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The End Of Absence

Author: Michael John Harris
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698150589
Size: 16.55 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.

The End Of Absence

Author: Michael Harris
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 1443426296
Size: 19.32 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

Solitude

Author: Michael Harris
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250088615
Size: 24.69 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.

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

Author: Derek Hrynyshyn
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 144083296X
Size: 43.15 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

Electric Dreams

Author: Ted Friedman
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814727395
Size: 72.30 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.

Digital Disconnect

Author: Robert W. McChesney
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 1595588914
Size: 71.41 MB
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Celebrants and skeptics alike have produced valuable analyses of the Internet’s effect on us and our world, oscillating between utopian bliss and dystopian hell. But according to Robert W. McChesney, arguments on both sides fail to address the relationship between economic power and the digital world. McChesney’s award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy skewered the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information is a democratic one. In Digital Disconnect McChesney returns to this provocative thesis in light of the advances of the digital age, incorporating capitalism into the heart of his analysis. He argues that the sharp decline in the enforcement of antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and proprietary systems, and other policies and massive indirect subsidies have made the Internet a place of numbing commercialism. A small handful of monopolies now dominate the political economy, from Google, which garners an astonishing 97 percent share of the mobile search market, to Microsoft, whose operating system is used by over 90 percent of the world’s computers. This capitalistic colonization of the Internet has spurred the collapse of credible journalism, and made the Internet an unparalleled apparatus for government and corporate surveillance, and a disturbingly anti-democratic force. In Digital Disconnect Robert McChesney offers a groundbreaking analysis and critique of the Internet, urging us to reclaim the democratizing potential of the digital revolution while we still can.

New Slow City

Author: William Powers
Publisher: New World Library
ISBN: 1608682404
Size: 12.60 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.

The Virtual Self

Author: Nora Young
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 0771070659
Size: 16.10 MB
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The host of CBC Radio's Spark explores the very real impact of the virtual information we generate about ourselves -- on our own lives, our communities, and our government. We generate enormous amounts of online data about our habits: where we go, what we do, and how we feel. Some of that is stuff we choose to report; some of it is the offhand data trails we leave behind. The Virtual Self looks at the debates and challenges around virtual data-sharing -- from Facebook status updates to Google Navigator -- and its potential for building more responsive communities and governments. Nora argues that if we wrestle now with issues like privacy and data control, we can harness the power of that data. The host of CBC Radio's Spark, Nora Young has fascinating information at her disposal, unique insights into the intersection of the virtual and real worlds, and a wonderful voice for making all of these clear to a general audience. Accessible and entertaining, The Virtual Self takes that personal, psychological reality of everything from email to status updates and teases out the increasingly bigger impacts on the real world around us of the virtual information we all generate.

Mind Change

Author: Susan Greenfield
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 0812993829
Size: 21.64 MB
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Combining scientific studies, news events and cultural criticism, a thought-provoking foray into the Digital Age reveals how it has altered our cultural landscape, fueled an epidemic of oversharing and transformed how we learn, retain and disseminate information. Includes a chart.

Social Physics

Author: Alex Pentland
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143126334
Size: 41.55 MB
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A landmark tour of the new science of "idea flow" outlines revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence, explaining the virtually unlimited data sets of today's digital technologies and the considerable accuracy of information from social networks.