Daily Archives: December 7, 2010

* Hamlet’s Blackberry by William Powers

Hamlet’s BlackBerry is built on the simple philosophy that, and I quote, (1) connecting via screens is good and (2) the more you connect the better. Wait! Says who? The author, for one, who seems utterly enable to find the off button of his multiple devices, leaving him, poor thing, unable to have deep thoughts. It takes him 77 pages to finally realize that indeed, we as individuals have the right to choose and to turn the machines off.

He then invokes Socrates, Seneca, and Shakespeare to shore up his arguments, without seeming to notice that men have been distracted for centuries and we cannot quite blame our Blackberry addiction on the devices themselves. Eventually, he shares with us the wondrous difference a strict “no internet on the weekend” rule has made in his household. Whatever happened to moderation? I trust you can find the off button without reading these 250 pages…

But I must share a lovely quote (from William Stafford) he shares in the book, “Closing the book, I find that I have left my head inside.” That is, indeed, what great books do.

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Filed under Non fiction