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"Dog Videos I'd Like To See On The Internet," Heather Monley

From McSweeneys:  

I want to see dogs wearing crisp uniforms on the first day of school, dogs sitting at little dog desks, dogs gluing together paper pilgrim hats, dogs practicing math problems on educational software or, for a more old-timey feel, sitting in a one-room schoolhouse and writing letters on black slates. I want to see dogs packing Conestoga wagons and setting out west, dogs homesteading, dogs committing atrocities, dogs realizing that atrocities have been committed and taking precautions to ensure that the same atrocities are not committed again. Dogs drafting the Magna Carta. Dogs developing a new, more advanced optical disk storage media format.

I'm not sure what it is about this essay that keeps bringing me back. It's funny, obviously, at least if you're amused by dogs dressed like pioneers (I am). And it sort of indirectly addresses the question of why we are so fascinated by non-humans that resemble humans in some way. But there's also a wistful quality to it that I like - and I don't want to elaborate any more, because I'm not able to say exactly what I want to say. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

 

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How Not To Be Alone

 We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.

- Jonathan Safran Foer, "How Not To Be Alone

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