Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
stream through digital devices in your office, home, car, pocket, or purse.
Technology connects you to your colleagues, family, and friends
regardless of location all the time. Pretty great, right? Then why do we
feel increasingly anxious and distracted, often ignoring the very people
we're with to hab
I'm just not that person.
Hamlet's BlackBerry presents William Powers's case that we all need to unplug and allow for the pauses in our lives that are necessary to truly appreciate our relationships, our private selves, and our imaginations. After spending what, for me, is an unnecessary amount of time presenting an argument that quickly becomes redundant, he moves into a more interesting (but fairly surface) look at how new technologies throughout hist ...more
Having spent the first part of the book describing the problem, Powers sets up the second part to be a tour through the ideas and philosophies of seven great thinkers, from Plato to Benjamin Franklin, each with advice to offer on establishing a balan ...more
I don't blog, I don't do Facebook or Twitter. I don't own an iAnything (pod, pad, phone). My cell phone is just that-- a phone. No internet capabilities, save a computer at home.
And I'm perfectly fine with all of it, thank you very much.
Powers takes our society's massive obsession/addiction to "being connected" down to its core: the fact that we have to "accept our fundamental separateness from others. Happiness is about knowing how to enjoy one's own compa ...more
Yet with it comes the feeling that you have to constantly check them to keep connected.
If you ever feel even slightly overwhelmed by it all, this book will make you realize that this is not just a 21st Century problem. It goes back as far as Plato (with the written word), Gutenberg (with the printed word), Shakespeare (with handheld devices - read the book to understand what "tables" are), Thoreau (with rail an ...more
What I appreciated most about this book was the way Powers points to history and literature to illustrate the problems and solutions we currently face in the "digital age".
Ever thought about how distressing the arrival of the written word must have been to a previously oral culture? Even the ancients had to find wa ...more
If there is any doubt that there is a problem, let's take this quote from the book regarding regaining focus on a task when one has been interrupted: "By some estimates, recovering focus can take ten to twenty times the length of the interruption. So a one-min ...more
Hamlet’s BlackBerry dis ...more
I've had an email account since 1984 and a cell phone since 1994, but I've never really thought that hard or systematically about what being connected electronically means to my life. I've always gone with the flow and upgraded to the latest gadgets, assuming that more features and more connectivity is unquestionably a good thing.
This book is important because it provides a set of mental constructs and historical reference points ...more
I liked the ...more
This historicising approach has its benefits. For one, it conveys that the nature of the issues faced in contemporary society are not new: they'v ...more
But there is a point past which it makes me crazy instead. And ...more
This also happens when I find that a book has quite a bit to ponder. Meaning, I don't want to RIP through it, because that would defeat the purpose of learning and processing the information.
So I s ...more
But still, my digital, online life has ...more
"We've effectively been living by a philosophy, albeit an unconscious one. It holds that (1) connecting via screens is good, and (2) the more you connect, the better. I call it Digital Maximalism, because the goal is maximum screen time. Few of us have decided this is a wise approach to life, but let's face it, this is how we have been living."
"Digital busyness is the enemy of depth."
"Part of what drives us back to the screen may be evolutionary programming. The human brain is wired t ...more
I need a button for skimmed. The author says it all in his marvelous on-air interviews. When I got right down to it, it was one family's experience: interesting, thought-provoking but not what I expected. It fell short, for me, of the "voice" I had heard.
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