January 13, 2015
"The movie is never as good as the book," so the saying goes. As always, there are exceptions; for example The Hunger Games and Tuesdays with Morrie were both better on the screen. Having read Unbroken when it first came out and now having seen the movie, I feel that the question is somewhat irrelevant. Both are excellent--and different.
Laura Hillenbrand's book tells an astonishing true tale. Louie Zamperini had a half dozen amazing episodes in his life--and if only one had happened, the book would have been a remarkable account of perseverance and strength in the midst of adversity. But all six episodes happened--to one man.Continue reading "Better Than the Movie?"
May 3, 2011
Fifty years ago this month, the phrase “vast wasteland” entered the national lexicon when Newton Minow, then chair of the FCC, spoke before the National Association of Broadcasters. It even inspired Hollywood producer Sherwood Schwartz to name the sinking ship in Gilligan’s Island after him.Continue reading "Out of the Wasteland"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:30 AM
March 15, 2011
I don't often look at stats for my blog, but the last report I got had some dramatic results. While there is a pretty steady readership for Andy Unedited, two posts (here and here) had massive readership spikes. Why? Well, not surprisingly I suppose, they were picked up by a couple very popular bloggers who pointed their readers this way. But I think there is another reason as well.Continue reading "Opinionated Me"
August 27, 2010
Over a hundred years ago Frederick Winslow Taylor took a stopwatch to a steel plant in Philadelphia and changed the industrial world. By timing every step and movement in the process he came up with the one, most efficient way each worker should work. Productivity exploded, and manufacturers across the country eagerly adopted his methods. Taylor saw humans as extensions of the machine.
In The Shallows, Nicholas Carr contends that “Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters—the Googleplex—is the internet’s high church, and the religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism” (p. 150). But at Google humans are extensions of a very particular kind of machine—the computer.Continue reading "The Shallows 5: Google’s Narrow Vision"
August 25, 2010
The Net distracts. But not all distractions are bad. As I’ve written here before, taking a break from a problem and letting your brain do something totally different can provide an opportunity for fresh ideas to emerge. The problem is that the constantly distracting state of the Net, contends Nicholas Carr in The Shallows, changes the way we read and think. (You can find the first in my series on this book here.)Continue reading "The Shallows 4: The Net Effect"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:52 AM
August 23, 2010
When the Net first hit big in the mid-1990s, I would tell others, “This is a good thing. People are doing a lot more reading now. Teens are not just playing video games on their computers. Anything that encourages reading is for the good.” Now, especially having read The Shallows by Nicholas Carr (see here and here), I’m not so sure.Continue reading "The Shallows 3: Driven to Distraction "
August 18, 2010
Nicholas Carr made a splash with his Atlantic cover story "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" which I discussed here. Now in The Shallows he brings a full-length book to bear on the question, and it's a dandy.
The subtitle, "What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains," is very descriptive. In this serial review, I'll touch on some of the evidence he offers, a mix of anecdotal and scientific.Continue reading "The Shallows 1: A Change of Mind"
February 10, 2010
It's tempting to roll our collective eyes when someone recognizes the obvious. Now we learn that sociologists have got religion. They have made the absolutely amazing discovery that religion is actually important.Continue reading "To Sociologists: Duh!"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:39 AM
July 22, 2009
For a couple of months now, Newsweek has trotted out its new format--new print design and new organization of its content inside. From my reading of the comments, most (usually die-hard, lifelong Newsweek readers) unequivocally don't like the new format. I'm not one of them.Continue reading "The New Newsweek"