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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.

Published: HarperCollins on Jun 29, 2010
ISBN: 9780062002877
List price: $2.99
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Tavsiye alabilirmiyim https://www.engellimalzemesatisi.comread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The problem with modern society is that we assume that every technological advance is beneficial. Thankfully, there are several books out that make us think about that idea, and Hamlet's Blackberry is one of them.The book looks back through history at different technological leaps to see how they were received and how they were abused, pointing out that anything can be used for good or bad, depending on who is doing the using. That's the important thing to remember when evaluating technology -- "Is this going to make my life easier? And what am I going to do with the time I am saving?"You could do the ironic thing and get this as an e-book, but whatever you do, get this and read it. It will encourage you to have a little perspective, and maybe you'll even step away from the phone/computer/tablet and do something new. Interact with real, live, people.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm not usually a fan of What-Ails-Society-and-How-to-Fix-It books, so Hamlet's BlackBerry was a pleasant surprise. Granted, the first two chapters weren't very promising. It took a while before he made a point that really resonated with me, and that point was this: our degree of connectedness (ranging from perfect solitude to complete immersion the crowd) is up to us to decide, for ourselves, at any given moment. It seems like a "well, duh" kind of point, until you think about how often we become the tools of our tools. For example, I know I don't need to check my e-mail 18 times a day. But every time that little envelope icon appears on my smartphone, I tap in and check it. (Sidebar: it's usually ALA spam.) Furthermore, when reading e-mail this way, I rarely pause to take the time to compose a thoughtful response. The phone has enabled me to be more connected, more often, but the price for that connectedness has been a decline in reflection and thoughtful engagement. One particular comment leaped off the page at me:"The question now is how truly individual -- as in bold, original, unique -- you can be if you never step back from the crowd. When we think and write from within our busyness, surrounded by countless other voices, too often the result is reactive, derivative, short-shelf-life stuff."Highly, highly recommended for anyone who feels like they're spending too much time glued to screens.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Tavsiye alabilirmiyim https://www.engellimalzemesatisi.com
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The problem with modern society is that we assume that every technological advance is beneficial. Thankfully, there are several books out that make us think about that idea, and Hamlet's Blackberry is one of them.The book looks back through history at different technological leaps to see how they were received and how they were abused, pointing out that anything can be used for good or bad, depending on who is doing the using. That's the important thing to remember when evaluating technology -- "Is this going to make my life easier? And what am I going to do with the time I am saving?"You could do the ironic thing and get this as an e-book, but whatever you do, get this and read it. It will encourage you to have a little perspective, and maybe you'll even step away from the phone/computer/tablet and do something new. Interact with real, live, people.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm not usually a fan of What-Ails-Society-and-How-to-Fix-It books, so Hamlet's BlackBerry was a pleasant surprise. Granted, the first two chapters weren't very promising. It took a while before he made a point that really resonated with me, and that point was this: our degree of connectedness (ranging from perfect solitude to complete immersion the crowd) is up to us to decide, for ourselves, at any given moment. It seems like a "well, duh" kind of point, until you think about how often we become the tools of our tools. For example, I know I don't need to check my e-mail 18 times a day. But every time that little envelope icon appears on my smartphone, I tap in and check it. (Sidebar: it's usually ALA spam.) Furthermore, when reading e-mail this way, I rarely pause to take the time to compose a thoughtful response. The phone has enabled me to be more connected, more often, but the price for that connectedness has been a decline in reflection and thoughtful engagement. One particular comment leaped off the page at me:"The question now is how truly individual -- as in bold, original, unique -- you can be if you never step back from the crowd. When we think and write from within our busyness, surrounded by countless other voices, too often the result is reactive, derivative, short-shelf-life stuff."Highly, highly recommended for anyone who feels like they're spending too much time glued to screens.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a great read! Taking examples from philosophers from the past like Plato, Socrates, and Thoreau the author shows how they dealt with the new technologies of their time and the busyness it created. I was looking for some insight on how to better manage the screens in my life since I am surrounded by them in my work and pulled by their never ending tug in my personal life as well. The main idea is that for the most part we can control how and when we choose to use technology in our lives and he gives great insight on the philosophies of disconnecting and going inward when we desire.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
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I was afraid that Powers was going to go the easy route and condemn our connected gadgets. Instead, he accepts that we are so enamored of them because they have significant advantages. The issue is how to learn to use them in ways that let us continue to reflect, think deeply, and develop our inner lives. He doesn't do much to provide realistic answers. What shines in this book is that he revisits points in history where technological changes have brought their own crises to thinking people. We've worked through change before, and we will again.
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