Three Things to Think About Before Using Headphones in Public

In today’s world, new innovations come along so often that we hardly have time to keep track of them, much less integrate them thoughtfully into our lives. New devices, and our changing perceptions of them, are part and parcel to modern life. I remember feeling a little bit silly as a college student walking around wearing headphones. I still did it sometimes, because listening to music while I walked to class was nice, and because even then it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do.Since t … [Read more...]

Three Reasons Not to Buy Your Kid a Brightly Colored iPhone (Sorry, Kids)

Along with the new iPhone 5s,  Apple released another iPhone, the 5c that will feature plastic backings, which makes them a lot more affordable and accessible to a broader audience. As cool as that is for some of us, a lot of parents who've been playing the "we can't afford it" card with their kids in order to keep them at bay, will be out one more excuse to put off buying their youngsters a smart-phone.So what are parents supposed to do? Do you get the kid an iPhone? You're kind of ap … [Read more...]

Why ‘Farm Lit’ Is the Best

Last weekend I moved just outside city limits, to 2.3 acres of Indiana farmland. On summer break from our teaching jobs at the university, my husband and I have been busy attending to our new brood of chickens, constructing large compost bins, and harvesting mulberries. Perhaps this helps explain why I’ve been drawn to memoirs of city-girls-gone-country—books like The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Katie Kimball. But as it turns out, the rest of the country shares my fascination with f … [Read more...]

Does Technology Prevent Us From Being More Thoughtful About Technology?

You've probably noticed that one of the recurring themes in my articles here on CAPC concerns the ever-increasing presence of technology in our lives, and its potential ramifications. (If you have any doubt that this is occurring, consider this recent Pew Internet poll concerning mobile phone users which found that 44% of mobile phone users sleep next to their phones at night, and 29% described their phones as "something they can’t imagine living without.")This ubiquity is aided greatly by te … [Read more...]

IT, 50 Years Ago

Jack Arrington, father of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, offers a look at one of the first commercial breakthroughs in information technology.It's amazing how things like computers have become so integral to our lives that we don't even think about what things were really like before they were around. I got mad one summer because I couldn't deposit my paycheck to my Texas account at Bank One...from Michigan. But in the fifties it would have been a hassle to deposit it from the next … [Read more...]