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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Voodoo Electronics

Jaron Lanier On The Danger Of Letting Computers Do Our Thinking For Us

I’m worried that the technologies of the future will be created by people I call “cybernetic totalists.” . . . They believe there isn’t any real difference between people and computers, that the human brain is just a better computer than the ones you can currently buy from Apple or Dell.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Religion of Politics, The Politics of Religion

On January 20, 2005, a few hours before I needed to leave for the airport, I was exercising on my ski machine while I watched the president’s inaugural address on television. I confess to being fascinated by our president, whose sheer nerve amazes me. Besides, I love national spectacles and am easily swept away by the emotions, however cooked up they may be. So I sped along on my skis (going nowhere), mesmerized by the black-suited president walking down the aisle toward the podium, the crowds, the pomp, the solemnity of the occasion. I momentarily forgot about my flight.

The Last, Hateful Word

The day I met Harry, he was drunk and desperate. We were in a bar with a group of work colleagues, and he was ranting about how a woman had mistreated him. There was something about fumbled sex on a beach, and a long train ride, and a wound to the heart. His tone was dramatic, misogynistic, and self-pitying. I thought he was the most obnoxious man I had ever met.

Being Frosty

In the winter of 1980, my older sister Barbara got a job playing the part of Frosty the Snowman at the Frederick Towne Mall in Maryland. I made fun of her, but Barbara was self-confident and gregarious, and the role seemed to fit her well. Then, when basketball season started, her job conflicted with her practice schedule, and she asked if I wanted to take over the role of Frosty. It was easy, she said. Anyone could do it.

Safety Planning

In the middle of our Tuesday staff meeting, the red light blinks on my pager, and it sings its song. We’re debating who will cover Debbie’s shift. Sophie claims a wedding in the city. Rhonda says she has a date.


My Mother’s Convalescence

I was riding in the back seat of my Aunt Belle’s Cadillac when my cousin Joanie whispered, “You want some gum?” then leaned over to me and stuck her tongue in my mouth. When she sat back, smiling, I found that she’d left her gum behind. It was gnarled and cold and foreign-tasting, I suppose because it was wet with someone else’s saliva.

Readers Write

On The Edge

I have $8,600 in not-so-crisp bills packed away in my canvas overnight bag, along with two pairs of shorts, two shirts, four socks, two pairs of underwear, and, for some reason, a small penlight. I am a forty-eight-year-old man, and tomorrow morning I’m running away.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

May 2005

OK, loneliness, you win. Three wives: not good enough. Two adoring daughters: you didn’t blink. Lovers, friends, two gray cats who sit on my chest and purr. You were napping, you said. You don’t remember.

Musings From Our Founder ▸


“Before we work on artificial intelligence, why don’t we do something about natural stupidity?”

Steve Polyak

More Quotations ▸
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