Saturday, February 03, 2018
In The Atlantic, Marcel O’Gorman considers the Yondr.
Ultimately, Gregory connects Yondr to a thorny question about civil liberties: the right of the people to keep and bear smartphones. It’s an ironic conclusion, because Yondr is sold as a tool to provide freedom, rather than to take it away. To “Be Here Now,” as the company’s tagline puts it. It’s a promise to deliver presence—a tricky calling, to say the least. Presence has a long history in religion and philosophy, from Buddhist practices to the metaphysics of the 20th-century philosopher Martin Heidegger. Today, presence is most common in the various mindfulness trends that have overtaken individual and corporate life, in Silicon Valley in particular—collectively the critic R. John Williams has called them “technê-zen.”
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