Quote: “The air itself is one vast library…”

What a strange chaos is this wide atmosphere we breathe! … The air itself is one vast library, on whose pages are for ever written all that man has ever said or woman whispered. There, in their mutable but unerring characters, mixed with the earliest, as well as the latest sighs of mortality, stand for ever recorded, vows unredeemed, promises unfulfilled, perpetuating in the united movements of each particle, the testimony of man’s changeful will.

—Charles Babbage

A library of Babel concealed in the very air we breathe. (via alphacaeli)

Quote: “All the words that I utter…”

All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm-darken’d or starry bright.

—  William Butler Yeats, “Where My Books Go” (via bookoasis)

Quote: “I use the Internet intensely….”

I didn’t foresee that my whole little life was going to revolve around this object, this computer. That’s worth exploring to me, not simply being critical of it. If you’re going to have a movie about people my age in L.A., they’re going to have to be online a lot of the time or it’s not realistic. But for anything to happen, they have to stop being online. All of those little moments throughout the day when you’re like “What am I doing? Who am I?” I just check my e-mail, or I go online. That sort of mini-lost feeling isn’t new, but I’m curious what happens when you don’t really have to see it through, ever. There is always a distraction.

Miranda July, on the characters in her new film, The Future (via thesalinasvalley)

Quote: “Our brains are affected … by the media we use”

I’ve always been suspicious of those who seek to describe the effects of digital media in generational terms, drawing sharp contrasts between young “Internet natives” and old “Internet immigrants.” Such distinctions strike me as misleading, if not specious. If you look at statistics … the average adult has spent more time online than the average kid. …. And the idea that those who grow up peering at screens will somehow manage to avoid the cognitive toll exacted by multitasking and persistent interruptions is a fantasy contradicted by neuroscientific research. All of us, young and old alike, have similar neurons and synapses, and our brains are affected in similar ways by the media we use.”

Nick Carr, from the afterword of the paperback edition of The Shallows (via wwnorton)