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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

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Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age Cover

ISBN13: 9780061687174
ISBN10: 0061687170
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A crisp, passionately argued answer to the question that everyone who's grown dependent on digital devices is asking: "Where's the rest of my life?"

At a time when we're all trying to make sense of our relentlessly connected lives, this revelatory book presents a bold new approach to the digital age. Part intellectual journey, part memoir, Hamlet's BlackBerry sets out to solve what William Powers calls the conundrum of connectedness. Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose an enormous burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfillment we crave.

Hamlet's BlackBerry argues that we need a new way of thinking, an everyday philosophy for life with screens. To find it, Powers reaches into the past, uncovering a rich trove of ideas that have helped people manage and enjoy their connected lives for thousands of years. New technologies have always brought the mix of excitement and stress that we feel today. Drawing on some of history's most brilliant thinkers, from Plato to Shakespeare to Thoreau, he shows that digital connectedness serves us best when it's balanced by its opposite, disconnectedness.

Using his own life as laboratory and object lesson, Powers demonstrates why this is the moment to revisit our relationship to screens and mobile technologies, and how profound the rewards of doing so can be. Lively, original, and entertaining, Hamlet's BlackBerry will challenge you to rethink your digital life.

Review:

"[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

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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"A brilliant and thoughtful handbook for the Internet age — why we have this screen addiction, its many perils, and some surprising remedies that can make your life better." Bob Woodward

Review:

"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

Synopsis:

Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose a burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfillment we crave.

How to solve this problem? Hamlet’s BlackBerry argues that we just need a new way of thinking, an everyday philosophy for life with screens. William Powers sets out to solve what he calls the conundrum of connectedness. Reaching into the past—using his own life as laboratory and object lesson—he draws on some of history’s most brilliant thinkers, from Plato to Shakespeare to Thoreau, to demonstrate that digital connectedness serves us best when it’s balanced by its opposite, disconnectedness. Lively, original, and entertaining, Hamlet’s BlackBerry will challenge you to rethink your digital life.

About the Author

William Powers, a former staff writer for the Washington Post, has written about media, technology, and other subjects for a wide variety of publications, including the Atlantic, the New York Times, and McSweeney's. This book grew out of research he did as a fellow at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. A two-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for media criticism, he lives on Cape Cod with his wife, author Martha Sherrill, and their son. This is his first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

ccs, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by ccs)
An excellent read - erudite, pertinent, thought-provoking, pleasant writing style. Interesting ideas that generate new ways of considering the current and growing use of technology in our society - close to home and world-wide.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061687174
Subtitle:
Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
Author:
Powers, William
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Science Reference-Technology
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.648649 in 7.6 oz

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Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » Beginning and Reference
Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » Social Aspects » General
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Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » Computer Science

Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061687174 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[An] elegant meditation on our obsessive connectivity and its effect on our brains and our very way of life."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "A brilliant and thoughtful handbook for the Internet age — why we have this screen addiction, its many perils, and some surprising remedies that can make your life better."
"Review" by , "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."
"Synopsis" by , Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose a burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfillment we crave.

How to solve this problem? Hamlet’s BlackBerry argues that we just need a new way of thinking, an everyday philosophy for life with screens. William Powers sets out to solve what he calls the conundrum of connectedness. Reaching into the past—using his own life as laboratory and object lesson—he draws on some of history’s most brilliant thinkers, from Plato to Shakespeare to Thoreau, to demonstrate that digital connectedness serves us best when it’s balanced by its opposite, disconnectedness. Lively, original, and entertaining, Hamlet’s BlackBerry will challenge you to rethink your digital life.

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