William Powers

 

Photo Credit: Anne Ghory-Goodman

 

 

Tuesday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.

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

At a time when everyone, from big businesses to ordinary individuals, is trying to make sense of their connected lives, Hamlet’s Blackberry presents a bold new paradigm for understanding the devices that now demand so much of our time and attention. Written in a lively, engaging style, Hamlet’s BlackBerry shows how our computers and mobile devices are changing the way we think, feel, and relate to others. While these technologies are tremendously helpful, they are also becoming our greatest burden, making it harder for us to focus and think clearly, do our best work and achieve the depth and fulfillment we crave.

Hamlet’s BlackBerry argues that we’ve surrendered too much of our lives to our screens, by following a philosophy the author calls Digital Maximalism. He offers an alternative approach that any individual or organization can use to manage their connectedness more wisely. Drawing on the ideas of some of the most brilliant thinkers in the history of human connectedness, from Socrates to Shakespeare and Ben Franklin to Marshall McLuhan, this new philosophy proceeds from the simple notion that connectedness serves us best when it’s offset by its opposite, disconnectedness. There are ways to strike a healthy balance between the two, and Hamlet’s BlackBerry shows how, using concrete examples from everyday life. 

"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

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

William Powers is a leading thinker on life in our information culture. A former staff writer for the Washington Post, he has written about media, technology and other subjects for a wide variety of publications including the Atlantic, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, National Journal, and McSweeney’s. He has appeared as a commentator in numerous broadcast outlets including National Public Radio and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, where the research for this book began and is a two-time winner of the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for press criticism.

Event date: 
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 7:30pm