Media and Social Media Prof. David Levy and Ceradwen Bacon

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Tonight’s guests are Professor David Levy from the University of Washington with his student Ceradwen Bacon.

David Levy is a professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University and a diploma in Calligraphy and Bookbinding from the Roehampton Institute in London. For over 15 years he was a researcher at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, exploring the transition from paper and print to digital media. At the University of Washington since 2000, he focuses on bringing mindfulness training and other contemplative practices to address problems of information overload and acceleration.

Ceradwen Bacon is from San Juan Island in Washington and has a background in design, art history and psychology.  She is currently living in Seattle working on her Masters in Library and Information Science.  Ms. Bacon works at a small, non-profit university library, helping faculty and students use technology in the classroom.

Planned topics for discussion:

  • How long have you been teaching at the University of Washington?
  • Talk about your class “Information and Contemplation?”
  • Why do you choose to begin each class with 15 minutes of meditation?
  • Do you feel that meditation should be a vital part of everyone’s ritual?
  • What is mono-tasking?
  • Why does society choose mobile communication rather than face-to-face communication?
  • Do you feel texting has a negative impact on daily tasks, such as driving, studying, etc.
  • What do you believe is the big reason so many people are more or less dependent on technology?
  • What are the risks of taking breaks from technology in today’s world?
  • Tell us more about the American culture of feeling the need to work 24/7 and how technology makes that a near reality.
  • Does the ability to have information at your fingertips instantly outweigh the drawbacks of missing out on things like conversation?
  • How have smartphones affected our dependency on technology and the Internet?
  • Do you think that companies should follow France’s lead and cut back on distractions with mandatory technology breaks?
  • How harmful could constantly being involved with technology be on family life?

Related Links:

Information and Contemplation – Teaching Students How to Unplug  (article in USA Today)

Monotasking   (definition in The Urban Dictionary)

How to Meditate  (an entry in WikiHow)

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Kate Chawansky / Dr. Stan Frager Show / Producer
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