In a world so saturated in connectivity that every last oddball can find a poll, a pie chart, or an online pal to confirm that he's not alone, there are still some gaps that can't be bridged.
Let Walt Whitman provide the epigraph: “I am large,” the poet declared, “I contain multitudes.” Ah, Walt, these days who doesn’t? And there’s not a moment when multitudinous we aren’t sounding off about something, a nation of self-anointed experts and bloggers with a toxic addiction to sharing. It doesn’t help that there’s not a moment when we aren’t being encouraged to sound off. We’re under siege by outlets and divvied up to suit a rampant array of survey and poll criteria: age, income, geography, mood, ailment, enthusiasm (culinary, political, sexual, aesthetic, athletic). We’re peered at through the right end of the telescope and the wrong, and mined in the course of a lifetime for all the various us-es we become.
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James Morris is an editor at large of The Wilson Quarterly and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.more from this author >>