“First you will come to the Sirens, who bewitch all men who come near. Anyone who approaches unaware and hears their voice will never again be welcomed home by wife and children, dancing with joy at his return—not after the Sirens bewitch him with song.”—Homer, The Odyssey
We ought to wonder at the hypnotic powers of a laptop, perched atop a student’s desk during class. It seems to exert a kind of gravitational pull upon the gaze of all within range, like that pornographic highway billboard you disapprove of politically but can’t stop staring at. Not even the best seem immune to its sirenic charms. I used to think student usage of laptops in the classroom was by and large benign. But I’ve changed my mind. Why? Because I’ve yet to see any evidence that it adds anything positive to the classroom environment. I have, however, seen plenty of evidence which suggests that it’s detrimental. As such, though much laptop usage may be benign, it seems prudent to prohibit it categorically regardless.
—John Faithful Hamer, The Goldfish (2016)