What is contemplative computing?

  • Contemplative computing may sound like an oxymoron, but it's really quite simple. It's about how to use information technologies and social media so they're not endlessly distracting and demanding, but instead help us be more mindful, focused and creative.

    My book on contemplative computing, The Distraction Addiction, was published by Little, Brown and Co. in 2013, and is available in bookstores and online. This 2011 talk is a good introduction to the project and its big ideas.

About Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

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"The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads" This quote is surely about banality and market forces, not distractibility as it is referencing:

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz"
- excerpt from "HOWL"

People have always worried about the health of our minds


Thanks for this. Fully and completely agree. These alarmists seem to deny our inherent flexibility and adaptability. We are entering a golden age of human capacity (not its decline).

You may be interested in a project I'm currently running called Beyond Literacy http://www.BeyondLiteracy.com It's a thought experiment about the demise of alphabetic literacy and the rise of other capabilities or capacities. I mention it because it intentionally pushes the boundaries on some status quo thinking.

Looking forward to the book.


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