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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Yes - and to further complicate things, my toddler's favourite games on the tablet involve spatial skills, and replicate analog toys such as building blocks and jigsaw puzzles. Plus, in my observation, they are developing other kinds of fine motor skills.

Which is not to say we're going to be throwing out the wooden blocks, lego, and crayons anytime soon - just that I'm skeptical of the claims that things are so black and white.

(I'd also dispute the claim that screen-based toys and games can't teach perseverance. My little guy has shown a great deal of patience acquiring the new skills he needed to master his favourite games.)

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

I'm skeptical that anyone is seeing kids REALLY don't know "how to hold a pen or pencil." Is this "hold" in the sense of literally pick up and manipulate? Hold in the sense of wield "correctly" between index and middle finger and thumb? I think I'll drop her a line and find out.

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