Feature

Viewpoint: Mark O’Connell

From The New Yorker: “Recently, a close friend sent me an email with the subject line ‘Things I’ve Noticed As I Get Older.’ It wasn’t so much the content of the message...

“Recently, a close friend sent me an email with the subject line ‘Things I’ve Noticed As I Get Older.’ It wasn’t so much the content of the message that impressed me as its form. It was an email in the shape of a listicle. I couldn’t help feeling that I was seeing an early sign of what could be a shift in the way people communicate. In the not-too-distant future, all human interactions, written or otherwise, might well be conducted in the form of lists—for ease of assimilation, for catchiness, for optimal snap. I imagined myself, some decades from now, nervously perched on the papered leatherette of an examination bed, and my doctor directing her sad, humane eyes at me a moment before clearing her throat and saying, ‘Top Five Signs You Probably Have Pancreatic Cancer.’”Mark O’Connell in The New Yorker

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