Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey and/or robots). His plays have been performed in New York, Boston, Hollywood, and Alaska, and his comic books have been published by GrayHaven Comics and Ninth Art Press. By day, Thom is the Tony Award-winning Web & New Media Manager at the Huntington Theatre Company, and blogs for a number of websites including Quirk Publishing, Tor Dot Com, and Five By Five Hundred. He grew up in the same town as Eli Whitney, Thornton Wilder, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and currently resides in Jamaica Plain, MA. Thom is a graduate of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop at UCSD and Emerson College, and he firmly believes that Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is the single worst atrocity committed against mankind. thomdunn.net
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What was the first piece of technology you remember using? What was your favorite (or least favorite) thing about it?
An Appl Mac LCIII that my dad brought home in 1990. I was the first kid I knew to have a home computer, so naturally my favorite thing about it was everything. It even had 128 colors! Which may have also been the worst thing, looking back….
What piece of obsolete technology do you still use? Why?
I have a stero receiver head from the 70s that I use to power my home audio system / recording studio monitors. It’s bulky and heavy and gives off such a warm analog tone (and it’s old enough that it lets me kind of MacGuyver together the connections, between the speakers and the inputs). Similarly, I sometimes use a 1962 Sears Silvertone tube amplifier when I play music gigs. It sounds so much warm and fuzzy and only has 3 knobs and no matter what I play, it sounds like an early Kinks or Rolling Stones song, which is a tone I cannot mimic with any other technology.
What is your favorite social network and why?
Twitter, because I am a narcissist with ADHD.
What has been your most moving experience with technology? Were you overwhelmed, touched, in awe?
After one of my good friends passed away in 2009, it was strange watching his Facebook wall become a gravesite, with people posting “flowers” in the form of photos and text on his wall. At first it made me uncomfortable, but now, 4 years later, it’s kind of nice as a way to memorialize a person, and connect with others who are suffering from that same loss (though it is still kind of weird).
If you could add one new button to Facebook, what would it be?
Hilariously Ironic Acknowledgement Of How Much That Sucks, Dude
If you were to create a 5-song mixed tape to share with the world via the Internet, what would be on it?
Click to Listen!!
1. “Song For A Mixtape” by The Ataris
2. “Cowboy Song” by Thin Lizzy
3. “El Scorcho” by Weezer
4. “3 Minutes” by 2 Skinnee J’s
5. “Misunderstood” by Wilco