Andrew's Reviews > Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

Hamlet's BlackBerry by William  Powers
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's review
Dec 02, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: tech-bus
Read in November, 2010

The author's main point is that our digital immersion lacks focus and gaps. We jump too much from app to app (multitasking) which keeps us from experiencing depth for each individual task, and there are no gaps where we have time to reflect on what we've experiences. Also, we are becoming even more focused outward, than inward.

New technologies change us:

Plato: Socrates though that writing was less desirable than the oral tradition.

Gutenberg: (His first invention was mass produced mirrors used to reflect the healing powers of Jesus's swaddling clothes.) Books were rare and were read aloud; the movable type printing press changed reading to a more solitary practice. It also made sharing information more democratic; some complained that it would spread worthless and corrupting information. (Note: English law considered literacy when imposing penalties; capital punishment for illiterates.)

Shakespeare: used an erasable wax tablet - very popular for centuries

David Rieman's "The Lonely Crowd" - people are being more outward focused, sharing mass values rather than their own.

McLulan: Each new technology is an extension of man, and changes humans. Technology creates new environments, which cause stress & pain.

Advice: create quiet zones.

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