Distracting you from yourself

The 8th chapter of the Powers book, ‘Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a good life in the digital age’, starts with a story about vintage Moleskine pocket notebooks (which are back in style), and how they compare with straight to digital methods of note taking. Not knowing off hand what a Moleskine book was, it made me think of Indiana Jones, and the pocket book he carries. Apparently, they’re a method for coping with a hectic lifestyle (pg. 138).
A fun history factoid followed;  a story about a political play that Shakespeare wrote in the late16th-early17th century London [around the time of the Gutenberg printing press]. The play was about a mob of illiterate ruffians wanting to destroy printing presses, because they were being heavily discriminated against (print=power) (pg.142). An unfortunate historical side note.
After that, there’s a study of few lines of Hamlet, about mental clutter (pg.143-). And following that,  some common sense about how new technology doesn’t seamlessly replace older technology. Example: hinged door vs sliding door (pg.147-), also writing-by-hand.
Circling back to Shakespeare, and the erasable tablets that people of the day used for notetaking. Wiping clean their tablets and start fresh again (a method of clearing the mind). Which is something completely opposite of smartphones. Coming back to the Moleskine notebooks, and why they’ve regained popularity.  It’s because they’re blank, orderly, and available for whatever is on your mind.    A smartphone pushes words,  images, and sounds at you all day-and-night (pg. 152). Telling you what to think about. Distracting you from yourself.


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