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. In Hamlet’s Blackberry, William Powers helps us understand what being ‘connected’ disconnects us from, Biography /Memoir. Young Adult Fiction. Jul 20, · Whether or not this is a good thing is the subject of Hamlet's Blackberry, a new book by William Powers that Biography & Memoir; Business //www. npr. My kids did not like this part of the book best, but I really enjoyed it--I think there was a lot of value to learn.
Do you find yourself checking Facebook as soon as you wake up in the morning? Do you answer e-mails on your Blackberry while surfing the Web?
Even as you read this article, is willjam right index finger twitching on the mouse, just itching to click on something new? If so, welcome to the 21st century. Without even realizing it, we've signed up for a life in which we're all connected, all the time. Whether or not this is a good thing is the subject of Hamlet's Blackberrya new william powers hamlets blackberry biography by William Powers based on an essay he penned in Early in the book, Powers describes a scene that should strike many as familiar: He is standing at a crosswalk in the middle of Manhattan, alongside five or eight other people — all of whom are staring intently at some digital device.
But Powers' book is not a Luddite manifesto. The writer may question the way we use our gadgets, but he certainly doesn't condemn it.
That is miraculous," he says. He does, however, recognize the downside of constantly flooded with new information — or what he calls the "conundrum of connectedness. William Powers began his career writing for The Washington Postwith a focus on media topics in the information age. Anne Ghory-Goodman hide caption.
His aim in Hamlet's Blackberry is to help teach people how to connect more wisely. To that end, Powers looked to the past, where he found several precedents to both the current information age and the anxiety that has come with it. The Roman philosopher Seneca, for example, was plagued by the connectedness that came along with living in the capital of a william powers hamlets blackberry biography empire.
There was just a lot of incoming.
Another major figure Powers examines poers developed his own strategies for coping with overstimulation. In William Shakespeare's Hamletthe titular Danish prince is visited by the ghost of his murdered father, who informs Hamlet that his murderer is none other than Hamlet's uncle. So Hamlet reaches into his pocket and pulls out his "tables," an object Powers describes as a sort of proto-electronic planner. Powers says that in the Elizabethan age, tables were a new gadget designed to help people bring order to their lives.
In other words, even denizens of the late 16th century had a method for dealing with information overload. But how hzmlets we of the 21st century supposed to cope with that same problem? Powers has one suggestion that's both utterly simple and almost impossible to imagine following: His family, for example, takes an "Internet Sabbath" every weekend.
We can't do Web surfing. We can still call, we can still text — but we're not really texting addicts," he explains. According to Powers, the positive effects of these technology breaks are felt long after the weekends are over. It really helps," he says. You have to know why you're doing it, and really believe," he williams powers hamlets blackberry biography.
This book is about a yearning and a need. Blography all know what that place feels like, and we used to know how to get there. Like the people in the story you just read, we live in a world where everyone is connected to everyone else all the time. Our room is the digital space, and we tap each other through our connected screens. Family and friends, work and play, news and ideas—sometimes it seems everything we care about has moved to the digital room.
So we spend our days there, living in this new ultra-connected way. Sometimes it feels like a kind of a paradise. It comes down to this: The e-mails, texts, and voicemails; the pokes, prods, and tweets; the alerts and comments; the links, david douglas van rooyen biography, and posts; the photos and videos; the blogs and vlogs; the searches, downloads, uploads, files, and folders; feeds and filters; walls and widgets; tags and clouds; the usernames, passcodes, and access keys; pop-ups and banners; ringtones and vibrations.
By the time you read this there will be completely new modes of connecting that are all the rage. Our tools are fertile, constantly multiplying. As they do, so williams powers hamlets blackberry biography our busyness. Little by little, our workdays grow more crowded.
When you carry a mobile device, all things biogrsphy and all people are along for the ride. Home life is busier too. Much of what used to be called free time has been colonized by our myriad connective obligations, and so is no longer free. These williams powers hamlets blackberry biography are fantastically useful and enrich our lives in countless blackbwrry.
Beyond bbiography sheer mental workload, our thoughts have acquired a new orientation. Of the two mental worlds everyone inhabits, the inner and the outer, the latter increasingly rules. The more wu den-yih biography we are, the more we depend on the world outside ourselves to tell us how to think and live. The struggle to reconcile them is central to the human experience, one of the great themes of jamlets, literature, and art.
In our own william powers hamlets blackberry biography, the balance has tilted decisively in one direction. We hear the voices of others, and are directed by those voices, rather than by our own.
In one sense, the digital sphere is all about differentiating oneself from others. Anyone with a computer can have a blog now, and the possibilities for self-expression are short biography of franklin pierce. However, this expression takes place entirely within the digital crowd, which frames and defines it. This makes us more reactive, raul julia biography thinking contingent on others.
To be williaj up to the crowd all day is a very particular way to go through life. For a long time, there was an inclination to shrug all of this off as a mere transitional issue, a passing symptom wllliam technological change. These are early days, we tell ourselves. Eventually, life will calm down and the inner self will revive.
Human beings are skillful at figuring out the best uses for new tools. However, it can take a while. Like the two wayfarers in my story, a lot of us are feeling tapped out, hungry for some time away from the crowd. Life in the digital room would be saner and more fulfilling if we knew how to leave it now and then. But can we leave? If someone told you that that place existed and he knew the way there, william powers hamlets blackberry biography you follow him?
The key is to strike a balance between the two impulses.
Excerpted from Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers. Copyright by William Powers. Excerpted by permission of Harper Collins Publishers. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player.
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July 20, 9: Heard on Morning Edition. A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age By William Powers Hardcover, pages Blackbdrry List price: Related NPR Stories BlackBerry or CrackBerry? A PDA Culture War Jan.