After a delay in recording brought on by the horrors of technology, Craig, Jim, and “Oil Can” Rathbun are back in the bunkhouse on the historic Figure 8 Ranch to bring you another episode of the Running Iron Podcast. In this episode Lane Jacobson, owner of Paulina Springs Bookstore in Sisters, Oregon, sits down for a wide‐ranging discussion about books, artificial intelligence, algorithms, and his vision for what a great small‐town bookstore looks like.
On a clear day from Winter Ridge, high above the broad expanse of Summer Lake in south‐central Oregon, it is possible to look far into the eastern desert at a low‐slung formation called 5 Mile Point. It was way out there, in 1937, that archaeologist Luther Cressman began excavating the Paisley Caves. Today, the U.S. Forest Service maintains a tidy cabin up on Winter Ridge, at the place where John C. Fremont came out of the woods in the winter of 1843 and first beheld the breathtaking reach of the Great Basin.
Nobody can talk to anybody because everybody has been sucked away on the algorithms meant to charge the dopamine response in their brains, and they are almost incapable of entertaining information that comes from outside of the bubble that AI has created for them based on their own preferences. The effects of digital isolation are so bad that an entire industry now exists merely to re‐teach human beings how to sit down in the same room and have a conversation.