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

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-08-09
  • Publisher: Harpercollins

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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.

Author Biography

Award-winning media critic William Powers has written for the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and McSweeney's, among other publications. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife, the author Martha Sherrill, and their son.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Roomp. xi
Introductionp. 1
What Larks?: The Conundrum of the Connected Life
Busy, Very Busy: In a Digital World, Where's the Depth?p. 9
Hello, Mother: The Magic of Screensp. 21
Gone Overboard: Falling Out with the Connected Lifep. 37
Solutions That Aren't: The Trouble with Not Really Meaning Itp. 67
Beyond the Crowd: Teachings of the Seven Philosophers of Screens
Walking to Heaven: Plato Discovers Distancep. 83
The Spa of the Mind: Seneca on Inner Spacep. 101
Little Mirrors: Gutenberg and the Business of Inwardnessp. 121
Hamlet's BlackBerry: Shakespeare on the Beauty of Old Toolsp. 137
Inventing Your Life: Ben Franklin on Positive Ritualsp. 157
The Walden Zone: Thoreau on Making the Home a Refugep. 175
A Cooler Self: McLuhan and the Thermostat of Happinessp. 193
In Search of Depth: Ideas in Practice
Not So Busy: Practical Philosophies for Every Dayp. 209
Disconnectopia: The Internet Sabbathp. 223
Afterword: Back to the Roomp. 235
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Notesp. 245
Further Readingp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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