Joshua Cohen: Book of Numbers

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Joshua Cohen's The Book of Numbers (Random House) follows the rise of the Internet through a protagonist he modeled after some of the web's biggest shapers, including Google's Sergey Brin, but mostly Apple's Steve Jobs. In this conversation, Cohen makes the connection between the Victorian era's demand for writers' constant output with the proliferation of the printing press, and what he calls, "this new printing press of the Internet," with its insatiable demand for content. In this state, where words as connectors are simultaneously more important than ever (Internet search functions, etc.), and more abundant than ever (social media), what does it mean for the difference between fiction and life?