Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Marcus Cicero

Technology encourages displacement of consciousness.

It's good because I can sit in my office at home, wearing my early morning attire, and place my mind far, far outside of this place. I can read your blog, for starters. Or the news, or whatever. Cell phones allow someone who might bide time actually talk to someone -- from a car, a plane, in line at a store. Arguably, one's consciousness can be extended by communication technology.

Consciousness displacement is bad because we're never home. We're never really anywhere, or with anyone. "Wherever you go, there you aren't." No one seems to pay attention anymore -- interpersonal relationships suffer. I was at a Dairy Queen to get milkshakes for the family the other day, and the woman there serving us was on her cell phone throughout the entire transaction. She talked, and talked, and talked. Something about her ex-boyfriend, I recall. Yes, I got my milkshakes. But she wasn't there. No eye contact, no acknowledgement -- as though I was no different than the buttons on her cash register.

My favorite quote of all time is by the art historian, Sister Wendy Beckett, of PBS fame. As I wallow in the complexity of advanced technology, and our very flighty culture, it sustains me:

"Life doesn't get better. It changes."


Wonderful comment. In fact, the post merely serves as preface to the comment.

Here are two essays Andrew Sullivan has recently written on the same subject: "iPod World: The End of Society?" and, more tangentially, "Alone on a Stage", about the paradoxical total loss of privacy that comes with our snug new isolation.

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