Blog Post
Leon Wieseltier and

Posted on 1/22/2015

The January 18th edition of the New York Times Book Review led with an essay by Leon Wieseltier. Maybe I was tired the first time, so I read it again today. Mr. W. has serious concerns about our new technology and its impact on culture and our society in general. Book stores are closing, record stores are closing, and writers are hovering around poverty. Thoughtful reflection is unpopular and "patience is a professional liability...Where wisdom once was, quantification will now be." He adds, "The distinction between knowledge and data is a thing of the past" and believes the technology penetrates "cognition and consciousness". After re-reading this essay, I felt a jolt. Over fifteen years ago, I published "Interlock", which I recently re-named, "Beyond The Lock". In that dystopian novel, a Great Upheaval led to a complete loss of faith in human rationality. To overcome prejudices, favoritism,populist surges, and corruption,  societies relied, instead, upon the logic of computers to operate their governments. A great solution, eh? What could possibly go wrong?

     But, in this computerized world, a young technician named Luan is hearing voices. Her friends and her sister are worried about her. She's admitted to a psychiatric facility where she receives the most logical interventions according to machine logic. The staff treat the diagnosis, not the person. Only one problem: The voices are real! There is an enclave that has evolved and they need her. 

     Add to this mix some political intrigue and you have the gist of the tale. Working in the mental health industry, one is often directed to treat a client according to "evidence-based" procedures. Pharmaceutical agents give out a free lunch as they push their psychotropics despite a list of side-effects. The bureaucracy demands compliance to prescribed procedures. My initial inspiration for "Interlock" was the mental health system. But, with a wider lens, I discern the impact on us all. Using electrons as a model, we blow car horns, drive at high speeds, and easily lose patience. Discussions quickly dissipate into sound bites and higher decibels. Reasoned replies are often viewed as weakness while hair-trigger thumping gets the applause. The entire culture is suffering from attention deficit disorder! Does anyone remember Marshal McLuhan? "The Medium is the Message"?

     I still refuse to purchase an iPhone. My flip phone is fine, thank you.

Blog Index

Sappho is Out!
    posted 11/16/2018

At Last, Sappho is back!
    posted 7/21/2018

In the Foreseeable Future
    posted 3/6/2018

For the Holidays!
    posted 1/2/2018

Uma Thurman Makes Broadway Debut!
    posted 11/13/2017

Fake Weddings --- Keep The Party!
    posted 11/6/2017

Turkey Needs Sabrina!
    posted 9/19/2017

Miss Saigon: Stirring But Troubling
    posted 7/29/2017

Naomi Watts In Netflix Gypsy
    posted 7/18/2017

Wonder Woman is Wonderful!
    posted 6/8/2017

Open Marriages Revisited
    posted 5/15/2017

Sarah Ruhl Comes to Lincoln Center
    posted 3/23/2017

Oh No! Not This Judge!
    posted 1/31/2017

Good-Bye to "Masters of Sex"
    posted 12/4/2016

The Handmaiden
    posted 11/26/2016

Church and State in New Jersey
    posted 8/19/2016

La Belle Saison
    posted 7/26/2016

The Pope Struggles to Face Reality
    posted 7/13/2016

A Free State of Mind
    posted 6/29/2016

Once Again, The Need for SexEd
    posted 6/23/2016

A Horror Beyond Words.
    posted 6/13/2016

NY Times Explores Polygamy
    posted 4/14/2016

Sex Ed Defeated in America
    posted 3/22/2016

Michigan Priorities are Polluted
    posted 2/9/2016

Selena Gomez Set the Night on Fire!
    posted 1/25/2016

A Refresher Course on Gary Hart
    posted 12/26/2015

Gaspar Noe's Latest Film
    posted 12/26/2015

Campus Not-So-Confidential
    posted 11/4/2015

The Goddess Visits Nyack
    posted 9/27/2015

Some Useful Reading
    posted 8/11/2015

New York Times in Style!
    posted 7/7/2015

Ross Douthat Stirs the Debate!
    posted 5/31/2015

Iowa Reveals Signs of Sanity
    posted 4/23/2015

Surviving A Frightening Diagnosis
    posted 3/10/2015

The big turkey in Turkey
    posted 2/5/2015

Leon Wieseltier and
    posted 1/22/2015

Sera Beak Goes Red!
    posted 1/20/2015

The Finale Quotations
    posted 8/31/2014

Blue Horizon Meeting at FOR
    posted 8/30/2014

The (In)Famous Chart!
    posted 8/30/2014

Images From FOR 8/28 Meeting
    posted 8/30/2014

Workshop Presentation
    posted 8/26/2014

USA Channel Provokes the Culture!
    posted 8/20/2014

Wascosim's Rock
    posted 8/19/2014

Aquinnah's colorful clay cliffs
    posted 8/19/2014

Let's Get Started!
    posted 8/14/2014

NY Times Explores Polygamy
    posted 11/30/-0001