I study people, technology, and the worlds they make.
My latest book, Shorter: Redesign Your Work and Reclaim Your Time, is about the global movement to shorten the workday. It looks at companies in the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia that have moved to 6-hour days or 4-day weeks without cutting salaries, or sacrificing productivity or profitability. It will be published in early 2020 by Public Affairs in the US, Penguin Business in the UK, and Locus in Taiwan.
My last book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, with a foreword by Arianna Huffington, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or via your local bookstore through Indiebound. In the United States, it’s published by Basic Books; in the UK, it’s published by Penguin Books as part of their Penguin Life series. Rest is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.
My previous book, The Distraction Addiction (Little, Brown & Co., 2013), was an argument for practicing “contemplative computing,” using information technologies to help us be more mindful, not distracted. It’s been translated into six languages, with an Arabic edition in the works.
I have a Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania.
I live in Silicon Valley, California.
In addition to my books, I have a number of essays, articles and Web posts. You can see a complete list, including some PDFs, on my Academia.edu profile and Google Scholar profile. Here is a (highly selective) cross-section of my academic, professional, and popular work:
“Why companies should say goodbye to the 996 work culture, and hello to 4-day weeks.” South China Morning Post (20 April 2019).
“The Power of Play.” Penn Gazette (April 2017).
“Using Deliberate Rest to Promote Creativity.” Talent Development (February 2017).
“How to be Creative: Get Up Early and Follow a Routine.” Australian Financial Review (28 January 2017).
“Hacking the Great Distractor.” Penn Gazette (February 2015).
“5 Keys to Kicking the Distraction Addiction.” LA Yoga (October 2014).
“Citizen Satellites.” (w/ Bob Twiggs) Scientific American (February 2011), 48-53.
“The Making of the Mouse.” American Heritage (Winter 2001), 48-54.
“A Banquet of Consequences: Living in the ‘Nobody-Could-Have-Predicted’ Era.” World Future Review (Summer 2011), 5-10.
“Social Scanning: Improving Futures Through Web 2.0; or, Finally a Use for Twitter.” Futures 42 (December 2010), 1222-1230.
“Paper Spaces: Visualizing the Future.” World Future Review (Feb. 2010), 31-40.
“Futures 2.0: Rethinking the Discipline.” Foresight (Spring 2010), 5-20.
Future Knowledge Ecosystems: The Next Twenty Years of Technology-led Economic Development. With Anthony Townsend and Rick Weddel. IFTF, 2009.
Science and Technology Outlook: 2005-2055. IFTF, 2006.
Visible Minds: Collective Intelligence. IFTF, 2005.
The Addressable World. IFTF, 2004.
“Spontaneous Thinking in Creative Lives: Building Connections Between Science and History.” In Christoff and Fox, ends., Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought (Oxford University Press, 2018), 133-140.
“Mobility, Convergence, and the End of Cyberspace.” In Towards a Philosophy of Telecommunications Convergence (Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 2008), 55-62.
“Old Wine for New Bottles: Developing the Britannica CD Multimedia Timelines.” Human IT 1/1999 (Spring 1999), 95-118.
“The Work of the Encyclopedia in the Age of Electronic Reproduction.” First Monday 3:9 (September 1998).
“‘Stars Should Henceforth Register Themselves’: Astrophotography at the Early Lick Observatory.” British Journal for the History of Science 30:2 (1996), 177-202.
“Gender, Culture, and Astrophysical Fieldwork: Elizabeth Campbell and the Lick Observatory–Crocker Eclipse Expeditions.” Osiris 11 (1995), 17-43
“The Social Event of the Season: Solar Eclipse Expeditions and Victorian Culture.” Isis, 84 (June 1993), 252-277.