Why predict?

“More private and much more public. More mobile and more stationary. And I think not only more shallow but more deep.”

michael-schudsonEverything we predict comes true. Only sooner than we thought. With consequences worse than we feared and better than we hoped — both at once. We grow more polarized and more centered on common concerns. More individualistic and also more social. More private and much more public. More mobile and more stationary. And I think not only more shallow but more deep.

We are less willing or able to roll the words of a poem by Dickinson or Frost around in our heads but more likely to ponder a handful of words from a song lyric or a line from a film (if you build it, they will come) or from a subway slogan manufactured in an advertising/public relations agency (if you see something, say something). That’s poetry, too.

is a sociologist and professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.