Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Everything Bad is Good For You

Over the Fourth of July weekend I read a book called Everything Bad Is Good For You by Steven Johnson. Steven lives in Park Slope Brooklyn where I have roots and family. The book is terrific -- a blend of pop culture and neuroscience. Its thesis is that pop culture is getting smarter and more complex which is in turn making much of the population smarter. Steven maintains a blog.

The book reminded me of a lot of the topics that I've blogged about. He talks about the difficulty of video games and how the more advanced games force players to spend hours struggling with new interfaces, experimenting, and to both consult and compile manuals to figure out how to make it through extraordinarily difficult game based or online challenges.

This is a lot like lawyering in a small firm: figuring our way through mazes of rules, dodging monsters, causing and avoiding explosions, and constantly having to pick up golden coins along the way to recharge our superpowers. The new interfaces presented by blogging and technology present challenges that most of the population has to pay $9.95 per month to play. We pay with our daylight hours and our enjoyment level is generally much lower.

If anyone wants to start a video game called The Attorney, I can share some mazes, traps and amazing sequences. I know a few evil adversaries! My virtual hourly rate will be higher, but my avatar accepts Paypal.

In the end, I think Johnson is right. I think that we are going through an incredible cultural renaissance that is simply too close for most of us to perceive.

1 Comments:

Anonymous fivethingsihate said...

Is the picture in your profile really you?

10:13 PM  

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