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category: Philosophy
published: April 2019
ISBN:9780773557949
imprint: MQUP

Wish I Were Here

Boredom and the Interface

by Mark Kingwell

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $24.95
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
category: Philosophy
published: April 2019
ISBN:9780773557949
imprint: MQUP
Description

Are you bored of the endless scroll of your social media feed? Do you swipe left before considering the human being whose face you just summarily rejected? Do you skim articles on your screen in search of intellectual stimulation that never arrives? If so, this book is the philosophical lifeline you have been waiting for.

Offering a timely meditation on the profound effects of constant immersion in technology, also known as the Interface, Wish I Were Here draws on philosophical analysis of boredom and happiness to examine the pressing issues of screen addiction and the lure of online outrage. Without moralizing, Mark Kingwell takes seriously the possibility that current conditions of life and connection are creating hollowed-out human selves, divorced from their own external world. While scrolling, swiping, and clicking suggest purposeful action, such as choosing and connecting with others, Kingwell argues that repeated flicks of the finger provide merely the shadow of meaning, by reducing us to scattered data fragments, Twitter feeds, Instagram posts, shopping preferences, and text trends captured by algorithms.

Written in accessible language that references both classical philosophers and contemporary critics, Wish I Were Here turns to philosophy for a cure to the widespread unease that something is amiss in modern waking life.

About the Author

Mark Kingwell

Mark Kingwell is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of eleven books of political and cultural theory, including most recently, Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City (2008) and Opening Gambits: Essays on Art and Philosophy (2008). He is the recipient of the Spitz Prize in political theory, National Magazine Awards for both essays and columns, and in 2000 was awarded an honorary DFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design for contributions to theory and criticism.

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