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The End Of Absence

Author: Michael John Harris
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698150589
Size: 54.33 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: 59.41 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.

Solitude

Author: Michael Harris
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250088615
Size: 56.27 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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: 23.76 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: 64.93 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

The Virtual Self

Author: Nora Young
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Limited
ISBN: 0771070667
Size: 12.87 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." -- Publisher's website.

Reclaiming Conversation

Author: Sherry Turkle
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143109790
Size: 37.84 MB
Format: PDF
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Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: that we have stopped having face-to-face conversation in favour of technological connections such as texts or emails. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools and the workplace, Turkle argues here that we now have a better understanding of this phenomenon, and that going forward, it's time we reclaim conversation, the most human thing that we do.

I Minds

Author: Mari Swingle
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 1550926195
Size: 59.60 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Many of us would no more go out without our cell phone than we would leave the house without clothes. We live our lives on social media, and PDAs, tablets, computers and other devices are completely integrated into our global culture. From connectedness to accessibility and instant access to information, a wealth of benefits accompanies this digital revolution. But what about the cost? Weaving together history, popular literature, media and industry hype, sociology and psychology, and observations from over eighteen years of clinical practice and research, Dr. Mari Swingle explores the pervasive influence of i-technology. Engaging and entertaining yet scientifically rigorous, i-Minds demonstrates: How constant connectivity is rapidly changing our brains What dangers are posed to children and adults alike in this brave new world The positive steps we can take to embrace new technology while protecting our well-being and steering our future in a more human direction This extraordinary book is a virtually indispensable look at a revolution where the only constant is change—food for thought about which aspects of technology we should embrace, what we should unequivocally reject, and the many facets of the digital era that we should now be debating. Dr. Mari K. Swingle is a neurotherapist and behavioral specialist who practices at the highly-regarded Swingle Clinic. She holds a BA in Visual Arts, an MA in language education, and an MA and PhD in clinical psychology, and has won numerous awards for her post-doctoral work on the effects of i-technology on brain function.

The World Without Us

Author: Alan Weisman
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780312347291
Size: 45.28 MB
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A study of what would happen to Earth if the human presence was removed examines our legacy for the planet, from the objects that would vanish without human intervention to those that would become long-lasting remnants of humankind.

New Slow City

Author: William Powers
Publisher: New World Library
ISBN: 1608682404
Size: 54.54 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.