What Was It Like Before the Internet?
A magical time of unfettered creativity but zero productivity, the days before the Internet were so strange that it’s hard to believe they were real. Clearly no one got anything done, ever. Jenny Slate performs Emma Rathbone’s “Before the Internet,” from The New Yorker’s Shouts & Murmurs. Plus: Ten years ago, Susan Orlean, a staff writer at The New Yorker, wrote about a former laser physicist who had given up a successful career to become an origami artist. In time, Robert Lang became one of the world’s top practitioners,and origami became a surprising area of scientific activity, with government grants encouraging research into how materials fold. Orlean caught up with Lang at the OrigamiUSA convention recently, where she tried her hand at Lang’s popular goldfish—which has a hinged jaw and fins—and talked with him about the life lessons of folding paper.