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MelindaB

Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

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

Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age - William Powers William Powers is awash in addictive behavior regarding "screens" (as he calls them) on his computer, his phone, and all techie things in his life. Resolving to find balance, he and his family institute an internet sabbath that begins Friday night and ends Monday morning. Their struggles indicate withdrawals from an addiction, but they eventually find a better balance by not being chained to their "screens".The problem or discussion is not a new one, and unfortunately I feel that Powers pushes some of his analogies a little too far for them to be really swallowed. Hamlet's blackberry is a case in point. In the play "Hamlet", Hamlet the character talks about "the table of my memory" and the tables referred to are of the erasable type that were used in Shakespeare's day to write something down on, then erase it, and write again. Kind of a writable etch-a-sketch. See http://wynkendeworde.blogspot.com/2008/07/hamlets-tables.html for an excellent overview of Hamlet's erasable "tables".Hamlet's tables were not really the equivalent of a blackberry, but perhaps were more the equivalent of a moleskine journaling notebook.There are some worthwhile moments in the book, and I appreciated Powers solution to turn things off and develop some space away from being totally electronically connected. But overall, I felt the book was a bit of a stretch that all of his discussions of prior technologies (the printing press, for one) would result in a similar resolution for today's technologies.