Ditch Your Computer, Get More Productive?

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Celebrated filmmaker, best-selling author, and surprisingly talented jazz clarinetist Woody Allen recently told the New York Times, that  he "[doesn't] own a computer, [has] no idea how to work one, [doesn't] own a word processor, and [has] zero interest in technology." This led Newser's Michael Wolff to wonder: if Woody Allen can do so much without computers, which supposedly make people more productive, should anybody use them?

He's as dogged and productive as…well is there anyone as dogged and productive? It’s pretty hard to see Woody's nonparticipation in the digital world as a handicap. Who produces more, Clay Shirky? Biz Stone? Steve Jobs? Jeff Jarvis?

If you could be Steve Jobs or Woody Allen, who would you choose to be? Only the young and tiresome would choose the former.

Wolff suggests a sort of pilot program of non-computer-users to test out his hypothesis. And if it's correct, Wolff hints, maybe we should all, as a society, ditch computers.

Woody's way makes you wish there was a control group, a fierce and humorous population of refuseniks, Steve-Jobs-ophobes, still making ends meet and sentences complete the old fashioned way--then we could see what we might have lost.

OK, but can we still keep our iPhones?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.