Have you ever used the term "virtual communities?" Considering most of us have been living in "virtual communities" for more than a year now, the answer is probably yes. Well, Rheingold was a pioneer in the development of these communities and has spent his career dissecting the cultural, social, and political ramifications of our increased usage of the Internet and communication media. I wonder how much time Rheingold has spent deeply sighing into the abyss after scrolling through his Facebook feed.
Nonetheless, Rheingold has contributed extensive research to the information society and written several books throughout his career, including Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, Out of the Inner Circle (with Bill Landreth), and Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology.
While not technically a Mill Valley resident, Joyce Maynard was a former Marin County resident. She's best known for her true crime, fiction, and young adult works. Remember the Pamela Smart murder case? Joyce Maynard was inspired by it for her novel To Die For, which was later adapted into an excellent black comedy-drama film starring Nicole Kidman (who should really play more villainous roles). She also penned the 2009 coming-of-age novel Labor Day, which also received a film adaption, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet.
A San Francisco native, Mildred Jacqueline Bremler, more commonly known by her pseudonym Milly Bennett, was a notable American journalist and writer. She spent years reporting on political turmoil in China and social conditions in the Spanish Civil War, Soviet Union, and even the United States.
Milly was a remarkable woman and war correspondent who wrote extensively on communism and unrest throughout the early 1900s. Her legacy remains at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Let's take a moment to be impressed by her achievements before we go back to reading the latest grocery store tabloid. After living abroad for most of her life, Milly returned to California to set up a Mill Valley home in 1960.
Out of all the writers on this list, Amy Tan is probably the most popular and prodigious. Tan is the acclaimed author behind books like The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter's Daughter. Though Amy lives nearby in Sausalito, she sat down with Marin Magazine in 2008 to discuss her decision to move to Marin County, so we have literature royalty living among us!
Tan also admitted that while she loves Marin County and its beautiful weather, she hates "holier-than-thou cyclists who yell at us that we're lazy when we're on our Segways." I think that's something we can all relate to; even if you don't own a Segway, no one wants to be scolded by a cyclist in bike shorts.
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