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Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Silicon Valley, California
I study how people and technologies shape each other.
Interests: history of science and technology, emerging technologies, weblogs, silicon valley, futures, contemplative computing, user experience, human-computer interaction, calming computing
Recent Activity
Steve Kovach, a writer for Business Insider, talks about his recent week away from email. He disabled Twitter and email notifications on his phone for a week, then went back to his inbox. What was there: As he explains: 1,511 unread emails. 44 of those 1,511 emails were worth reading.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Today’s bit of thoughtful humor, from The Oatmeal. As always, some bad words, so NSFW. I especially like the comparison of texts and email. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
In the Guardian, Viv Groskop confesses that “I’m a bit of a wexter:" We all have bad habits, and now there’s an appropriately nasty word for mine: wexting (using your phone as you walk). I’ve got it down to a fine art: walk, scroll, glance up, stop, tap, walk. A... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Tuesday’s Bored and Brilliant challenge is an interesting one for me, because I agree with it, with some strong reservations. Here it is: Your instructions: See the world through your eyes, not your screen. Take absolutely no pictures today. Not of your lunch, not of your children, not of your... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Yahoo! tech columnist Rob Walker takes a gentle prod at Bored and Brilliant: Finally! After decades of tech innovations aimed squarely at squishing boredom out of existence by offering a nonstop barrage of distractions, we are ready to technologize boredom itself. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
The Bored and Brilliant people seem to be taking my suggestion about lock and home screens as nudges to heart: their Flickr account now includes this lock screen: The idea of using the lock screen as a nudge is one I've been talking about for a while, and I've used... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
WNYC’s Bored and Brilliant challenge starts today. What’s on the agenda? As you move from place to place, keep your phone in your pocket, out of your direct line of sight. Better yet, keep it in your bag. I would think if there was one place in the world you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Another country with a kids' digital detox camp: Brazil! "If at least we could take selfies in the bathroom, I wouldn't mind so much not having access to the Internet," says 13-year-old Laura. Laura is a self-described digital "addict," but she can see the benefits in living offline for a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Asian countries are the world's leading producers, and some of the most avid consumers, of electronics. So it's no surprise that kids in China, Korea, and Taiwan spend lots of time online and gaming-- or that parents and the government worry about excessive screen time. According to the Straits Times,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Sure, translating the post would be fine! And arent art blogs pretty much by definition non-profit?
1 reply
Very interesting! Thanks Anna, for that elaboration.
1 reply
This has been making the rounds on Twitter recently: See? People were ignoring each other with paper, and newspapers, and knitting! So why are you whiners complaining about smartphones? Families have been ignoring each other forever. Well, I’m not so sure. Of course, arguing with something like this runs the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
My Italian collaborator Dario Villa (I swear I’ll send back the revisions in a couple days, Dario!) points me to this great short animation by London-based illustrator Yukai Da: Way Out from Yukai Du on Vimeo. Da explains, ‘Way out’, my MA graduation film, is inspired by ‘Alone Together’ by... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
This is an interesting new app for Android users: Android addicted? Heavy app user? Need more control over your apps? AppDetox helps you to calm down your mobile app usage, and take a digital detox. You are able to set your own rules for your app usage to detox from... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Pew Research does some of the most interesting work in the U.S. on the impact of information technology on daily, family, and working life. A good example of this is their new study of their new Digital Life in 2025 report on Technology’s Impact on Workers [pdf]. Here’s the summary:... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
Swiss International Air Lines, the Swiss airline that is the successor to Swissair, has started the Art of Attentiveness campaign, which aims to use art (the art of attentiveness— get it?) to remind people of the importance of attention. It’s a traveling light installation featuring pictures of the eyes of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
So much for taking a digital sabbath and getting away from your timeline. Tech Crunch reports: Back in November, Twitter announced plans to implement a number of new initiatives to boost user engagement, and one of those features — a ‘While you were away’ recap of tweets you may have... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at Contemplative Computing
But it does. Jason Silva on ambient intimacy: Thanks to Evan Selinger for pointing it out to me! Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
I missed Martin Robbins' Guardian review of Mind Change, Susan Greenfield's latest book, but it's quite something. Granted, I shouldn't be surprised, since Robbins' review of Greenfield's novel was titled "Old People Need to Stop Telling Us That the Internet Is Ruining the World" and after that got really critical.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Perhaps an odd question to ask in an age of Grindr and Tinder, but still: this morning's KQED Forum took it on. Presumably the audio will be online in a while (it's not yet), but one thing struck me about the conversation. One of the guests, and a couple of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Interesting article by Cameron Tonkinwise on “The Practically Living Weight of Convenient Things:" Some metaphors eventually ‘take’ and solidify into intuited experiences of things that they previously only sought to creatively qualify. But this process need not only be a slow evolution. If I suspend disbelief in the patterns of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Researchers at the University of Southern Maine studying distraction and cellphones have discovered something interesting: not only does your ability to handle complicated cognitive tasks diminish when you try to use a cellphone while doing something else, the “mere presence of a cell phone may be distracting." As the article’s... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Almost exactly a month ago, a nice writer emailed me about an article she was writing on taking a break from social media, and asking if I could answer some questions for it. I get these kinds of requests regularly, and my attitude is shaped by the old politician’s saying... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
As a futurist I can get behind that quote. Cornell professor David Dunning, who's been studying confidence, ignorance, and self-knowledge for quite a while, has a nice article in Pacific Standard (which is really turning into an interesting magazine) explaining why "We Are All Confident Idiots." For me, the scariest... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
I've recently been talking to people in locations as far-flung as Finland and Australia about designing programs that support mindfulness and flow, so I suspect there'll be a very diverse set of submissions to the Happiness Apps Challenge: The Happiness Apps Challenge is an international App building challenge that is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Contemplative Computing