Hamlet's Blackberry

Hamlet's Blackberry

A Practical Philosophy for Building A Good Life in the Digital Age

Book - 2010
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Summary: "At a time when weʼre all trying to make sense of our relentlessly connected lives, this revelatory book presents a bold new approach to the digital age. Part intellectual journey, part memoir, Hamletʼs BlackBerry sets out to solve what William Powers calls the conundrum of connectedness. Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose an enormous burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfilment we crave. Powers argues that we need a new philosophy for life with screens. To find it, he reaches into the past, uncovering a rich trove of ideas that have helped people manage and enjoy their connected lives for thousands of years. Drawing on some of historyʼs most brilliant thinkers, from Plato to Shakespeare to Thoreau, he shows that digital connectedness serves us best when itʼs balanced by its opposite, disconnectedness. Using his own life as both laboratory and object lesson, Powers demonstrates why this is the moment to revisit our relationship to screens and mobile technologies, and how profound the rewards of doing so can be. Lively, original, and entertaining, Hamletʼs BlackBerry will challenge you to rethink your digital life."--Publisher description.
Publisher: Carlton North, Vic. : Scribe Publications, 2010.
ISBN: 9781921640780
Characteristics: xv, 267 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.

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tjdickey
Nov 03, 2017

To be connected or not to be connected; that is the question.
Powers' important goal is to teach us how to reach the proper Depth of human living while retaining the benefits of our screens and digital tools. This conundrum applies to our personal lives, our relationships, and our work time (28% of work time lost to digital distraction??) in equal measure. Powers' answer is not just to disconnect, but to create the gaps in which we can breathe, and the gaps "where thoughts, feelings, and relationships take root;" his compelling narrative takes through a number of points in history when deep thinkers (from Plato to Ben Franklin to Marshall McLuhan) have considered questions of balance between the inner life and life in a crowd, in every case as mediated by changes in technology.
The author spent many years as a prominent journalist and now works at the MIT Media Lab.

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AndrewRossLibrary
May 01, 2015

Relevant read as to why we look around and see nothing but humans staring into screens and what to do about it!

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