Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review: Hamlet's Blackberry

Title Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
Author William Powers
Rating ****
Tags non-fiction, technology, philosophy, thought, internet 

I started this book rather in the mood of a sullen child told to put away her toys, for that is to some degree the message of the author. His thesis is that our now current state of constant connectedness via computer and mobile phones leads to shallowness of thought, an inability to focus and concentrate. The author gradually won me over by his arguments, however, as it is a sensible argument hard to refute. I especially enjoy the last half of the book where he discusses seven philosophers or technologists who have wrestled with the problem of a world too much with us and how to provide one's self with time free of distraction and able to ..."strike a healthy balance between connected and disconnected, crowd and self, the outward life and the inward one". (p. 210)

Powers also talks about the experience of his own family in going disconnected on the weekends and how it has deepened what they do together. He is concerned that we be aware of the need for balance now, before the habit of times devoted to such balance is lost. A book worth reading.

Publication Harper (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 288 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 0061687162 / 9780061687167

Posted via email from reannon's posterous

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