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February 2011

How the internet saved reading

Last week when my friend David Alm published his lament of digital publishing in these pages, I happened to be writing an introduction for a visiting writer. I recognized in my draft a soft rebuttal to David’s post, but I decided it had to complete…

Artists of facebook: Mateo Galvano

Facebook has become a social net-cessity, like the telephone, like politeness, like brushing the crumbs from your beard, but it has not yet become an invisible necessity. We’re conscious of it: we’re not sure whether we’re using it correctly, whether…

Does the ‘library of the future’ need books?

Every day I cross Ellis Avenue to avoid the construction zone of the University of Chicago’s emerging Mansueto Library, whose elliptical crystal dome caps four underground floors where 3.5 million books will be kept in compact storage.
When library…

Simone on the stockyards

I posted this originally as a test of our blogging software. Now that it has served its purpose, I can’t seem to take it down. Simone de Beauvoir is known for many things, but generally not as a Chicago writer. And yet her writing on Chicago is as…