Virginia Heffernan: excerpt from her new book on the internet: "as an idea it rivals monotheism" | Summary and Q&A

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June 29, 2016
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This Week in Startups
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Virginia Heffernan: excerpt from her new book on the internet: "as an idea it rivals monotheism"

TL;DR

The internet rivals or surpasses significant historical events and inventions in its transformative power and impact on human civilization.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ‘Ύ Writing poetry offers a unique sense of freedom, where each word and the spaces between them carry immense power.
  • πŸ›¬ The internet is described as a masterpiece that challenges and rivals historical events and inventions in its impact on human civilization.
  • πŸ›„ The provocation in the book's claims about the internet's transformative power aims to engage readers and spark discussions.
  • πŸ‘» The agricultural revolution is seen as a pivotal moment that allowed the development of higher forms of human thought and society.
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» The speaker suggests that certain aspects of ancient civilizations, such as early accounting and philosophy, share similarities with the logic of computer code.
  • πŸ₯° The speaker's personal love for web 2.0 and the back-and-forth engagement it allows serves as inspiration for the book's engaging writing style.
  • πŸ‘ Audible is praised as a platform for expanding knowledge through audiobooks, with "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari mentioned as a highly recommended listen.

Transcript

I wanted to be an academic but I was really drawn to you know writer like real Marcus or Camille polya who you know just right in this um slightly like a grown boy that are all constantly surprising you yeah and I had a professor what you're gonna say next yeah exactly I had a professor at graduate school and she Helen van laar the like brilliant p... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the speaker's perspective on writing poetry and the freedom it provides?

The speaker believes that writing poetry allows for moments of total freedom between words, and the responsibility is to take advantage of each section of freedom to create surprising and engaging poetry.

Q: What does the excerpt from "Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art" focus on?

The excerpt argues that the internet is a masterpiece that challenges and rivals significant historical events and inventions, such as agriculture, the Magna Carta, and the Chanel suit.

Q: What is the purpose of the provocation in the book's claims about the internet's transformative power?

The author wanted to engage readers and invite discussions by making bold claims about the internet's transformative power, rather than presenting mere profitability-focused arguments common in technology books.

Q: Which historical event does the speaker believe had a profound impact on human civilization?

The agricultural revolution is highlighted as a significant turning point, as it provided humans with free time for activities such as thinking about mythology, philosophy, and politics.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker discusses the power of writing poetry and the freedom it offers, highlighting the impact of each word and the spaces between them.

  • Excerpts from "Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art" by Virginia Heffernan are shared, emphasizing the internet as a masterpiece that challenges and rivals significant historical events and inventions.

  • The conversation delves into the provocation and engagement of readers by making claims about the internet's transformative power and its potential to surpass other groundbreaking advancements.

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