Entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani and Tanuj Bhojwani, a fellow at iSPIRT Foundation, are coming up with a book in sync with the times we are living now. Titled The Art of Bitfulness: Keeping Sane in the Digital World, it details ways to take reins of our life into our own hands from the Internet. It has been acquired by Penguin Random House India and will be published under the Allen Lane imprint in April 2021.
While both acknowledge the utility of the Internet and technology, they are perturbed by the varied manifestations it has — from the way it highlights one thing over the other to the way it has caused polarisation, and even irrevocably affected relationships in the private space. The current situation has increased our reliance on technology manifold, aggravating the dangers it withholds. The book will explore ways to navigate a future beset with challenges.
Speaking exclusively to indianexpress.com, Nilekani said, “I have always been excited about new technology and its transformative capacity for society and business to do marvelous new things. However, for that ability to be applied meaningfully and in a beneficial way is a whole another challenge. Other than pandemics and climate change, fissures bought about by some aspects of the modern use of technology like social media, may soon become the third existential crisis for humanity. It is not just that we are going digital, but we need to think long and hard about how we are going digital.”
Fellow writer Bhojwani added, “Personal Computers were supposed to be the ‘bicycles for the mind’. But the internet has converted these bicycles into rollercoasters. Others capture our attention and take us for a ride. We are left feeling like we have very little control. In mindfulness practice, one learns to tame mind-wandering and bring one’s attention under control. The idea of bitfulness is that we can learn to tame the excesses of the internet, and align our technology towards our goals.”
Hailing it as the book of our times, Meru Gokhale, Publisher, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India said, “The pandemic has increased our reliance on the digital world, from work meetings to binge-watching. How then do we protect our data? The Art of Bitfulness resets our relationship with the digital universe, and I’m delighted and reassured to see that the authors have taken this up as their cause in the book.”
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