Review of “Hamlet’s Blackberry” (Part 2)

Slant and Bias: This book has many accounts from other sources, such as pieces of William Powers’ own life and even accounts from the lives of great philosophers. Just the fact that these accounts are included are examples of bias, many other events could have been included but Powers chose these ones because they conveyed the most meaning to his subject; this is a bias. Powers has devoted a chapter to Shakespeare’s principle of old tools. Slant is evident in the fact that Powers tells the readers that he has tried the “Disconnect” experience and has had positive a reaction. This is a slant because other people may have had a negative reaction, but he never mentions any other person’s experience . This entire book is written in a slant for disconnect. It is very evident that he takes the experience of disconnect in a very positive light. Because the readers of this book might already agree with what the message of the book is, they might not see that there is a slant for being disconnected- they might just see it as a fact that being disconnected is a good thing. Since someone picking up the book will more than likely only read it if they agree with the content on the backside of the book they have already used their process of selection to agree with the slant presented in the actual book.

Conclusion: Before this book I had already heard of this subject of extreme connectedness and had already chosen my side. William Powers’ view on the subject is very similar to mine but not exact. When reading this book I had many things to agree with and very few to disagree with just because my process of selection had made it so.I believe that everyone should read this book on both sides of the spectrum (maximalists & minimalists). Because Powers pulls apart what the crowd believes is a good thing and compares it to our busyness in a way that readers can understand. The debate of whether being connected is a good or bad thing is still ongoing and may be ongoing until the end of time but to put yourself in the debate is when you can actually see what is going on. Hamlet’s Blackberry is a very good piece of literature to enter the psychological debate. If we all just ignore the subject and go with the flow of what we are doing today we might run ourselves into the ground. This book should not only be read by what Powers defines as maximalists or minimalists, but it should also be read by people who did not know there was a side. It is very necessary for those who have not seen the argument or been in the debate of connectedness to enter it now. Being oblivious to our need of being connected and how it affects us is a crucial part of reflection. Without reflection of our actions and consequences people cannot learn. Being connected can be a great thing but it is only one part of the equation that has developed into this debate. If being connected is a great thing, we as a species need to know how to connect. But if being connected is a negative thing we need to know how to disconnect. Half the battle is knowing what the issue is. Throughout the book Powers has compelled the readers to understand his thought process, but before this book ends he says in chapter 12 – “We were living for the screen and through the screen, rather than for and through each other.” This is very interesting because with this quote Powers has made the debate more complex, making readers ponder more questions about their lives. This in itself could be another debate of what we should connect ourselves too. Powers has created a fascinating approach to the issue and its many branched symptoms, an overall dynamic read and I highly recommend it be read by anyone who has not entered the debate.


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