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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
First and most important: if at all possible, Get an agent This can't be overstated. If you think signing with an agency of speakers' bureau is a luxury, or not worth it, think again. What do agencies like David Lavin (where I'm signed) provide? They have access to venues that... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Contemplative Computing
Travel for professional speaking is different than for academic talks. For one thing, I've almost never been invited to give an academic talk by someone who wasn't a friend. This means that academic talks often have a friendly, personal dimension to them (though if the wrong people show up for... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Contemplative Computing
Because I break it down in this Health magazine article. Basically, the advice comes down to this: it’s fine to weave social media into your life, but don’t let it warp your life. I thought the article was going to be me and a bunch of other people, but it... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Contemplative Computing
A picture of someone reading the Spanish edition of The Distraction Addiction in (I believe) the Buenos Aires subway system, from a Tumblr of people reading on subways: This is the cover: Thanks, Male Sánchez Moccero! Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Contemplative Computing
I was a big believer in the value of last-minute inspiration, but I also was too disorganized to do it any other way. But I find that this new method of working is really useful: it means my message gets sharper with time (which is a different kind of innovative and inspired, but one that arguably better serves the audience and is less narcissistic), and it also means my presentations are getting more visually dense and interesting (about which more in a future post).
1 reply
A couple weeks ago I got a request from an academic friend for some advice about speaking at a trade conference. It got me thinking about the differences between academic conferences and the kinds of events I've been going to in support of The Distraction Addiction, and my work as... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Contemplative Computing
In the New Republic Stephen Akey has a piece complaining about how literary agents choose who to represent. "Everyone’s trying to make a buck and literary agencies can hardly be faulted for interesting themselves in what sells rather than in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Relevant History
For those of you who were wagering on the results of the Singapore Computer Society's Splash award, wonder no more: the top prize has gone to Apple Tree, a mobile phone app that… encourages people not to use their phones. According to Channel News Asia, the app, which will be... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
If you read Chinese, this article about The Distraction Addiction might interest you. Me, I just look at the pictures. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
I'm going up to Edmonton, Canada to do a keynote at Convergence 2014, a conference on educational technology. I hadn't written the book with this audience in mind, but The Distraction Addiction has caught the attention of a number of people in the educational technology world, and folks in independent... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Yale economist Craig Palsson has a new article [pdf] asking whether the growing use of smartphones by parents of young children is responsible for the increased rate of injuries among children younger than 5. While technically the article doesn’t actually say anything about snake pits, the implication is clearly there.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Thanks for the clarification! Always good to hear from the inventor!
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2014 on Telefonrammen at Contemplative Computing
1 reply
Last week I spent several days on the road, on a whirlwind trip to the East Coast to talk about contemplative computing. It was just happy chance that I got two invitations to talk in the same week, and was able to make it work. The first was in Princeton,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
In light of my recent post on the Penn English class on “Wasting Time on the Internet,” Northwestern student Lucas Matney’s complaint that “Northwestern fails to offer 21st century academic experience” is timely: From my personal experience thus far, very few of my professors have used technology in the classroom... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
From a class on “Wasting time on the Internet” at University of Pennsylvania: Using our laptops and a wifi connection as our only materials, this class will focus on the alchemical recuperation of aimless surfing into substantial works of literature. Students will be required to stare at the screen for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Lewis Lapham on how he writes: I didn’t enlist the help of a computer because words so quickly dressed up in the costume of print can pretend to a meaning and weight they neither enjoy nor deserve. Writing with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Relevant History
Courtney Shove, who took the pictures at my Santa Catalina talk, has a nice write-up of the event. My own post about it is here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
No, it’s not a smartphone made of noodles (though that would be awesome); it’s a Danish project for reducing smartphone distraction in the classroom. It’s super-simple: students come in, put their phones in the holder, then pick them up again when they leave. Of course, it requires both a high... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
I look forward to seeing this out: Jon Mitchell’s new book, In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times. This is a book about the present and what you can do right now to improve your relationship with technology. This is not an “anti-technology” book, nor is it a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Saturday I was at the Santa Catalina School in Monterey, talking about kids, parenting, schools, and contemplative computing. Photo: Courtney Shove, Santa Catalina School I’ve given a number of talks about contemplative computing (thanks mainly to the wonderful Lavin Agency), but most of them have been to professional groups, or... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
I’m going to be at Princeton next week, doing a more academic-than-usual talk on contemplative computing. I'm appearing there as part of the “Pay Attention: The Art of Here and Now” course, taught by director Marianne Weems. The undergraduate course taught by Weems questions whether our sense of the present... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Nora Young’s Spark will run a program on “Addiction by Design” tomorrow, featuring interviews with Natasha Dow Schull and a very scratchy-sounding me. (I was in the process of getting over my month-long cold, so my voice was a couple octaves lower than normal.) Schull is worth listening to, at... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2014 at Contemplative Computing
Voice of America correspondent Rachel Jones has a great piece (in LinkedIn, which against many odds is turning into kind of an interesting outlet) about “How Ben Bradlee's Outrageous Use of White Privilege Changed My Life.” It’s about how as... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Relevant History
Another fabulous cover, this time for the Korean edition of The Distraction Addiction (published by Sigongsa): I haven't had a bad one yet, even though the Dutch, Spanish, and Chinese versions are all quite different from each other. It's been fascinating to see how different artists interpret the book! You... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2014 at Contemplative Computing