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Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.
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Alex studies people, technology and the worlds they create. His latest book, The Distraction Addiction, explains how to practice contemplative computing, ways of using use devices and media in ways that don't leave you perpetually distracted, but help you focus and be mindful. He is currently writing his next book, Rest: How Working Less Gets More Done, on the ways scientists, writers, and others use deliberate rest to be more creative and productive.

Alex is a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights, a Silicon Valley think-tank, and a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He received a Ph.D. in history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Entries by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

What Does Apple's 'Misunderstood' Advertisement Mean?

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 11:39 AM

"In its latest ad, with an 'if you can't beat em, join 'em' message, Apple isn't carving aspirational ground, it's caving to people's vices," Jennifer Rooney declares. She's talking about "Misunderstood," the Apple Christmas commercial that's become a kind of Rorschach test: Everyone seems to find their own...

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How Smartphones Behave Like Children

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 10:24 AM

A couple decades ago, Stanford professors Clifford Nass and Byron Reese made a startling discovery: we unconsciously treat computers like people. We know that computers don't have personalities or feelings, of course, but our everyday interactions with computers are just enough like our interactions with people, it's easy to follow...

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Mario Kart and the Challenge of Teaching Children Mindfulness

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 6:33 PM

It's early evening, and my kids, wife and I are playing Mario Kart on our Nintendo Wii. My avatar, a small, excitable, often-obnoxious monkey named Diddy Kong, is driving an old fashioned-looking dragster; my wife has a similar car, piloted by a human avatar. My kids favor motorcycles: my daughter...

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'I Put on a Show, Now I Make It': Screens and Teens at Maroon 5

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 11:43 AM

Recently I took my daughter and one of her classmates, who both are turning 14, to the Maroon 5 concert in San Jose. In the Virginia of my childhood, concerts were raucous and druggy affairs; you could get a contact high taking a deep breath at a Doobie Brothers show...

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