update to the greatest christmas counterfactual ever

Is here. I will admit, I’ve wondered many times what my life would be like if the Internet had never been invented. My main conclusions are that I would have read more books, be less well apprised of current events, and have less geographically dispersed and less interesting friends. I’ve also wondered many times how growing up in rural Iowa would have been different had there been e-mail and the Web back then. There, presumably, I would have grown up feeling much less–shall we say–unusual, probably with both good and bad consequences.

The most farfetched part of It’s a Wonderful Life is the idea that Donna Reed would have ended up a spinster librarian if not for George Bailey.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

One thought on “update to the greatest christmas counterfactual ever”

  1. The internet: Without it PJ and I would have had to wait for our daughter to call saying that she and her boyfriend had made it to LA.

    But, due to Flightaware and the Delta websites, we knew exactly when her plane took off and landed.

    No, Donna Reed would never ended up being a spinster librarian. She would have been a floozie in Nick’s Bar.


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