The Deep Space of Digital Reading
What’s striking about that 2012 letter, read through the prism of 2017, is its certainty that a more “open and connected” world is by definition a better one. “When I started Facebook, the idea of connecting the world was not controversial,” Zuckerberg said now. “The default assumption was that the world was incrementally just moving in that direction. So I thought we can connect some people and do our part in helping move in that direction.” But now, he said, whether it was wise to connect the world was “actually a real question.”
Imagine how easy it would be to idolize someone who so regularly can be counted upon to reframe your personal Overton Window — the category of what you think is unthinkable — to include things you wouldn’t have said six months ago, every six months. It’s a wonderful feeling, of liberation and transgression, and it never ends: What gave you a thrill now sounds commonplace, everyone is saying it, everyone has normalized it, and we need to move on to something else. Something worse, or else nobody will pay attention.
Senior Chief Ryan Owens is a household name, and his wife, Carryn, is the subject of national admiration and sympathy. But the overwhelming majority of Americans do not know, and will never learn, the name of even a single foreign victim out of the many hundreds of thousands that their country has killed over the last 15 years. This imbalance plays a massive role in how Americans understand themselves, the countries their government invades and bombs, and the Endless War that is being waged.