Free Association in the Modern Age

It should be wholly unsurprising to hear that I spend a lot of time online. A lot. Enough that I’ve googled “internet addiction,” which is self-defeating to say the least. Early in the days of having web access at home, my mother barged into my room and demanded to know what I did for all those hours I spent in front of the computer. Aside from the obvious answer (“the internet is for porn! Duh, Mom!”), I actually gave her the honest one: filling my brain with as much random knowledge as possible. Say I like a band–I might look up album reviews. And then read other reviews on the same online music site. One review might mention a movie soundtrack. So I’ll look that up on And then I might go to the trivia page, or the external reviews. Look at the filmography of an actor or director from that movie. And so on, and so forth. While I certainly waste plenty of my life online, I also find wonderful things by virtue of this treasure-hunt style of surfing.

And so, without further ado, my latest feature:

This is my brain on the internet

The 100 Best Magazine Articles Ever. A great source of good reads. So far, I’ve only checked out Foster Wallace’s piece on Federer. But how often can someone express to a person as uncoordinated as myself the beauty of the game?

Allie Brosh at Hyperbole And A Half is the latest hit of internet brilliance, and rightly so. On the nose and achingly funny–try this for starters.

I’ve rarely encountered more kindred spirits than the stable of critics at The Onion’s A.V. Club–their Q&A on art that hits close to home is exactly why I get so jazzed up about things like indie rock and cheesy British sci-fi.

Publishing blog The Rejectionist led me to a rant about the Millenium Cycle, which led me to a Nora Ephron-penned Stieg Larsson spoof for the New Yorker. And now I have no desire to read any of these books.