Propono (Latin): to put or set forth, to set or lay out, to offer, to place before, expose to view, display, point out, declare, represent, report, say, relate, set forth, publish, etc.

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Propono, ergo sum?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Two must-read articles

This month's issue of The Atlantic marks the 150th anniversary of this distinctively American journal.

The Atlantic always has great reads, but his month's has two in particular that I would strongly encourage anyone to take a look at:

The first is a collection of essays on "The Future of the American Idea." The magazine invited scholars, writers, politicians, artists, and others to write on this topic, and the results are a rich and varied collection of thoughts, recollections, and exegeses on the theme. It is well worth reading for anyone who participates in this remarkable "experiment" that is the United States. It is available online (here:, or you can pick up a hard-copy of the magazine at your local bookstore.

The second piece I'd recommend it a piece entitled "The Autumn of the Multitaskers," in which the author (Walter Kirn) spells out the case (amen!) that multitasking is "dumbing us down and driving us crazy." Serious and lighthearted at the same time, he articulates well the notion that technology is driving all of us to do as many things at once as we can (as I write this, my e-mail is coming in, my calendar is beckoning me, I'm reading a web page, and having an IM with a colleague), because the tools themselves impel us to do so many things at once. This, he spells out (and points to solid evidence), is actually resulting in our getting diminished long-term productivity, as retention and knowledge actually decline in the face of a barrage of information and competing processes. Convenience and efficiency translates into atrophy for our ability to focus, analyze, and synthesize information. (Link here:

Anyone living in the modern world knows all too well the ills of which he writes. This is a great piece, and will make you think. Thou almost persuadest me to get rid of my smartphone.

[Note: You'll need to be a subscriber to read these online. $20 well spent, I guarantee it, or you can pick up the issue off your local magazine rack.]


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