THE END OF ABSENCE RECLAIMING WHAT WEVE LOST IN A WORLD OF CONSTANT CONNECTION

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The End Of Absence

Author : Michael John Harris
ISBN : 9780698150584
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 76.31 MB
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Soon enough, nobody will remember life before the Internet. What does this unavoidable fact mean? Those of us who have lived both with and without the crowded connectivity of online life have a rare opportunity. We can still recognize the difference between Before and After. We catch ourselves idly reaching for our phones at the bus stop. Or we notice how, midconversation, a fumbling friend dives into the perfect recall of Google. In this eloquent and thought-provoking book, Michael Harris argues that amid all the changes we're experiencing, the most interesting is the end of absence-the loss of lack. The daydreaming silences in our lives are filled; the burning solitudes are extinguished. There's no true "free time" when you carry a smartphone. Today's rarest commodity is the chance to be alone with your thoughts. Michael Harris is an award-winning journalist and a contributing editor at Western Living and Vancouvermagazines. He lives in Toronto, Canada.
Category: Social Science

The End Of Absence

Author : Michael Harris
ISBN : 9781443426299
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84.6 MB
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Only one generation in history (ours) will experience life both with and without the Internet. For everyone who follows us, online life will simply be the air they breathe. Today, we revel in ubiquitous information and constant connection, rarely stopping to consider the implications for our logged-on lives. Michael Harris chronicles this massive shift, exploring what we’ve gained—and lost—in the bargain. In this eloquent and thought-provoking book, Harris argues that our greatest loss has been that of absence itself—of silence, wonder and solitude. It’s a surprisingly precious commodity, and one we have less of every year. Drawing on a vast trove of research and scores of interviews with global experts, Harris explores this “loss of lack” in chapters devoted to every corner of our lives, from sex and commerce to memory and attention span. The book’s message is urgent: once we’ve lost the gift of absence, we may never remember its value.
Category: Social Science

Solitude

Author : Michael Harris
ISBN : 9781250088611
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 73.7 MB
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With a foreword by Nicholas Carr, author of the Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Shallows. Today, society embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on mobile devices and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive connection. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded isolation: we are always linked, but only shallowly so. The capacity to be alone, properly alone, is one of life’s subtlest skills. Real solitude is a powerful resource we can call upon—a crucial ingredient for a rich interior life. It inspires reflection, allows creativity to flourish, and improves our relationships with ourselves and, unexpectedly, with others. Idle hands can, in fact, produce the extraordinary. In living bigger and faster, we have forgotten the joys of silence, and undervalued how profoundly it can revolutionize our lives. This book is about discovering stillness inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy lives. With wit and energy, award-winning author Michael Harris weaves captivating true stories with reporting from the world’s foremost brain researchers, psychologists, and tech entrepreneurs to guide us toward a state of measured connectivity that balances quiet and companionship. Solitude is a beautiful and convincing statement on the transformative power of being alone.
Category: Psychology

The Limits Of The Digital Revolution How Mass Media Culture Endures In A Social Media World

Author : Derek Hrynyshyn
ISBN : 9781440832963
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 68.86 MB
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This academic analysis explores social media, specifically examining its influence on the cultural, political, and economic organization of our society and the role capitalism plays within its domain. • Explores the use of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter in revolutionary political action and the effects of "viral" campaigns on political culture • Uncovers the truth behind piracy infringements on popular cultural industries • Reveals the hidden factors driving the rapid expansion of social media • Discusses how capitalism affects the development of social media • Examines how social media shares characteristics with and differs from mass media
Category: Business & Economics

Mind Change

Author : Susan Greenfield
ISBN : 9780812993837
Genre : Science
File Size : 56.13 MB
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We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price? Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional views—brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of “the global now.” Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ. Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who’ve never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity. But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political “clicktivism” foments positive change. In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment. Praise for Mind Change “Greenfield’s application of the mismatch between human and machine to the brain introduces an important variation on this pervasive view of technology. . . . She has a rare talent for explaining science in accessible prose.”—The Washington Post “Greenfield’s focus is on bringing to light the implications of Internet-induced ‘mind change’—as comparably multifaceted as the issue of climate change, she argues, and just as important.”—Chicago Tribune “Mind Change is exceedingly well organized and hits the right balance between academic and provocative.”—Booklist “[A] challenging, stimulating perspective from an informed neuroscientist on a complex, fast-moving, hugely consequential field.”—Kirkus Reviews “[Greenfield] is not just an engaging communicator but a thoughtful, responsible scientist, and the arguments she makes are well-supported and persuasive.”—Mail on Sunday “Greenfield’s admirable goal to prove an empirical basis for discussion is . . . an important one.”—Financial Times “An important presentation of an uncomfortable minority position.”—Jaron Lanier, Nature From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Science

Curious

Author : Ian Leslie
ISBN : 9780465079964
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 26.35 MB
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“I have no special talents,” said Albert Einstein. “I am only passionately curious.” Everyone is born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. So why are many of us allowing our curiosity to wane? In Curious, Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our “desire to know.” Just when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood, undervalued, and increasingly monopolized by a cognitive elite. A “curiosity divide” is opening up. This divide is being exacerbated by the way we use the Internet. Thanks to smartphones and tools such as Google and Wikipedia, we can answer almost any question instantly. But does this easy access to information guarantee the growth of curiosity? No—quite the opposite. Leslie argues that true curiosity the sustained quest for understanding that begets insight and innovation—is in fact at risk in a wired world. Drawing on fascinating research from psychology, economics, education, and business, Curious looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and finds surprising answers. Curiosity isn’t, as we’re encouraged to think, a gift that keeps on giving. It is a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise and a habit that parents, schools, and workplaces need to nurture. Filled with inspiring stories, case studies, and practical advice, Curious will change the way you think about your own mental habits, and those of your family, friends, and colleagues.
Category: Psychology

Creativity

Author : Philippe Petit
ISBN : 9781101620076
Genre : Self-Help
File Size : 86.32 MB
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In the vein of The Creative Habit and The Artist’s Way, a new manifesto on the creative process from a master of the impossible. Since well before his epic 1974 walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, Philippe Petit had become an artist who answered first and foremost to the demands of his craft—not only on the high wire, but also as a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, and writer. A born rebel like many creative people, he was from an early age a voracious learner who taught himself, cultivating the attitudes, resources, and techniques to tackle even seemingly impossible feats. His outlaw sensibility spawned a unique approach to the creative process—an approach he shares, with characteristic enthusiasm, irreverence, and originality in Creativity: The Perfect Crime. Making the reader his accomplice, Petit reveals new and unconventional ways of going about the artistic endeavor, from generating and shaping ideas to practicing and problem-solving to pulling off the “coup” itself—executing a finished work. The strategies and insights he shares will resonate with performers of every stripe (actors, musicians, dancers) and practitioners of the non-performing arts (painters, writers, sculptors), and also with ordinary mortals in search of fresh ways of tackling the challenges and possibilities of everyday existence.
Category: Self-Help

Mindless

Author : Simon Head
ISBN : 9780465069743
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 69.56 MB
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We live in the age of Computer Business Systems (CBSs)—the highly complex, computer-intensive management programs on which large organizations increasingly rely. In Mindless, Simon Head argues that these systems have come to trump human expertise, dictating the goals and strategies of a wide array of businesses, and de-skilling the jobs of middle class workers in the process. CBSs are especially dysfunctional, Head argues, when they apply their disembodied expertise to transactions between humans, as in health care, education, customer relations, and human resources management. And yet there are industries with more human approaches, as Head illustrates with specific examples, whose lead we must follow and extend to the mainstream American economy. Mindless illustrates the shortcomings of CBS, providing an in-depth and disturbing look at how human dignity is slipping as we become cogs on a white collar assembly line.
Category: Technology & Engineering

The Impulse Society

Author : Paul Roberts
ISBN : 9781608198184
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 36.45 MB
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It's something most of us have sensed for years-the rise of a world defined only by "mineÂ?? and "now.Â?? A world where business shamelessly seeks the fastest reward, regardless of the long-term social consequences; where political leaders reflexively choose short-term fixes over broad, sustainable social progress; where individuals feel increasingly exploited by a marketplace obsessed with our private cravings yet oblivious to our spiritual well-being or the larger needs of our families and communities. At the heart of The Impulse Society is an urgent, powerful story: how the pursuit of short-term self-gratification, once scorned as a sign of personal weakness, became the default principle not only for individuals, but for all sectors of our society. Drawing on the latest research in economics, psychology, political philosophy, and business management, Paul Roberts shows how a potent combination of rapidly advancing technologies, corrupted ideologies, and bottom-line business ethics has pushed us across a threshold to an unprecedented state: a virtual merging of the market and the self. The result is a socioeconomic system ruled by impulse, by the reflexive, id-like drive for the largest, quickest, most "efficientÂ?? reward, without regard for long-term costs to ourselves or to broader society. More than thirty years ago, Christopher Lasch hinted at this bleak world in his landmark book, The Culture of Narcissism. In The Impulse Society, Roberts shows how that self-destructive pattern has grown so pervasive that anxiety and emptiness are becoming embedded in our national character. Yet it is in this unease that Roberts finds clear signs of change-and broad revolt as millions of Americans try step off the self-defeating treadmill of gratification and restore a sense of balance. Fresh, vital, and free of ideological, right-wing/left-wing formulations, The Impulse Society shows the way back to a world of real and lasting good.
Category: Social Science

The Four Dimensional Human Ways Of Being In The Digital World

Author : Laurence Scott
ISBN : 9780393353082
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 63.52 MB
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You are a four-dimensional human. Each of us exists in three-dimensional, physical space. But, as a constellation of everyday digital phenomena rewires our lives, we are increasingly coaxed from the containment of our predigital selves into a wonderful and eerie fourth dimension, a world of ceaseless communication, instant information, and global connection. Our portals to this new world have been wedged open, and the silhouette of a figure is slowly taking shape. But what does it feel like to be four-dimensional? How do digital technologies influence the rhythms of our thoughts, the style and tilt of our consciousness? What new sensitivities and sensibilities are emerging with our exposure to the delights, sorrows, and anxieties of a networked world? And how do we live in public with these recoded private lives? Laurence Scott—hailed as a “New Generation Thinker” by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC—shows how this four-dimensional life is dramatically changing us by redefining our social lives and extending the limits of our presence in the world. Blending tech-philosophy with insights on everything from Seinfeld to the fall of Gaddafi, Scott stands with a rising generation of social critics hoping to understand our new reality. His virtuosic debut is a revelatory and original exploration of life in the digital age.
Category: Technology & Engineering