WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Dataclysm in the Time of Alone Togetherness

AUTHORS ON OUR DIGITAL DEPENDENCE

 

I had so many ah-hah moments reading through Narain Jashanmal’s annotated list of “The Best Books on the Impact of Technology on Society” – not even any of the books (yet), but merely his descriptions of them – that I thought I’d pass it directly on to you.

Wired-Wednesdays-Digital-Dependence

The fact that there are 19 books spotlighted here also humbles me that this territory is so unfathomably vast for a single mere mortal – you or me – to be able to easily navigate and understand.

But I’m wondering if this whole digital dependence issue is sort of like life itself: the thing isn’t to “solve” it or even feel particularly on top of it in its entirety. Maybe the thing is engagement itself: the willingness to be open, curious and present to whatever puzzlements and ah-hah’s about our new wired world that are revealing themselves to us at any given time. And then responding in a thoughtful way.

One of my ah-hahs? The concept that we are all now part of the Attention Economy, explored in one of the 19 books on Jashanmal’s list; hardly a surprise, as we all experience daily the “invasion of the tactics marketers use to harvest our attention, generate demand and, hopefully, help us discover products and services that we actually need.”

Here’s a flavor of this article:

As technology moves from the realm of the visible to the invisible; embedded, pervasive computing that adds intelligence to even the most mundane objects and experiences — there will be an inevitable, ongoing conversation about the consequences, unintended or otherwise.

The books on this list run the gamut, from unabashed enthusiasm for our coming robot overlords, to heartfelt expressions of anxiety about whether what we’re giving up is worth what we’re getting in return.

I like how he has organized this list, beginning with the most recent books and working backward. It really is worth the read.

Whether you’re curious, captivated or concerned about our digital dependence and device devotion, join me on Wednesdays so we can explore it together. (Sign up here if you want to be sure not to miss anything!) ….. …..

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