Neal Stephenson’s take on how the Internet is starving innovation. His notion is that isolation spurs creativity: if there is no one to tell you that something cannot be done or that it has been done before, them perhaps you are going to go ahead and do it anyway and do it extremely well.
He ties up this lack of creativity with high risk aversion in the corporate sphere.
It was depressing, and even a little frightening, to cross the highway on my way back to Vijay’s house … The act of walking changed the way I experienced everything around Kothur. My uneasiness while crossing the highway and the diminution I felt as I walked for what seemed like hours across that flat landscape brought me a little closer to the experience of the workers. Walking shrunk me down to the level of an insect, for even as I made my way slowly towards the steel factory along the dirt track that ran under the highway, I could see the cars and trucks speeding past. It made me feel lost, unfit somehow for the new world I could see up there.
On how modernization is leaving the vast majority of Indians behind. An excerpt from “The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India” by Siddhartha Deb. Excerpted in Guernica. Here.