Monday, March 7, 2011

William Powers Interview

A few months back I had written a book review for "Hamlet's Blackberry," by William Powers.  I felt (and feel) that this was the most helpful book dealing with the pros and cons of this new technological age.  This was due mostly because he actually acknowledged that there were some pros.  Many authors dealing with the subject focused entirely on how social networking, online multi-tasking and the like are changing our brains, giving us all ADD, and permanently downgrading our writing skills with the inclusion of such atrocities as "LOL," "OMG," and perennial favorite, "WTF."  Powers deals with these same symptoms, but it is in the context of harnessing all of the good and potentially powerful benefits of these new products while limiting the negative aspects.

To do this, the author goes back through history and examines previous times during the onset of a new "killer app" type of technology, including the written word, the printing press, the telephone, etc.  His premise is that people in these times also had to learn to maximize the benefits of these new technologies while minimizing the potential harm, and therefore, we can and should learn from their experiences. 

Obviously, I am a big fan of the book.  Powers recently was interviewed by DC Live, and he discusses a lot of these same issues.  Worth a listen if you are interested in this sort of thing.

Watch live streaming video from facebookdclive at

1 comment:

Anna said...

This book looks great - definitely on my list.

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