Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity--and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.
We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.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: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we don't have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves. We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents' attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work, we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online, we only want to share opinions that our followers will agree with - a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square. The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: these days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: conversation is the cornerstone for democracy and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity. But there is good news: we are resilient. Conversation cures. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Turkle argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most human--and humanizing--thing that we do. The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other.
An urgent account of the revolution that has upended the news business, written by one of the most accomplished journalists of our time
Technology has radically altered the news landscape. Once-powerful newspapers have lost their clout or been purchased by owners with particular agendas. Algorithms select which stories we see. The Internet allows consequential revelations, closely guarded secrets, and dangerous misinformation to spread at the speed of a click.
The News: A User's Manual is an insightful analysis of the impact of the incessant news machine on us and our culture.
The news is everywhere. We can't stop constantly checking it on our computer screens, but what is this doing to our minds? We are never taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face daily, which has a huge influence on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. Alain de Botton takes twenty-five archetypal news stories--including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview, and a political scandal--and submits them to intense analysis. Why are disaster stories often so uplifting? Why do we enjoy watching politicians being brought down? Why are upheavals in far-off lands often so boring? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? De Botton has written the ultimate guide for our frenzied era, designed to bring calm, understanding, and a measure of sanity to a news-obsessed age.
Praise for The Best American Infographics"Represent s] the full spectrum of the genre--from authoritative to playful."--Scientific American "Not only is it a thing of beauty, it's also a good read, with thoughtful explanations of each winning graphic."--Nature "Information, in its raw form, can overwhelm us. Finding the visual form of data can simplify this deluge into pearls of understanding." --Kim Rees, Periscopic The most creative and effective data visualizations from the past year, edited by Brain Pickings creator Maria Popova The rise of infographics across nearly all print and electronic media--from a graphic illuminating the tweets of the women of Isis to a memorable depiction of the national geography of beer--reveals patterns in our lives and the world in often startling ways. The Best American Infographics 2015 showcases visualizations from the worlds of politics, social issues, health, sports, arts and culture, and more. From an elegant graphic comparison of first sentences in classic novels to a startling illustration of the world's deadliest animals, "You'll come away with more than your share of . . . mind-bending moments--and a wide-ranging view of what infographics can do" (Harvard Business Review).
"This is what information design does at its best - it gives pause, makes visible the unsuspected yet significant invisibilia of life, and by astonishing us into mobilization, it catapults us toward one of the greatest feats of human courage: the act of changing one's mind."--from the Introduction by Maria Popova Guest introducer MARIA POPOVA is the one-woman curation machine behind Brain Pickings, a cross-disciplinary blog showcasing content that makes people smarter. She has more than half a million monthly readers and over 480,000 Twitter followers. Popova is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow and has written for the New York Times, Atlantic, Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, The Huffington Post, and the Nieman Journalism Lab. Series editor GARETH COOK is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and the editor of Mind Matters, Scientific American's neuroscience blog. He helped invent the Boston Globe's Sunday Ideas section and served as its editor from 2007 to 2011. His work has also appeared in NewYorker.com, WIRED, Scientific American, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing.
- finding online support and community for conditions such as depression and eating disorders, while avoiding potential triggers such as #Thinspiration Pinterest boards
- learning and developing life skills through technology--for example, by problem-solving in online games--while avoiding inappropriate content Written by a public health expert and the creator of the popular blog Rants from Mommyland, this book shows parents how to help their kids navigate friendships, bullying, dating, self-esteem, and more online.
Using clear, readable prose, conceptual artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith's manifesto shows how our time on the internet is not really wasted but is quite productive and creative as he puts the experience in its proper theoretical and philosophical context.
Kenneth Goldsmith wants you to rethink the internet. Many people feel guilty after spending hours watching cat videos or clicking link after link after link. But Goldsmith sees that "wasted" time differently. Unlike old media, the internet demands active engagement--and it's actually making us more social, more creative, even more productive.
When Goldsmith, a renowned conceptual artist and poet, introduced a class at the University of Pennsylvania called "Wasting Time on the Internet", he nearly broke the internet. The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Slate, Vice, Time, CNN, the Telegraph, and many more, ran articles expressing their shock, dismay, and, ultimately, their curiosity. Goldsmith's ideas struck a nerve, because they are brilliantly subversive--and endlessly shareable.
In Wasting Time on the Internet, Goldsmith expands upon his provocative insights, contending that our digital lives are remaking human experience. When we're "wasting time," we're actually creating a culture of collaboration. We're reading and writing more--and quite differently. And we're turning concepts of authority and authenticity upside-down. The internet puts us in a state between deep focus and subconscious flow, a state that Goldsmith argues is ideal for creativity. Where that creativity takes us will be one of the stories of the twenty-first century.
Wide-ranging, counterintuitive, engrossing, unpredictable--like the internet itself--Wasting Time on the Internet is the manifesto you didn't know you needed.
With Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives, new media pioneer Randi Zuckerberg offers an entertaining and essential guide to understanding how technology and social media influence and inform our lives online and off.
Zuckerberg has been on the frontline of the social media movement since Facebook's early days and her following six years as a marketing executive for the company. Her part memoir, part how-to manual addresses issues of privacy, online presence, networking, etiquette, and the future of social change.
Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon--one that is at odds with our heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science. With mordant wit, she surveys an anti-rationalist landscape extending from pop culture to a pseudo-intellectual universe of "junk thought." Disdain for logic and evidence defines a pervasive malaise fostered by the mass media, triumphalist religious fundamentalism, mediocre public education, a dearth of fair-minded public intellectuals on the right and the left, and, above all, a lazy and credulous public.
Jacoby offers an unsparing indictment of the American addiction to infotainment--from television to the Web--and cites this toxic dependency as the major element distinguishing our current age of unreason from earlier outbreaks of American anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism. With reading on the decline and scientific and historical illiteracy on the rise, an increasingly ignorant public square is dominated by debased media-driven language and received opinion.
At this critical political juncture, nothing could be more important than recognizing the "overarching crisis of memory and knowledge" described in this impassioned, tough-minded book, which challenges Americans to face the painful truth about what the flights from reason has cost us as individuals and as a nation.