The article begins with an anecdote about a high-school student — Vishal Singh — who wasn't making much progress reading the book he was assigned to read over the summer. Hey! The book is Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle," the book I was assigned to read in the summer of 1969. It's what the professors at the University of Michigan's experimental college — the Residential College (R.C.) — thought we ought to read to align our brains for whatever it was they planned to do to us.
We Bokonists believe that humanity is organized into teams, teams that do God's Will without ever discovering what they are doing. Such a team is called a karass by Bokonon "If you find your life tangled up with somebody else's life for no very logical reasons," writes Bokonon, "that person may be a member of your karass." At another point in The Books of Bokonon he tells us, "Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass." By that he means that a karass ignores national, institutional, occupational, familial, and class boundaries. It is as free form as an amoeba.Now, where are you more likely to find the other members of your karass? Sitting alone in your room reading "Cat's Cradle," or weaving your way through Facebook? The great irony is that if you were really into "Cat's Cradle," you'd love the web and the way kids today swim in it.
From the Wikipedia entry on Bokononism:
The religion of the people of San Lorenzo, called Bokononism, encompasses concepts unique to the novel, with San Lorenzan names such as:
granfalloon - a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is "Hoosiers"; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so really share little more than a name.Another example might be the teenagers who attend Vishal Singh's high school.
Busy, busy, busy - words Bokononists whisper upon witnessing an example of how interconnected everything is... on the internet!
Hey, sorry. I got distracted. I was going to tell you all about that NYT article. I think something has happened to my brain. But I'm not a teenager. I'm practically a sexagenarian. Would it be wrong of me to be in your karass?