An Interview with William Powers

We are living through an age of disruption driven by digital technology. In every sphere, from the political to the personal, profound changes wrought by social media and the ubiquity of screens make themselves felt daily. MIT’s William Powers, author of the bestseller Hamlet’s Blackberry and an authority on the intersection of public and private life at the technological crossroads, argues that we have not yet seen the real tectonic shifts — and that our anxiety around these issues is nothing new.

Octavian Report: Focus is a critical concept in your work. Can you talk about what it is, how we gain it, and how we lose it?

William Powers: We have these amazing cognitive powers that are part of being a …

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