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Our discombobulated Internet Age could learn important new tricks from some very old thinkers, according to this incisive critique of online life and its discontents. Journalist Powers bemoans the reigning dogma of digital maximalism that requires us to divide our attention between ever more e-mails, text messages, cellphone calls, video streams, and blinking banners, resulting, he argues, in lowered productivity and a distracted life devoid of meaning and depth. In a nifty and refreshing turn, he looks to ideas of the past for remedies to this hyper-modern predicament: to Plato, who analyzed the transition from the ancient technology of talking to the cutting-edge gadgetry of written scrolls; to Shakespeare, who gave Hamlet the latest in Elizabethan information apps, an erasable notebook; to Thoreau, who carved out solitary spaces amid the press of telegraphs and railroads. The author sometimes lapses into mysticism—In solitude we meet not just ourselves but all other selves—and his solutions, like the weekend-long Internet Sabbaths he and his wife decreed for their family, are small-bore. But Powers deftly blends an appreciation of the advantages of information technology and a shrewd assessment of its pitfalls into a compelling call to disconnect. (July)
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“[An] elegant meditation on our obsessive connectivity and its effect on our brains and our very way of life.” (Laurie Winer, New York Times Book Review)
“Powers mounts a passionate but reasoned argument for ‘a happy balance’. . . . [He] is a lively, personable writer who seeks applicable lessons from great thinkers of the past. . . . Lucid, engaging prose and [a] thoughtful take on the joys of disconnectivity.” (Heller McAlpin, Christian Science Monitor)
“A brilliant and thoughtful handbook for the Internet agewhy we have this screen addiction, its many perils, and some surprising remedies that can make your life better.” (Bob Woodward)
“In this delightfully accessible book, Powers asks the questions we all need to ask in this digitally driven time. And teaches us to answer them for ourselves.” (Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid)
“Benjamin Franklin would love this book. He knew the power of being connected, but also how this must be balanced by moments of reflection. William Powers offers a practical guide to Socrates’ path to the good life in which our outward and inward selves are at one.” (Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life)
“Always connected. Anytime. Anyplace. We know it’s a blessing, but we’re starting to notice that it’s also a curse. In Hamlet’s Blackberry, William Powers helps us understand what being ‘connected’ disconnects us from, and offers wise advice about what we can do about it…. A thoughtful, elegant, and moving book.” (Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less)
The point the author is making is valid -- today's society is addicted to 'screens' and instant information-gratification. Read morePublished 5 months ago by P. Baird
Great book about the revolution of communication and transfer of knowledge! After reading you will want to try the digital Sabbath!Published 7 months ago by W. Hoyt
By citing the Blackberry phone in the title the book shows its age a bit, since Blackberry is a disappearing brand. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dennis A. Turner
The rest is kind of like a review of the author's therapy sessions. Helpful but a little repetitive. Still a worthwhile read bPublished 9 months ago by Goldie
Powers cuts to the heart of the matter in a way readers instantly connect with and relate to. A must read for everyone contemplating getting back to a rich inner life.Published 9 months ago by Thomas
William Powers is a writer by trade who uses digital technology on a daily basis. Therefore his expertise in the subject of technology is not extremely high but this... Read more
Excellent and very informative. A cautionary and instructive book regarding life in the digital age.Published 10 months ago by John R. Daubney