Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Book with Wings, Anselm KieferA few of my favorite terms and their definitions from Douglas Coupland’s “A Dictionary of the Near Future,” New York Times, September 12, 2010:

DENARRATION The process whereby one’s life stops feeling like a story.

DESELFING Willingly diluting one’s sense of self and ego by plastering the Internet with as much information as possible. (See also Omniscience Fatigue; Undeselfing)

FRANKENTIME What time feels like when you realize that most of your life is spent working with and around a computer and the Internet.

INSTANT REINCARNATION The fact that most adults, no matter how great their life is, wish for radical change in their life. The urge to reincarnate while still alive is near universal.

INTERNAL VOICE BLINDNESS The near universal inability of people to articulate the tone and personality of the voice that forms their interior monologue.

INTERRUPTION-DRIVEN MEMORY We remember only red traffic lights, never the green ones. The green ones keep us in the flow, the red ones interrupt and annoy us.

INTRAFFINITAL MELANCHOLY VS. EXTRAFFINITAL MELANCHOLY Which is lonelier: to be single and lonely, or to be lonely within a dead relationship?

ME GOGGLES The inability to accurately perceive oneself as others do.

OMNISCIENCE FATIGUE The burnout that comes with being able to know the answer to almost anything online.

ROSENWALD’S THEOREM The belief that all the wrong people have self-esteem.

SITUATIONAL DISINHIBITION Social contrivances within which one is allowed to become disinhibited, that is, moments of culturally approved disinhibition: when speaking with fortunetellers, to dogs and other pets, to strangers and bartenders in bars, or with Ouija boards.

STANDARD DEVIATION Feeling unique is no indication of uniqueness, and yet it is the feeling of uniqueness that convinces us we have souls.

STAR SHOCK The disproportionate way that meeting celebrities feels slightly like being told a piece of life-changing news.

UNDESELFING The attempt, usually frantic and futile, to reverse the deselfing process.

ZOOSOMNIAL BLURRING The notion that animals probably don’t see much difference between dreaming and being awake.

Read the complete list…