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Caught in the Current: Searching for Simplicity in the Technological Age Hardcover – July 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

To escape the shackles of cell phones, watches, computers and other such technological ubiquities, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Bookman flees to where the "simplicity of the river is so reassuring." In an annual pilgrimage, he and a group friends head to Oregon’s Deschutes River to raft, fish and breathe fresh air. Bookman describes yearning for a simpler journey-a more basic, albeit riskier, search for balance amid modern life’s frenetic pace and its invisible, irrevocable bonds to technologies of growth and consumption. "Because we were originally molded by a world of scarcity," he writes, "we aren’t genetically prepared for a world of plenty." However, as Bookman and friends master-or almost master-icy rapids, endure scorching desert days and generally josh around, their need for modern life’s refreshment becomes evident. The author muses lucidly on the fate of community in the face of the Web, cell networks and television satellites. Some of Bookman’s examples of machines’ unrelenting grasp are downright scary, such as the ongoing experiments in living a "cyborg" life, in which "electrodes attached directly into people’s skulls allow them to operate a computer through mind control." Ultimately, Bookman, like others before him, contends that this artificial intelligence spells a spiraling doom. "The modern predicament reminds me of those Chinese finger traps, the paper toys that grip you tighter the more you struggle to escape," he writes. "The harder we fight for a sense of personal security and identity, insinuating new technologies into every aspect of our lives,...the less secure we actually feel."
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About the Author

Jay Bookman, an editor and columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has twice been recognized as the nation's outstanding editorial writer, and his work on environmental issues has been honored by the Wilderness Society and the National Wildlife Federation. He has received the Aldo Leopold Award, the National Headliner Award, and the Scripps Howard Award.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312309252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312309251
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,388,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i READ THIS REMARKABLE BOOK AND IMMEDIATELY BEGAN EVANGELIZING. ALTHOUGH BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND HIGHLY ENTERTAINING, IT POSTULATES THE VIEW THAT WE ARE NO LONGER VERY COMMUNAL. MEANING, WE EMAIL, TEXT, FAX, HAVE SEPERATE TVS, AND HARDLY EVER SPEND TIME IN A FACE TO FACE SITUATION.

ALSO, COMPUTERS ARE STUFFING OUR MINDS WITH SO MUCH DATA THAT WE OVERLOAD AND DON'T EVER GET AROUND TO MAKING DECISIONS.

CONTRARY TO THE ECLECTIC SOUNDS I'M POSTULATING, THIS IS A FUN BOOK TO READ. SURE, IT HAS A MESSAGE, BUT I DON'T THING I HAVE EVER BEEN SEDUCED INTO DAY DREAMING ABOUT NATURE, CATCHING LUNKER TROUT, OR SHUNNING DISTRACTIONS AS "CAUGHT IN THE CURRANT."

I WAS SO INSPIRED, i BOUGHT A COPY FOR MY YOUNG GRANDSON. HE IS A VERY INTELLIGENT YOUNG MAN, WITH 2 MASTERS DEGREES AND IS A MICRO SOFT EXECUTIVE. THE MESSAGE IN THIS BOOK IS JUST WHAT HE NEEDS TO FIND THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS.

RON WALKER
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By Linda Brandt on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must-read for anyone who ever feels besieged by our ubiquitous "communication" capablilty. Bookman is a good writer and an excellent observer of society. "Caught in the Current" is fun and easy to read, if sometimes frightening. While not offering pat answers for how to find simplicity, Bookman does a great job of showing us how we got to where we are and of pointing out some possible paths to follow from here on.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very simplistic writing without a real purpose. Nothing enlightening or revealing here. Don't even bother if it is a gift, a couple of hours of my life I won't get back.
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