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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I think Smith is not being entirely literal when he says "immediate" and I don't get the impression that he's capitulating to some sense of increasingly inescapable impatience. Employing people who understand how to communicate using social media to communicate with people who use social media seems no more strange to me than employing people who understand how to communicate using email to communicate with people who use email.

Today, we take for granted the latter because most people working in environments requiring communication with colleagues or customers probably couldn't tell you how many years ago they sent their first email. When comparing today's use of email with its successor of 50 years hence is analogous to comparing today's use of email with the use of the telegram 50 years ago, then mightn't this notion seem utterly peculiar: a world wherein professionals are not expected, as a matter of course, to communicate using a social platform better suited for the needs of the present than an email?

I am certain you would agree that Smith would have been unarguably wrongheaded to have told The Times that he'd begun hiring, in earnest, telegram operators to facilitate student relations. I can think of no justification he would give to such a course that is cogent in the least.

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