We’re all pretty aware these days of the upheaval that digital technologies have created in the world of newspapers and book publishing. We’re less aware, I think, of the extreme disruption these technologies are bringing to university and college campuses across this country and worldwide. The rise of MOOCs (massive open online courses) is wreaking havoc with the ivy-covered institutions most of us grew up with and causing much hand-wringing among scholars. Anthony Masi, Provost of McGill University, takes a far more positive and optimistic view of such developments and encourages today’s universities to embrace them rather than being trampled by them.
In a similar vein, our valued contributor on all things digital – Tom Slee of Waterloo, Ontario – takes on three books that range from rapturous to deeply concerned about what the Internet is doing to our daily lives, our personalities and social interactions, our safety and security. The books are Gabriella Coleman‘s Coding Freedom, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman‘s Networked and Ron Deibert‘s Black Code.
In 1954 Samuel Bronfman needed a new building to headquarter his world-famous liquor business, Seagram’s, in New York City. The job fell to his brilliant but largely ignored daughter Phyllis, who hired Mies van der Rohe – and the rest is history. In this issue, cultural journalist Judy Stoffman reviews Building Seagram, Phyllis (Bronfman) Lambert‘s rigorous memoir, full of plans and photographs, of the gruelling three-year process of creating one of Manhattan’s most iconic landmarks.
Enjoy your fall reading!