Wednesday, August 11, 2010

book review: Hamlet's Blackberry

I confess...I'm not quite sure yet where this review is going to go.

Hamlet's Blackberry is a philosophical reflection on communication by William Powers. He begins with some vignettes on the digital age then looks to other times of change in human communication and connectedness through a number of specific characters. He closes by pulling advice from those stories and sharing his family's solution to the dilemma of over-connectedness.

I agree with many other reviewers that the middle section...the portion looking at historical figures dealing with technology of their the strongest. I also do appreciate the fact that he doesn't suggest we should completely run away from our "screens" forever and that he has even found a few exceptions when he broke his family's own self-imposed disconnected periods.

This isn't a book I'd have picked up on my own (I got a reviewer copy from Harper Collins), but I did find it interesting. I tend to read before bed and this didn't fit that timing, but that's more a comment on the nature of the book than the quality. I think it is an interesting read, particularly the middle portion. I'd look to it more as a history/review of man's reaction to connectivity and communication tools than I would as a guide to the current digital world (which is how it seems to be billed). I think it is a worthwhile read for the right audience but that the audience is probably a fairly limited one.

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