In this article Jon Franzen makes a lot of claims, many of them about the Internet. Here’s some claims the Internet might have helped him think through a little deeper.
“Kraus would probably have hated blogs”
"The risk run by the aphorist is that people will grow restless between aphorisms, because they aren’t getting enough of what it says on the label. Even while he was alive, most people didn’t want any more of Kraus’s world view than would fit into a fortune cookie. Though he had no computer on his desk, Kraus was essentially a blogger before the fact: his basic technique was to write a couple of hundred words about something silly in the newspaper." - Guardian critic Clive James
“If the concept of coolness had existed in Kraus’s time, he might have said that Germany is uncool.”
”1933 Z. N. Hurston in Story Aug. 63 And whut make it so cool, he got money ‘cumulated. And womens give it all to ‘im.” - OED
"Believe me, you color-happy people, in cultures where every blockhead has individuality, individuality becomes a thing for blockheads."
"Second footnote: You’re not allowed to say things like this in America nowadays, no matter how much the billion (or is it 2 billion now?) "individualised" Facebook pages may make you want to say them."
"We find ourselves living in a world with hydrogen bombs because uranium bombs just weren’t going to get the job done"
"It is colloquially referred to as a hydrogen bomb or H-bomb because it employs hydrogen fusion, though in most applications the majority of its destructive energy comes from uranium fission" - Wikipedia (also invented in the early 50s)
"Overnight free shipping!"
There is no such thing as overnight free shipping.
"so the physical book goes on the endangered-species list"
"baby boomers’ share of book expenditures fell from 30 percent in 2010 to 25 percent in 2011, while Gen Y’s expenditure grew from 24 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2011 – a near-mirror-image swap." - Christian Science Monitor
"If I’d been born in 1159, when the world was steadier, I might well have felt, at 53, that the next generation would share my values and appreciate the same things I appreciated"
"But I was born in 1959, when TV was something you watched only during prime time, and people wrote letters and put them in the mail, and every magazine and newspaper had a robust books section, and venerable publishers made long-term investments in young writers, and New Criticism reigned in English departments, and the Amazon basin was intact, and antibiotics were used only to treat serious infections, not pumped into healthy cows."
“The use of antibiotics on livestock dates back to the late 1940’s when farmers first found they promoted growth in poultry. Ever since, farmers have increased the amount and types of antibiotics used on livestock in order to increase output and profits. The FDA has passed legislature to curb some of the use, however most conclude that these futile attempts have proved ineffective. In 1943, Selman Waksman found a revolutionary new antibiotic, “streptomycin.” This drug went on to become incredibly useful for human because it was effective on far more diseases than the previously found, penicillin. In fact, Waksman had been attempting to find drugs for livestock, not humans.” - Kenyon University Microbe Wiki