Podcast: New Tech City – Bi-literate Literate Thinking, Reading, Boredom and our Brains

I heard a great NPR piece on the relationship of boredom to creativity the other day which explained to me why my very best ideas happen in the shower: It’s because none of my personal technology is waterproof! No Facebook cat videos, no email, no texts, no podcasts. Just me and my brain under the hot water cooking stuff up.

It turns out that the time we spend bored and “spaced out” might actually be necessary to creativity, problem solving and something called “autobiographical planning.”  If you are curious about stuff like this–our increasingly intertwined relationship to our tech and how it affects our brains and our lives–you might want to check out the podcast New Tech City.


You’ll learn about your twitchy addiction to your phone, the degree to which robots are interacting with you everyday, assisting and increasingly replacing you, how Twitter is changing nonfiction, how scanning screens is rewiring your brain and interrupting with your capacity to enjoy complex, long-form writing.

It’s not all bad news. In fact I am taken but how much these podcasts are about developing a mindful understanding of our relationship to technology in order to maintain a rich intellectual and creative life.

Book lovers, if you want to dip in to New Tech City, perhaps start with The ‘Bi-literate’ Brain: The Key to Reading in a Sea of Screens.

And then pick up Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain(9780060933845). $15.99 trade paperback.


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