What shapes our sense of place, our sense of time, and our memory? How is technology changing the way we make sense of the world and of ourselves?
Our screens offer us connection, especially now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are certain depths of connection our screens can’t offer - to ourselves, to the natural world, and to each other. In this personal exploration of digital life’s impact on how we see the world, Howard Axelrod marshals science, philosophy, art criticism, pop culture, and his own experience of returning from two years of living in solitude in Northern Vermont. The Stars in Our Pockets is a timely reminder of the world around us and the worlds within us - and how, as alienated as we may sometimes feel, they were made for each other.
What the critics say
"In his new book Howard Axelrod makes a compelling argument for drawing a new kind of map, one that helps us as we search and stumble between the borderlines of our digital and physical worlds...an intimate book; he discusses big themes, big ideas, but the feel is as though you are leaning in close across a table in a dimly lit space...he is someone who pays close attention to attention, asking that we consider how the world enters us (and how we enter it) and arguing that our solitude is what unites us. His book serves as guide as how to reckon with that fact, together." (The Boston Globe)
"Poetic, ruminative, and never preachy, this book is a game changer for readers who yearn to see beyond 240 characters." (Booklist starred review)
"A provocative inquiry... Refreshingly, Axelrod doesn’t deliver a screed against cybertechnology but rather a series of philosophical meditations on the consequences of connecting ourselves digitally to the point where the realm of the screen is a world unto itself." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)