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Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

ISBN: 9780061687167 | 0061687162
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Harpercollins
Pub. Date: 6/29/2010

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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.

“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

“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

“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

“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



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