Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reading, Not Rioting

NPR had this inspiring news this morning, delivered with the bad news of teen violence in Philadelphia, going on while London's burning.

"We're out here reading books in silence. We're basically being the anti-violence flash mob," said 18-year-old Maria Clark. "We're showing people that we do do things positive. Not everybody's violent."

I do love the thought of reading flash mobs! And it's OK with me if yours is a Kindle, Nook, etc., even if mine is likely to be a book with covers, words printed on actual pages. At least for a while.

Meanwhile, Steven Colbert had his head in "the cloud" recently on The Colbert Report, and I understood him exactly. This is a hulu link to a 5 minute excerpt, "The Word: Head in the Cloud," so it may take a moment to load, but it's fun to watch.

You can stick all your data in "the cloud" now, so you can retrieve it later, when you need it...if you can even remember the bits of info you'll need to retrieve it.

Sigh....  Before the print age, we had all sorts of mnenomic  devices for remembering stuff.

Yes, retrieving it from our own brains!

Writing stuff down was the first cloud!

I confess 1) I tend not to retain stuff I read online...I figure I can find it again if I remember to look and 2) I forgot the print matter science fiction I had read when young, but 3) I have wrapped up my scifi summer of evidently re
-reading Philip K. Dick and Cordwainer Smith.

I am glad I stuck with Cordwainer Smith, because,
 as London burned and Philadelphia broke a young woman's leg, Lord Jestecost said to C'Mell, "I want to help the underpeople." And did so.


Nancy Devine said...

a reading flash mob....maybe i could get some students to do this.

Maureen said...

Amazon now has cloudreader for Kindle.

I like to know about, maybe even try out, new technology but I'll still take my words between covers I can open and close.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Reading flash mobs? Sign me up! Love this idea.

Kathleen said...

Let's see if we can arrange reading flash mobs on various campuses (campii?) and report back!!

Maureen, you AND NPR helped inspire this post, as I kept thinking about your comment yesterday...and while lap swimming this morning!

SarahJane said...

I want to help the underpeople, too, who seem permanently fixed beneath a cloud of social injustice.

Did you have a sci-fi summer? What a concept.

I never participated in a reading flash mob consciously, though they seem to go on in the train all the time. When someone won't shut the hell up with their cell phone, I just start reading my book aloud.

Kathleen said...

OMG, SarahJane, I just burst out laughing! I am going to try the reading-aloud-on-the-train tactic. Hmm, might that, too, turn into a flash mob?!

Kim said...

Flash mob outloud reading on trains! yes! I love it, too.

Kathleen said...

Wherever obnoxiousness cellphone talking may be, let us read-aloud flash-mob in nonviolent protest!!

Shannon said...

From my high school physiology class: On old Olympus' towering tops, a Finn and German view some hops.

The cranial nerves...and I can only remember olfactory, optic, ocularmotor...

Books aloud on the bus! That would be FUN!

Kathleen said...

By all means, Shannon! A bus reading flash mob! (Are you the Shannon doing the postcard poem project?! One of the Shannons?)

Collagemama said...

Thought of you and your sci fi summer when I read this review in the Wall Street Journal today.

Kathleen said...