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on 11 July 2014
If, like me, you are a chronic insomniac, then it must have occurred to you, in the long watches of the sleepless night, that if sleep was on sale, you would buy it. The very ambiguous message of Jonathan Crary's book is that you probably soon will be able to - but it will have compulsory advertising content incorporated in it.
The book's basic argument, well expressed and supported by a great deal of evidence, is that sleep has always been an irritating anomaly for the capitalist system. Not only was it unproductive, it was also undisciplined and impossible to control. And for modern financial capitalism, the mere idea of a part of life that cannot be commercialized, bought and sold, is utterly unacceptable. And how do you commercialize the sleeping hours? Well you make people wake up at least once during the night to check their Facebook page, not because they have to, but because they have been trained to want to.
So far so good. The problem is that, to expand a very good pamphlet into a short book, the author has been obliged to include a whole lot of other reflections on modern technology and society. He has some interesting, if not very original, things to say, but it's obviously not an area where he is particularly knowledgeable or confident, and it shows.
Pity, really, because the underlying thesis is excellent, and deserves a wide audience.
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on 15 September 2014
Beautifully written. I felt my mind open and a warmth poured in - here is an erudite articulator who sees what I see but can say it, and far more - our age has got something very very wrong. This book can only be described as wonderful.
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on 16 November 2013
This book articulates what many of us will have felt. Modern life with all it's gadgets makes us complicit in filling our time with meaningless activity instead of thought. Beautifully written this is a page turner with a difference.
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on 30 December 2014
The future is lonely and in the control of neo liberalism ....try to get a good nights sleep....its waiting to be colonised
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on 11 July 2013
Thought provoking, whilst setting you on a quest to understand other issues which society is dealing with today. A great book if you are a seeker looking to understand the dynamics that has shapes civilization and still continually influence what we do today...
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on 3 December 2015
Nice one, Crary.
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on 20 October 2014
Make me re think some points of view I held. Interesting.. 24/7 does look like we are commodities in this world, shall keep my eyes open and see how valid his arguments are, at least to me..
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on 2 February 2016
A highly entertaining rant which ultimately fails to put up a totally coherent argument but is worth the trip.
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on 19 March 2016
Nice cxentral point but opaque and ill-structured prose. Needed an editor!
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on 29 September 2014
everything like promised!
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