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The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection

Binding: Hardcover
List Price: $26.95
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Bargain Book Copy

Soon enough, nobody will remember life before the Internet. What does this unavoidable fact mean? For future generations, it won’t mean anything very obvious. They will be so immersed in online life that questions about the Internet’s basic purpose or meaning will vanish. But those of us who have lived both with and without the crowded connectivity of online life have a rare opportunity. We can still recognize the difference between Before and After. We catch ourselves idly reaching for our phones at the bus stop. Or we notice how, mid-conversation, a fumbling friend dives into the perfect recall of Google.

In this eloquent and thought-provoking book, Michael Harris argues that amid all the changes we’re experiencing, the most interesting is the one that future generations will find hardest to grasp. That is the end of absence - the loss of lack. The daydreaming silences in our lives are filled; the burning solitudes are extinguished. There’s no true "free time" when you carry a smartphone. Today’s rarest commodity is the chance to be alone with your own thoughts.

To understand our predicament, and what we should do about it, Harris explores this "loss of lack" in chapters devoted to every corner of our lives, from sex and commerce to memory and attention span. His book is a kind of witness for the "straddle generation" - a burst of empathy for those of us who suspect that our technologies use us as much as we use them.

By placing our situation in a rich historical context, Harris helps us remember which parts of that earlier world we don’t want to lose forever. He urges us to look up - even briefly - from our screens. To remain awake to what came before. To again take pleasure in absence.

NOTE: This title is a Bargain Book Copy, purchased direct from various publishers as excess inventory or a store return. The book is in new condition and will, in most cases, have a small dot or line on the edge of the book. It may also have a price sticker on it from the original store it was returned from. For more information please refer to the information page Our Product.

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ISBN: 9781591846932
Publisher: Penguin Group
Language: English
Page Count: 243
Size: 8.50" l x 6.00" w x 1.00"
Series: N/A