In the midst of the Twitter argument, Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, which measures real-time traffic for sites like Upworthy, dropped a bomb: “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading,” he wrote.
“Normal, everyday bulk glass is millions and millions of atoms thick, so when you try to look through it, you just see a mess — there are atoms everywhere,” Muller said. “But this stuff is so thin, none of the atoms overlap.”
For Spritzers, comprehension isn’t a lost virtue so much as an unshouldered burden. For today’s overwhelmed content consumers, what could be better than experiencing the sensation of reading without the inconvenience of understanding?
I suspect that beneath our society’s desperate attempts to minimize risk, and to prescribe happiness as an all-purpose antidote to our woes, there resides a wretched impotence in the face of the intrinsically insecure nature of human existence. As a society, we have arguably lost the capacity to cope with this insecurity; we don’t know how to welcome it into the current of our lives.
It took me a while, but in the past couple of years I’ve come to accept that some of the books and films I love most are beyond criticism.
Not because they’re so innovative or so unique that they demand an entirely new analytical framework (they aren’t, they don’t). And it’s certainly not because I think they’re flawless. Instead it’s because, to the less passionately devoted, these works are self-indulgent, unquestionably minor, and hopelessly adolescent. So I’m afraid to take them apart to see how they work.
Horseshoe crab blood has not only become a key weapon in our medical arsenal, it has also become big business. On the world market, a quart of horseshoe crab blood has a price tag of an estimated $15,000, leading to overall revenues from the LAL industry estimated at U.S. $50 million per year. But that pales in comparison to its value to the pharmaceutical industry.
The colorful secret of a 1,600-year-old Roman chalice at the British Museum is the key to a supersensitive new technology that might help diagnose human disease or pinpoint biohazards at security checkpoints.
Tolkien was very consciously and deliberately following the literary tradition that flows down to us from Sidney through Dr. Johnson and C. S. Lewis. As a result, Tolkien deliberately gave us characters that strike some moderns—including Peter Jackson—as too good to be true.