I study people, technology, and the worlds they make.
My latest book, The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul (Little, Brown & Co. 2013) is about contemplative computing, the effort to use information technologies in ways that help you stay focused and be more creative, rather than distracted and fractured.
Professionally, I'm a futurist: as a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights I work at the boundary of forecasting, social media, and psychology. I'm also a visiting scholar at Stanford University.
I studied history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania, and have held fellowships at Williams College, University of California-Berkeley, and Microsoft Research Cambridge. My first book, Empire and the Sun: Victorian Solar Eclipse Expeditions (Stanford University Press, 2002), is about, well, Victorian solar eclipse expeditions.