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 : 55.71 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 : 63.36 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 : 37.17 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 : 42.44 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

Electric Dreams

Author : Ted Friedman
ISBN : 9780814727393
Genre : Computers
File Size : 62.35 MB
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Electric Dreams turns to the past to trace the cultural history of computers. Ted Friedman charts the struggles to define the meanings of these powerful machines over more than a century, from the failure of Charles Babbage’s “difference engine” in the nineteenth century to contemporary struggles over file swapping, open source software, and the future of online journalism. To reveal the hopes and fears inspired by computers, Electric Dreams examines a wide range of texts, including films, advertisements, novels, magazines, computer games, blogs, and even operating systems. Electric Dreams argues that the debates over computers are critically important because they are how Americans talk about the future. In a society that in so many ways has given up on imagining anything better than multinational capitalism, cyberculture offers room to dream of different kinds of tomorrow.
Category: Computers

Utopia Is Creepy And Other Provocations

Author : Nicholas Carr
ISBN : 9780393254556
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 24.52 MB
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A freewheeling, sharp-shooting indictment of a tech-besotted culture. With razor wit, Nicholas Carr cuts through Silicon Valley’s unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question: Have we been seduced by a lie? Gathering a decade’s worth of posts from his blog, Rough Type, as well as his seminal essays, Utopia Is Creepy is “Carr’s best hits for those who missed the last decade of his stream of thoughtful commentary about our love affair with technology and its effect on our relationships” (Richard Cytowic, New York Journal of Books). Carr draws on artists ranging from Walt Whitman to the Clash, while weaving in the latest findings from science and sociology. Carr’s favorite targets are those zealots who believe so fervently in computers and data that they abandon common sense. Cheap digital tools do not make us all the next Fellini or Dylan. Social networks, diverting as they may be, are not vehicles for self-enlightenment. And “likes” and retweets are not going to elevate political discourse. Utopia Is Creepy compels us to question the technological momentum that has trapped us in its flow. “Resistance is never futile,” argues Carr, and this book delivers the proof.
Category: Technology & Engineering

Mind Change

Author : Susan Greenfield
ISBN : 9780812993837
Genre : Science
File Size : 44.81 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

New Slow City

Author : William Powers
ISBN : 9781608682409
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 57.29 MB
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Burned-out after years of doing development work around the world, William Powers spent a season in a 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin off the grid in North Carolina, as recounted in his award-winning memoir Twelve by Twelve. Could he live a similarly minimalist life in the heart of New York City? To find out, Powers and his wife jettisoned 80 percent of their stuff, left their 2,000-square-foot Queens townhouse, and moved into a 350-square-foot “micro-apartment” in Greenwich Village. Downshifting to a two-day workweek, Powers explores the viability of Slow Food and Slow Money, technology fasts and urban sanctuaries. Discovering a colorful cast of New Yorkers attempting to resist the culture of Total Work, Powers offers an inspiring exploration for anyone trying to make urban life more people- and planet-friendly.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Mindless

Author : Simon Head
ISBN : 9780465069743
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 45.6 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

Too Big To Know

Author : David Weinberger
ISBN : 9780465038725
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 36.5 MB
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We used to know how to know. We got our answers from books or experts. We'd nail down the facts and move on. But in the Internet age, knowledge has moved onto networks. There's more knowledge than ever, of course, but it's different. Topics have no boundaries, and nobody agrees on anything. Yet this is the greatest time in history to be a knowledge seeker . . . if you know how. In Too Big to Know, Internet philosopher David Weinberger shows how business, science, education, and the government are learning to use networked knowledge to understand more than ever and to make smarter decisions than they could when they had to rely on mere books and experts. This groundbreaking book shakes the foundations of our concept of knowledge—from the role of facts to the value of books and the authority of experts—providing a compelling vision of the future of knowledge in a connected world.
Category: Technology & Engineering