Thursday, May 12, 2005

What Does The Future Hold?

Well, right after I waxed rhapsodic over the libraries at Berkeley, here comes a Berkeley professor and futurist, William Crossman, who thinks the written word and books will be extinct by 2050. (via Bookslut)

“But can we picture life without Shakespeare, without Tom Clancy? How could we live without reading and writing?

Patiently, Crossman explains that people wouldn't have to give up literacy if they didn't want to. It would gain the status of a hobby, somewhat the way quilting is now. Instead, he said we will have an oral-aural culture, just as we did before some early civilization first drew lines in the sand with a twig. Crossman likens our future with talking computers to our experience with the calculator of some 30 years ago. “

The Chronicle’s very-own editor, Phil Bronstein, gets the once-over in Editor & Publisher, where it is once again pointed out that he is best known for once being married to Sharon Stone.

“NEW YORK After 35 years in San Francisco newspapers (including jobs as top editor at both of the city's major dailies), eight years of overseas reporting that nearly won a Pulitzer Prize, and directing investigative reporting that turned the baseball world upside-down this year, you'd think Phil Bronstein would be best known for strong journalism. But to many San Franciscans — and readers of gossip and entertainment pages nationwide — Bronstein's reputation is often decidedly different. To them, he's the macho editor who married and later divorced Sharon Stone, once broke a political consultant's ankle during a newsroom argument, donned a wetsuit to go diving for an alligator in a local lake, and ended up in the hospital after a Komodo dragon took a bite out of his foot.

"I've led the life I've led, and I can't change what has happened," Bronstein, now in his fifth year as editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, declares during a chat inside his third-floor office, which overlooks busy Mission Street. "Those kinds of things don't define who you are. Those are the people whose view of me I can't change."

But Steve Martin is true celebrity with class. He is interviewed in this month’s Believer.

“BLVR: You have an aura about you that makes you seem more normal than many celebrities. Somehow you’ve managed to live a fairly normal life.

SM: I don’t know. I made two decisions that I suddenly recall for no reason. One was, when I was like eighteen and had a car, I said, “I’m never not going to go anywhere because of the price of gas.” And the other thing I remember thinking, when I was starting to become famous, was, “I am never not going to go anywhere because I’m famous.” Although I do choose not to go some places because I’m famous. But I travel alone. I don’t have an entourage. I don’t want that.

BLVR: I guess that makes your life easier.

SM: It’s really easier. You know, there’s a moment when you’re famous when it’s unbearable to go out because you’re too famous. And then there’s a moment when you’re famous just right. [Laughs] And then there’s kind of a respect or distance or something, but you have a little bit more grease.

BLVR: When did the “just right” occur for you?

SM: I would say mid-eighties. There’s a kind of heat fever that just dissipates. You’re not someone who’s constantly being followed.

BLVR: Where can’t you go?

SM: It’s not where I can’t, it’s where I don’t want to. “

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