In Search of a New Hero

Its interesting of late that I find myself seeking a new hero. This was not a conscious decision to do so, but I have recently caught myself in the act of being inspired by new individuals and their works and reminiscing about older or forgotten idols of mine. Of course, with each new discovery or remembrance the image of Christopher Hitchens still looms large in my mind. He was a thinker and a man who I called a hero, in the truest sense of the word.

So its fitting that a year after Hitch’s death I am thinking of him and a few other new thinkers, writers, individuals who although not hero’s of mine they come close.

Jaron Lanier
I stumbled upon him again recently after an artcile in the latest Smithsonian Magazine entitled “What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?” (Although, this was not the title in the actual magazine to which I have a subscription. If you look up the article on their website they have changed the title. Why?)

Anyway, back a long time ago when I was fascinated by virtual reality, he was the go to guy. He invested the phrase “virtual reality”. He has since come full circle, or about face, and has some very relevant thoughts, impressions and ideas about our technological present and very near future. Check out this article as well entitled, “One-Half of a Manifesto.”

Jonathan Franzen
I knew the name. It registered for me and just like I did after the name David Forster Wallace had registered with me, I went out and bought “his” book. Like Wallace’s “Infinite Jest”, Franzen’s “The Corrections” sat unopened in the “to be read soon” section of my book shelf. (I had attempted “Infinite Jest” three times, but failed, although I did finish Wallace’s “Broom of the System” and enjoyed it.) I was flying back from Aruba and I had finished my book and the latest edition of the Economist was $28 so I decided to buy a cheap paperback for the flight home. I spotted “Freedom” and the blue warbler on the cover, then the name, and grabbed it off the shelf. The feel of this 700 page tome was awesome in my hand. I bought it and did not stop reading it until it was done. Of course, I grabbed “The Corrections” immediately after wards. They guy is great…what unbelievably deeply observant of all spheres of existence are these books and how awesome is the prose, the characters, the scope and the time-shifting wonderfulness. I think I may have just discovered what the title “Great American Writer” actually means.

Stephen L. Talbott
When I was hacking HTML code and riding the internet wave and being prodded internally that I needed to heed caution and not join the blind enthusiasm of everyone around me about what the “internet” was and can do for humanity… I discovered NetFuture and my voice found its echo in his writings. Stephen has never left my mental side.

OK.. this is pushing the envelop a bit, but how can you not love these guys?? Quirky in every way, indepenent, forever promoting fringe ideas and human centeredness. Hell, their studio is 100% solar powered and they give out a tree at each concert. The Cake Forest Rules!!




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