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

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

3.7 34
by William Powers
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Laurie Winer
“[An] elegant meditation on our obsessive connectivity and its effect on our brains and our very way of life.”
Heller McAlpin
“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.”
Bob Woodward
“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.”
Maryanne Wolf
“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.”
Walter Isaacson
“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.”
Barry Schwartz
“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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061687174
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/09/2011
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
417,673
Product dimensions:
7.78(w) x 5.42(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Laurie Winer

“[An] elegant meditation on our obsessive connectivity and its effect on our brains and our very way of life.”

Bob Woodward

“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.”

Barry Schwartz

“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.”

Walter Isaacson

“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.”

Maryanne Wolf

“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.”

Heller McAlpin

“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.”

Meet the Author

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.

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Hamlet's BlackBerry 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
TIE3rd More than 1 year ago
C'mon, do you??? A well written, carefully thought out plan to lessen your daily digital workload. And truly, do you really need all that info? I thought so too. until I read Powers book. An eyeopener!!! A calming piece of gentle guidance in this overburdened digital world we now live in. Get a copy.
peakbagger06 More than 1 year ago
This is the book I have been looking for. It gives you permission to live life deeply away from the constant hum of the internet, email, twittering, blogging etc. Well written, well-researched look at technology through the ages. Who'd have thought that Ben Franklin, Socrates, Shakespeare struggled with over-connectedness with the technologies of their day. Powers tells us how they "pulled the plug" and got in touch with their inner selves to reflect, think deeply and be serene. A practical book, Powers gives some concrete examples of how to manage the gadgets of the 21st century so that you run them, they don't run us. Bravo, Mr. Powers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought this was to be about building a library on ones e book sibce i have about 400 archieved and 79 available plus an extra without a light with 300 plus thiught a general suggestion kist of complete works of would be given and what to be avoided as awful formating
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a somewhat breezily written book with lots of lessons from the author's life. Read Alone Together by Sherry Turkle for a much more profound discussion of this issue
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I don't normally read nonfiction, but this book really made me think about our culture and my own individual choices. It's refreshing to think that societies in the past have also had to adjust to new technologies and made it through unscathed! I'm passing this book around to everyone I know.
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