What I’ve Been Reading (29 March 2023)

  • Users by Colin Winnette. There have been a lot of novels over the past ten years about what technology, and specifically the internet and social networks, have done to us and society; there have been far fewer looking at the people that develop that technology. Users may not be the product management comedy of errors that I’m waiting for, but it’s a beautifully written and plotted dive into the hollowness and disorientation that lurk behind Miles’s occupation building virtual reality Original Experiences.
  • Saving Time by Jenny Odell. I’m only one chapter into Odell’s pandemic-inspired dissection of humanity’s relationship to time and the physical world, and I’m already convinced it’s one of those books that’s going to have a huge impact on my thinking. (We’re talking Gutenberg Galaxy levels of inspiration here.) The first chapter is about the specific cultural and financial concerns that have brought about our very quantized approach to measuring and valuing time, and I’m not going to read or watch a science fiction story without considering that for a good long while.