things I am thinking over this morning

'The Pen, Mightier' by Nell Boeschenstein at The Millions. An essay on pen obsessions, obsolete technologies, and a dislocated generation:

We also remember a time when computers were not part and parcel of our lives, the way we thought, wrote, communicated. We are savvy with technology and to most we appear self-assured with it, prone to internet addiction and a knack for communicating more effectively over email than in conversation. But not a few of us, I imagine, are quite as fluent as our friends born just after us. In some ways we were outdated before we hit puberty. For this group of us there remains a lingering sense of “this newfangled thing in this brave new world” that we felt the first time when we were six or eight or ten and staring at the black screen with the green cursor blinking at us, as if into oblivion. Though we’ve spent the rest of our lives trying to prove otherwise, the strangeness of this second language persists even as our accents may remain imperceptible to anyone’s ears but our own.
'Our Psychic Living Room' by Rebekah Frumkin at The Common Review. On why liking David Foster Wallace has 'everything to do with patience and an earnest desire to be a better human being.'

Michael Williamsreview of Punching OutDying industries and the disappearing American middle class.