, half-feeling immediacy that anti-social media accelerates and metastasizes is the only form, itself imminently irresponsible, that such response can take; too often, all that’s left of that response is the fleeting sense of satisfaction someone or other takes in having expressed themselves and in having that moment of self-expression be “liked”; but the moment of satisfaction is, itself, all but immediately replaced by the shame of an affirmation derived, finally, from outrage, thereby reflecting and redoubling the anti-sociality to which it would respond. This is not meant to militate against the real forms of insurgency that social media can help to facilitate and foster; it’s just to say that social media is, at the apex of its potential, an ante-social facilitator of what occurs in and as the complex, striated, social and sensual actuality we all enact and inhabit.
… [John] Ruskin had a barbaric way with books, and they often left his library in much sadder shape than when they entered it. He wrote disfiguring notes in some of his medieval manuscripts; from many others he cut out leaves and miniatures and gave them away, or rearranged them in albums; his library shelves were a Procrustean bed, and books which were too tall to fit in them were sawed down to size. In short, Ruskin’s name figures prominently in the annals of enemies of books.
I always thought that ‘the voice’ was meant to indicate a kind of genuine, authentic, absolute individuation, which struck me as (a) undesirable and (b) impossible,” he said. “Whereas a ‘sound’ was really within the midst of this intense engagement with everything: with all the noise that you’ve ever heard, you struggle somehow to make a difference, so to speak, within that noise. And that difference isn’t necessarily about you as an individual, it’s much more simply about trying to augment and to differentiate what’s around you. And that’s what a sound is for me.