Nicholas Carr

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pages: 369 words: 80,355

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

We are not yet close to having a solid answer to Sunstein’s question. Yet, it’s worth noting that it always seems to be “those other folks” who are being made stupid by the Net. Most of us feel, as we’re Googling around, that the Net is making us smarter—better informed (with more answers at our literal fingertips), better able to explore a topic, better able to find the points of view that explain and contextualize that which we don’t yet understand. Not Nicholas Carr. He thinks the Net is making all of us stupider, including himself, but more or less for the opposite reason that Sunstein worries about. Carr notes at the beginning of his wonderfully titled book The Shallows that he realized in 2007 that his own cognitive processes were changing because of the Net, and not for the better. “I missed my old brain,” he writes.36 For Carr, the cause is not the presence of echo chambers but their rough opposite: The linking, blinking, twittering diversity of the Net is making us dumb.

Whether or not the Web tends to make us more insular, we know that human beings have a tendency toward homophily; we prefer to be with people who are like us. All the participants in this debate agree that excessive homophily is a bad thing. All the participants agree that we should be bending our efforts to work against our homophilitic tendencies. And no participants—not Cass Sunstein, not Nicholas Carr—are suggesting that we roll the Net back up and throw it away as a bad idea. So, why so many years of debate and with such passion? Because something else is at stake. Unsettled Discourses Al Gore published The Assault on Reason39 in 2007 in the middle of George Bush’s second term,40 so it’s understandable that he felt some despair. “Why do reason, logic, and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?”

Further, for the past fifteen years I’ve been working in a hybrid mode that is not inappropriate to the transformation we’re living through: I have been out on the Web with the ideas in this book since before the book was conceived, and have profited greatly from the online conversations about them. (Thank you blogosphere! Thank you commenters!) Still, not only is the irony/hypocrisy of this book inescapable, it is so familiar in this time of transition that I wish someone would write a boilerplate paragraph that all authors of nonpessimistic books about the Internet could just insert and be done with. Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows escapes the irony because it maintains that long-form books are the crucial and distinctive way civilization develops ideas. If there’s any irony at all, it’s that Carr’s long-form book aims to convince us that the Internet is reshaping our brains so that we can no longer follow long-form arguments—since The Shallows is indeed a coherent, 220-page argument. We could outline it as we did On the Origin of Species, chapter by chapter: [1] We all sense that our way of thinking is being changed by the Internet, and we regret it. [2] The brain is remarkably plastic, molding itself to new needs and inputs. [3] Historically, technology has changed how we think. [4] Deep reading and thinking developed historically because of books. [5] The Internet is a new and quite different technology.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

,” Atlantic, January 23, 2014. 18 Daniel Akst, “Automation Anxiety,” Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2013. 19 “Coming to an Office Near You . . .” Economist, January 18 , 2014. 20 Martin Wolf, “If Robots Divide Us, They Will Conquer,” Financial Times, February 4, 2014. 21 Tim Harford, “The Robots Are Coming and Will Terminate Your Jobs,” Financial Times, December 28–29, 2013. 22 Ibid. 23 Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (New York: Norton, 2008), p. 113. 24 Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us (New York: Norton, 2014), p. 198. 25 Carole Cadwallader, “Are the Robots About to Rise? Google’s New Director of Engineering Thinks So . . .” Guardian, February 22, 2014. 26 Samuel Gibbs, “What Is Boston Dynamics and Why Does Google Want Robots?,” Guardian, December 17, 2013. 27 Lorraine Luk, “Foxconn Working with Google on Robotics,” Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2014. 28 Dan Rowinski, “Google’s Game of Moneyball in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” ReadWrite.com, January 29, 2014. 29 Chunka Mui, “Google Car + Uber = Killer App,” Forbes, August 23, 2013. 30 395,000 at UPS (pressroom.ups.com/Fact+Sheets/UPS+Fact+Sheet) and 300,000 at FedEx (about.van.fedex.com/company-information). 31 Claire Cain Miller, “FedEx’s Price Rise Is a Blessing in Disguise for Amazon,” New York Times, May 9, 2014. 32 David Streitfeld, “Amazon Floats the Notion of Delivery Drones,” New York Times, December 1, 2013. 33 Charles Arthur, “Amazon Seeks US Permission to Test Prime Air Delivery Drones,” Guardian, July 11, 2014. 34 Katie Lobosco, “Army of Robots to Invade Amazon Warehouse,” CNNMoney, May 22, 2014. 35 George Packer, “Cheap Words,” New Yorker, February 17, 2014. 36 “John Naughton, Why Facebook and Google Are Buying into Drones,” Observer, April 19, 2014. 37 Reed Albergotti, “Zuckerberg, Musk Invest in Artificial-Intelligence Company,” Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2014. 38 Ibid. 39 Emily Young, “Davos 2014: Google’s Schmidt Warning on Jobs,” BBC, January 23, 2014. 40 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A.

See, for example, his latest book: Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age (New York: Riverhead, 2012). 36 Tom Standage, Writing on the Wall: Social Media—The First 2,000 Years (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). 37 Ibid., epilogue, pp. 240–51. 38 Williams, “The Agony of Instagram.” 39 Rhiannon Lucy Coslett and Holly Baxter, “Smug Shots and Selfies: The Rise of Internet Self-Obsession,” Guardian, December 6, 2013. 40 Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” Atlantic, July/August 2008. Also see Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York; Norton, 2011). 41 Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You (Penguin, 2011). See also my June 2011 TechCrunchTV interview with Eli Pariser: Andrew Keen, “Keen On . . . Eli Pariser: Have Progressives Lost Faith in the Internet?,” TechCrunch, June 15, 2011, techcrunch.com/2011/06/15/keen-on-eli-pariser-have-progressives-lost-faith-in-the-internet-tctv. 42 Claire Carter, “Global Village of Technology a Myth as Study Shows Most Online Communication Limited to 100-Mile Radius,” BBC, December 18, 2013; Claire Cain Miller, “How Social Media Silences Debate,” New York Times, August 26, 2014. 43 Josh Constine, “The Data Factory—How Your Free Labor Lets Tech Giants Grow the Wealth Gap.” 44 Derek Thompson, “Google’s CEO: ‘The Laws Are Written by Lobbyists,’” Atlantic, October 1, 2010. 45 James Surowiecki, “Gross Domestic Freebie,” New Yorker, November 25, 2013. 46 Monica Anderson, “At Newspapers, Photographers Feel the Brunt of Job Cuts,” Pew Research Center, November 11, 2013. 47 Robert Reich, “Robert Reich: WhatsApp Is Everything Wrong with the U.S.

Harford suspects 2014 might be the year that computers finally become self-aware, a prospect that he understandably finds “sobering” because of its “negative impact of . . . on the job market.”22 He is particularly concerned with how increasingly intelligent technology is hollowing out middle-income jobs such as typists, clerks, travel agents, and bank tellers. Equally sobering is the involvement of dominant Internet companies like Google and Amazon in a robot-controlled society that the technology writer Nicholas Carr foresees in his 2014 book about “automation and us,” The Glass Cage. Carr’s earlier 2008 work, The Big Switch, made the important argument that, with the increasingly ubiquity of cloud computing, the network has indeed become a giant computer, with the World Wide Web thus being “The World Wide Computer.”23 And with automation, Carr warns in The Glass Cage, the World Wide Computer is now designing a society that threatens to discard human beings.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Alan Greenspan, “The American Economy in a World Context,” 35th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, May 16, 1999; Henwood, After the New Economy, 79 and 86. 4. Ibid., 201 and 217. 5. Tom Rosenstiel, “Five Myths About the Future of Journalism,” Washington Post, April 7, 2011. 6. Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011), 49. 7. Lacy, Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good, 92–93. 8. The term “digital sharecropping” was coined by Nicholas Carr. Nicholas Carr, “Sharecropping the Long Tail,” Rough Type (blog), December 19, 2006, http://www.roughtype.com/?p=634. 9. Nick Bilton, “Disruptions: Facebook Users Ask, ‘Where’s Our Cut?’ ” NYTimes.com, February 5, 2012, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/disruptions-facebook-users-ask-wheres-our-cut/. 10. Trebor Scholz, digitallabor.org. 11. This issue is the subject of interesting, if slightly esoteric, academic debate that is beyond the scope of these pages.

It’s striking, when one pauses to think about it, how essential art and culture remain to the digital economy even as most of the money floating around goes to multibillion-dollar businesses that don’t invest much in either. Art and culture are the stuff that ads are sold around, the bait that causes users to divulge their preferences by clicking so their data can be mined. The profits made by many online ventures, from social networks to search engines to news sites, are “tied directly to the velocity of people’s information intake,” as Nicholas Carr explained in The Shallows in an analysis of Google’s business model, though his insights can be broadly applied. The faster we surf across the surface of the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google gains to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Its advertising system … is explicitly designed to figure out which messages are most likely to grab our attention and then to place those messages in our field of view.

In my view, the way to mitigate these hazards is to expose them while emphasizing the socioeconomic, political, and ethical aspects that often go unremarked in tech discourse. For more on the false division of real and virtual life see Nathan Jurgenson, “The IRL Fetish,” New Inquiry, June 28, 2012. 2. Since I began working on this book, a number of interesting books critical of techno-utopianism were published, including but not limited to Douglas Rushkoff’s (New York: Or Books, 2011); Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010); Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Knopf, 2010) and Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013); Kate Losse’s The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network (New York: Free Press, 2012); Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011) and To Save Everything Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism (New York: PublicAffairs, 2013); Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011); Robert McChesney’s Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy (New York: The New Press, 2013); and Siva Vaidhyanathan’s The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). 3.


pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

“It’s not just some linear trajectory with older brains getting weaker,” he told me. Your brain’s ability to empathize, for example, will increase as you age. The flip side of all this, though, is that young brains, immersed in a dozen hours of screen time a day, may be more equipped to deal with digital reality than with the decidedly less flashy reality reality that makes up our dirty, sometimes boring, often quiet, material world. In The Shallows, Nicholas Carr describes how the Internet fundamentally works on our plastic minds to make them more capable of “shallow” thinking and less capable of “deep” thinking. After enough time in front of our screens, we learn to absorb more information less effectively, skip the bottom half of paragraphs, shift focus constantly; “the brighter the software, the dimmer the user,” he suggests at one point. The most startling example of our brain’s malleability, though, comes from new research by neural engineers who now suggest that our children will be able to “incept” a person “to acquire new learning, skills, or memory, or possibly restore skills or knowledge that has been damaged through accident, disease, or aging, without a person’s awareness of what is learned or memorized.”

This invisible hand is at work each time you search online. When Google delivers your search results, its algorithm (mimicking an academic tradition) assumes that work that receives more citations has a greater authority. Google, then, privileges search results that are linked to more Web pages and shuttles more popular (that is, relevant) results to page one of the 142 million results for “Glee,” for example. Nicholas Carr tells a fascinating story in The Shallows that illustrates where this approach can go drastically wrong: James Evans, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, compiled a database of thirty-four million scholarly articles published in journals from 1945 to 2005, in order to assess the number and variety of citations that were used. Had the movement of journals from print to online been a boon for scholarship?

At first there was this bewildering, wind-swept void where my online world had been. Now, haltingly, I place other things in that void. A book. A walk through Shaughnessy to monitor the construction of various McMansions I have my eye on. But, of course, nothing—nothing—is as enthralling as the lovely, comforting, absence-destroying Internet. You can’t really revert to a prior state of mind because (as Nicholas Carr points out) our brains may be changeable and plastic, but they aren’t necessarily elastic. My online mind waits angrily for its food. August 23 My tolerance toward interruption has plummeted. (Good sign? Bad sign?) During a chat at the pub, or on the seawall, my interlocutor will raise a finger (pressing an invisible hold button in the air between us) and answer an incoming text message with a sort of blithe assumption that my own attention will immediately flit somewhere else in the meantime.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global pandemic, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

Joseph Reagle, “In Good Faith: Wikipedia Collaboration and the Pursuit of the Universal Encyclopedia,” Joseph Reagele, 2008, http://reagle.org/joseph/ blog; Joseph M. Reagle, “Do as I Do: Authorial Leadership in Wikipedia,” Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Wikis (Montreal: ACM, 2007), 143–56. NOT ES TO PAGES 63–69 231 31. Andrew Famiglietti, “Wikipedia and Search: Some Quick Numbers,” Hackers, Cyborgs, and Wikipedians, blog, March 4, 2009, http://blogs.bgsu .edu/afamigl. 32. Nicholas Carr, “All Hail the Information Triumvirate!” Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog, January 23, 2009, www.roughtype.com. 33. See Siva Vaidhyanathan, “The Digital Wisdom of Richard Sennett,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2008. If you skim the past ten years or so of Wired magazine in search of the names of the intellectuals who have influenced digital culture, you would encounter many notables: Sherry Turkle, Mark Granovetter, Lawrence Lessig, Clay Shirky, Pamela Samuelson, and, of course, the patron saint of digital media theory, Marshall McLuhan.

To deal with these changes, Internet scholar Viktor Mayer-Schönberger suggests we engage in a significant reengineering or reimagining of the default habits of our species: to record, retain, and release as much information as possible. Because we have for centuries struggled against the inertia of forgetting, we can’t easily comprehend the momentum and risks of remembering.6 MAYBE ME MORY I S NOT T H E P RO B LEM In the summer of 2007, the technology writer Nicholas Carr contributed a provocative cover article to the Atlantic called “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” In it, Carr made the case that persistent dependence on the Web for intellectual resources and activity is fundamentally rewiring the minds of many people—his own included. “And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation,” Carr wrote. “My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.

Once you overdetermine a set of categories—in this case, modes of thought—you can simply fit whatever small sets you can collect of documented behavior into those categories and proclaim the existence of a “new man” or a “new era.” Such historical and anthropological taxonomy has about as much validity as astrology. The plasticity of the human mind, a welldocumented phenomenon, means that human brains not only alter over time and with experience but can keep on changing. So if you worry, THE GOOGL I ZAT I ON OF ME MORY 181 with Nicholas Carr, that the Web is short-circuiting your capacities to think, you can just retrain your mind to think better. Training, though, is different from Lamarckian adaptation. Overusing or abusing any tool or technique can leave you numb or foggy. So it’s not surprising that people report increased distraction in their lives after adopting technologies that have raised our cultural metabolism. But in making too strong a claim for deep, biological change effected by technology, Carr commits the error of technological determinism.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

., 49 Westinghouse, 175 Whitehead, Alfred North, 65–67, 83, 84 Wiener, Norbert, 37–40, 117, 158, 161 WifiSlam, 136 Wilde, Oscar, 25, 66, 224, 225 Williams, Serena, 82 Williams, William Carlos, xi Wilson, Timothy, 15 Winner, Langdon, 209, 224 Wired, 136, 153, 225 Woods, David, 162 word-processing programs, 101 Wordsworth, William, 137 work, 14–27, 213–14 paradox of, 14–16 standardization of, 107–8, 114 transfer of, 17–18, 66 see also jobs; labor world, 121, 123–24, 133, 216–20, 232 World War I, 58 World War II, 35–36, 41, 49, 157, 158, 174 Wright, Orville, 61, 168, 215 Wright, Wilbur, 60, 61, 168, 215 Xerox, 117 Xerox PARC, 194, 195, 202 x-rays, 70, 99 Yerkes, Robert M., 87–88 Yerkes-Dodson law and curve, 89–91, 165 Young, Mark, 90–91 Zaha Hadid, 141 Ziegler, Bernard, 170 Zuckerberg, Mark, 181, 203, 206 ALSO BY NICHOLAS CARR THE SHALLOWS: WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO OUR BRAINS THE BIG SWITCH: REWIRING THE WORLD, FROM EDISON TO GOOGLE DOES IT MATTER? INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE CORROSION OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THE DIGITAL ENTERPRISE (editor) Copyright © 2014 by Nicholas Carr All rights reserved First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact W.

Freeman, 1976), 20. 11.Mark Weiser, “The Computer for the 21st Century,” Scientific American, September 1991. 12.Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, “The Coming Age of Calm Technology,” in P. J. Denning and R. M. Metcalfe, eds., Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing (New York: Springer, 1997), 75–86. 13.M. Weiser et al., “The Origins of Ubiquitous Computing Research at PARC in the Late 1980s,” IBM Systems Journal 38, no. 4 (1999): 693–696. 14.See Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008). 15.Thomas P. Hughes, Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880–1930 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 140. 16.W. Brian Arthur, “The Second Economy,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2011. 17.Ibid. 18.Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought: Using a Digital Nervous System (New York: Warner Books, 1999), 37. 19.Arthur C.

Dreyfus’s commentary “The Current Relevance of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Embodiment,” Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (Spring 1996), ejap.louisiana.edu/ejap/1996.spring/dreyfus.1996.spring.html. 10.Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics (London: Penguin, 1996), 44. 11.John Edward Huth, “Losing Our Way in the World,” New York Times, July 21, 2013. See also Huth’s enlightening book The Lost Art of Finding Our Way (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2013). 12.Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 148. 13.Ibid., 261. 14.See Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010). 15.Pascal Ravassard et al., “Multisensory Control of Hippocampal Spatiotemporal Selectivity,” Science 340, no. 6138 (2013): 1342–1346. 16.Anonymous, “Living in The Matrix Requires Less Brain Power,” Science Now, May 2, 2013, news.sciencemag.org/physics/2013/05/living-matrix-requires-less-brain-power. 17.Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics, 5th ed.


pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

When I describe my college years in the early 1970s, they have trouble grasping how people managed to communicate, how anything could get done, how limited the options seemed to be, how life could even be led. It would be akin to my great-grandparents from 1860 Nova Scotia or eastern Kentucky returning to describe their youth to me when I was growing up in suburban Cleveland in the 1960s. “For society as a whole the Net has become the communication and information medium of choice,” Nicholas Carr writes. “The scope of its use is unprecedented, even by the standards of the mass media of the twentieth century. The scope of its influence is equally broad.”8 Consider this: in 1995 the Internet had 10 million users, still disproportionately at U.S. universities, and it was all the rage. By 2011 the Internet had 2 billion users and was growing by leaps and bounds. By 2020 another 3 billion people will be online.

“Many people tell me they hope that as Siri, the digital assistant on Apple’s iPhone, becomes more advanced, ‘she’ will be more and more like a best friend—one who will listen when others won’t.” Turkle concludes, “Even when they are with friends, partners, children, everyone is on their own devices.”45 The idea that the Internet is transforming people unwittingly in ways that may be less than desirable is best developed in The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. While acknowledging all the benefits of the Internet, and his own addiction to it, Carr argues that the advantages “come at a price,” specifically by reshaping the way our brains work. Carr draws from the recent surge in brain science research demonstrating that brains are “massively plastic” and can be changed dramatically by their environment and how they are used and not used. Carr argues that research demonstrates that with the rise of the Web and the decline in traditional reading, humans are losing their “linear thought process.”46 The Internet’s “cacophony of stimuli short-circuits both conscious and unconscious thought, preventing our minds from thinking either deeply or creatively.”

McLuhan is best known for his notion that the “medium is the message,” that the nature of media content derives from the structure and technology of the medium. The dominant media technology defines a society, he said, changing the very way we think and the way that human societies operate.11 His work was very influential on innumerable thinkers, including Neil Postman, who argued that television had an innate bias toward superficiality.12 “Every intellectual technology,” as Nicholas Carr puts it, “embodies an intellectual ethic, a set of assumptions about how the human mind works or should work.” These technologies “have the greatest and most lasting power over what and how we think.”13 Without a political economic context, this approach can smack of media technological determinism, but with the PEC this approach highlights that media technologies have significant impact, an extra-large helping of what sociologists term “relative autonomy.”14 Innis did not only focus upon the importance of communication technologies; he was also a sharp critic of corporate media and media commercialization.15 The same was true of Postman, who termed the United States a technopoly, “a system in which technology of every kind is cheerfully granted sovereignty over social institutions and national life, and becomes self-justifying, self-perpetuating, and omnipresent.”


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Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

[31] Vannevar Bush. As we may think. Atlantic Monthly, July 1945. [32] Declan Butler. Flu database row escalates. The Great Beyond (blog), September 14, 2009. http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2009/09/flu_database_row_ escalates.html. [33] Robert H. Carlson. Biology Is Technology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010. [34] Nicholas Carr. Is Google making us stupid? Atlantic Monthly, July/August, 2008. [35] Nicholas Carr. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. [36] Henry William Chesbrough. Opennovation: The new Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2006. [37] Chess Base. Dark horse ZackS wins Freestyle chess tournament, June 19, 2005. http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?

Our main interest will be in scientific problem-solving, and of course it’s problems at the limit of human problem-solving ability that scientists most dearly want to solve, and whose solution will bring the greatestnefit. Superficially, the idea that online tools can make us collectively smarter contradicts the idea, currently fashionable in some circles, that the internet is reducing our intelligence. For example, in 2010 the author Nicholas Carr published a book entitled The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, arguing that the internet is reducing our ability to concentrate and contemplate. Carr’s book and other similar works make many good points, and have been widely discussed. But new technologies seldom have just a single impact, and there’s no contradiction in believing that online tools can both enhance and reduce intelligence.

Other influential works on related subjects include Hutchins’s detailed anthropological analysis of collective intelligence in the navigation of a ship [95], Lévy’s book on collective intelligence [124], and the stimulating collection of essays on collective intelligence recently assembled by Mark Tovey [224]. Writing from a very different point of view, David Easley and Jon Kleinberg have written a great textbook, Networks, Crowds, and Markets [59], which summarizes much of the mathematical and quantitative research on networks. Finally, I recommend Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows [35]. It asks the fundamental question, how are online tools changing the way we (individually) think? I believe Carr’s answer is incomplete, but it’s a stimulating exploration of this important question. Open source: The best way to get informed about open source is to participate in some open source projects. You can also learn a great deal by reading over the code and discussion archives from open source projects such as Linux and Wikipedia.


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The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, business cycle, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

We’re confirming hundreds more of the existing usability guidelines every week as our testing continues. Even though we have upscale users and it’s a new study testing new sites, most of the findings are the same as we’ve seen year after year after year. Usability guidelines remain remarkably constant over time, because basic human characteristics stay the same. < Nicholas Carr > is google making us stupid? Originally published in The Atlantic (July/August 2008). NICHOLAS CARR is the author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010) and The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (2008). He has been a columnist for The Guardian and executive editor of Harvard Business Review, and has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The Times (London), and The New Republic.

That has given way to a world in which most forms of communication, public and private, are available to everyone in some form. Even accepting that these new behaviors are happening and that new kinds of media are providing the means for them, we still have to explain why. New tools get used only if they help people do things they want to do; what is motivating The People Formerly Known as the Audience to start participating? credits Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” in Atlantic Monthly (July/August 2008). Copyright © 2008 by Nicholas Carr. Reproduced by permission of the author. Cathy Davidson, “We Can’t Ignore the Influence of Digital Technologies,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 23, 2007). Copyright © 2007 by Cathy Davidson. Reproduced by permission from the author. William Deresiewicz, “The End of Solitude,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 30, 2009).

Some of the writings already enjoy canonical status. Tim O’Reilly’s “What Is Web 2.0” (2005), for instance, helped solidify a fundamental recognition of the Web as a dynamic, collaborative application, not just a source of information and a desktop tool. Marc Prensky’s “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,” published 2001, coined terms that have had a tactical and widespread use among educators. Nicholas Carr’s Atlantic Monthly essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (2008) was one of the most discussed essays of the year. Taken together, the selections form a far-reaching body of opinion about a rushing cataclysm that has upset centuries of social and intellectual practice. We do well to retain it. One of the dangers of the Digital Age is that technology changes so rapidly that it clouds our memory of things as they existed but a few years past.


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Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick J. Deneen

David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, mortgage debt, Nicholas Carr, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, Steven Levy, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

ANDROID HUMANITY A host of academic studies and works also explore, if less dramatically, the ways in which we are subjects to the transformative effects of our technologies. A paramount example today may be found in anxious descriptions of how the internet and social media are inescapably changing us, mainly for the worse. Several recent books and studies describing the measurable baleful effects of these technologies have found a ready audience well beyond the usual academic circles. For instance, in his widely discussed book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr describes how the internet is literally changing us, transforming our brains into different organs from those of the preinternet world. Appealing to developments in studies of brain plasticity, Carr describes how persistent occupation with the internet is leading to physiological changes to our brains, and hence to the ways we think, learn, and act. He argues that sustained exposure to the internet is rewiring our synapses, making us intensely hungry for frequent changes in images and content and less able than our forebears to concentrate and focus.

Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (New York: Anchor, 2000), 7. 3. From a response essay to David Brooks “Organization Kid,” by a member of Notre Dame class of 2018, in my course Political Philosophy and Education, August 29, 2016. Paper in author’s possession. 4. Wendell Berry, “Agriculture from the Roots Up,” in The Way of Ignorance and Other Essays (Emeryville, CA: Shoemaker and Hoard, 2005), 107–8. 5. Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: Norton, 2010). 6. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic, 2011). 7. Lee Silver, Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the Family (New York: HarperPerennial, 1998); Mark Shiffman, “Humanity 4.5,” First Things, November 2015. CHAPTER 1. 

This study was brought to my attention by Matthew Crawford in Shop Class as Soul Craft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (New York: Penguin, 2010). 22. Cited in Polillo, “Structuring Financial Elites,” 159. 23. “No Longer the Heart of the Home, the Piano Industry Quietly Declines,” New York Public Radio, January 6, 2015, http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/despite-gradual-decline-piano-industry-stays-alive/. CHAPTER 4. TECHNOLOGY AND THE LOSS OF LIBERTY 1. Brett T. Robinson, Appletopia (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2013). 2. Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to our Brains (New York: Norton, 2010). 3. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic, 2011). 4. Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (New York: Vintage, 1993). 5. Ibid., 28. 6. Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992); Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002). 7.


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To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Kelty, Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). 52 “the Protestant Reformation makes for good allegory”: ibid., 65. 52 “explain a political, technical, legal situation”: ibid., 72. 52 The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980). 52 Nicholas Carr draws on Eisenstein’s work in The Shallows: Nicholas Carr, The Shallows (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011), 70, 75. 53 “from her sources those facts and statements”: Anthony T. Grafton, “The Importance of Being Printed,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 11, no. 2 (October 1, 1980): 265–286. 53 “the extent to which any text could circulate”: ibid., 273. 53 “No hard fact of technology dictates”: Michael Warner, The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). 53 “we know what we mean”: ibid., 7. 54 “Politics and human agency disappear”: ibid., 6. 54 “[Eisenstein’s] press is something ‘sui generis’”: Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 19. 54 “identifies as significant only the clearest instances of fixity”: ibid., 19. 55 “there is no intellectually coherent conservative position”: Shirky, “Tools and Transformations.” 56 “How to Acknowledge a Revolution”: Adrian Johns, “How to Acknowledge a Revolution,” The American Historical Review 107, no. 1 (2002): 106–125. 56 “[Johns] accuses. . .

SOPA was a bad piece of legislation, but there’s something odd about how the geeks can simultaneously claim that the Internet is fixed and permanent and work extremely hard in the background to keep it that way. Their theory stands in stark contrast to their practice—a common modern dissonance that they prefer not to dwell on. “The Internet” is also a way to shift the debate away from more concrete and specific issues, essentially burying it in obscure and unproductive McLuhanism that seeks to discover some nonexistent inner truths about each and every medium under the sun. Consider how Nicholas Carr, one of today’s most vocal Internet skeptics, frames the discussion about the impact that digital technologies have on our ability to think deep thoughts and concentrate. In his best-selling book The Shallows, Carr worries that “the Internet” is making his brain demand “to be fed the way the Net fed it—and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became.” He complains that “the Net . . . provides a high-speed system for delivering responses and rewards . . . which encourage the repetition of both physical and mental actions.”

Neither Jarvis nor Shirky is a historian, so in discussing the impact of the printing press—which they think is comparable to the impact of “the Internet”—both turn to the same source: Elizabeth Eisenstein’s landmark two-volume study The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, first published in 1979. Without understanding the limitations of Eisenstein’s highly disputed account of the “revolution” that followed the invention of the printing press, it’s impossible to make sense of contemporary claims for the significance of “the Internet,” not least because the stability that her account lends to “the Internet” makes her a favorite source of Internet optimists and pessimists alike (Nicholas Carr draws on Eisenstein’s work in The Shallows). Much like with rational-choice theory, what many fellow scholars believe to be rather problematic scholarship is presented as universally admired and entirely uncontroversial. To use Eisenstein as our guide to “the Internet” is to commit to a very particular way of thinking about digital matters. Drawing heavily on the work of Marshall McLuhan, Eisenstein argues that the importance of printing in triggering all the subsequent social transformations had not yet been sufficiently credited (hence she dubbed it the “Unacknowledged Revolution”).


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Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

Second, Google utilizes” links—518 million hyperlinks at the time—to make maps that “allow rapid calculation of a web page’s ‘PageRank.’” They presented some calculations to describe how they approximated “a page’s importance or quality.” Page and Brin’s paper was attempting to advance a belief that both their fathers had passed on to them: artificial intelligence (AI) was the next scientific frontier. The search engine would supplement the limited human brain. “Brin and Page,” Nicholas Carr would write years later, “are expressing a desire that has long been a hallmark of the mathematicians and computer scientists who have devoted themselves to the creation of artificial intelligence.” They were following the lead of René Descartes, the French philosopher/mathematician who four centuries ago argued that “the body is always a hindrance to the mind in its thinking,” and mathematical formulas were the preferred route to “pure understanding.”

Craig Silverstein, Google employee number 1, said a thinking machine is probably “hundreds of years away” Marc Andreessen suggests that it is a pipe dream. “We are no closer to a computer that thinks like a person than we were fifty years ago,” he said. Sometimes lost in the excitement over the wonders of ever more relevant search is the potential social cost. In his provocative book The Big Switch, Nicholas Carr notes that Google’s goal is to store 100 percent of each individual’s data, what Google calls “transparent personalization.” This would allow Google to “choose which information to show you,” reducing inefficiencies. “A company run by mathematicians and engineers, Google seems oblivious to the possible social costs of transparent personalization,” Carr wrote. “They impose homogeneity on the Internet’s wild heterogeneity.

Bressler, September 26, 2008. 3 Short and pugnacious: Ken Auletta, “The Invisible Manager,” The New Yorker, July 27, 1998. 4 Google’s private books revealed: from August 2004 Google IPO registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 4 Karmazin’s destination: description of 2400 Bayshore Parkway offices from visit by author, April 18, 2008; author interviews with David Krane, April 18, 2008, and with Marissa Mayer, September 18, 2008; and from Google video of headquarters, provided by Google. 6 25.2 billion Web pages: WorldWideWebSize.com, February 2, 2009. 7 It was Google’s ambition: Schmidt and Page speech at Stanford on May 1, 2002, as seen on YouTube. 7 several hundred million daily searches: Schmidt and Page speech at Stanford on May 1, 2002, as seen on YouTube. 7 the number of daily searches is now 3 billion: internal Google documents. 7 “our business is highly measurable”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, September 15, 2008. 8 $3 million spent: Advertising Age, September 11, 2008. 8 $172 billion spent in the United States on advertising, and the additional $227 billion spent on marketing: Zenith OptimediaReport, April 2009. 9 Mayer ... remembered the meeting vividly: author interview with Marissa Mayer, September 18, 2008. 9 “If Google makes”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, April 16, 2008. 9 “the long tail”: Chris Anderson, the Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, Hyperion, 2006. 10 “aggregate content”: author interview with Larry Page, March 25, 2008. 10 from a peak daily newspaper circulation: Nicholas Carr, Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google, Norton; and The Project for Excellence in Journalism, “State of the News Media Report,” March 2007. 10 those networks... attract about 46 percent of viewers: Nielsen data on the 2008-9 season, May 2009. 12. “The innovator’s dilemma”: Clayton M. Christensen, Innovator’s Dilemma, Harvard Business School Press, 1997. 12. “Your choices suck”: author interview with Mel Karmazin, May 13, 2008. 12 “I will believe in the 500-channel world”: Sumner Redstone speech before the National Press Club, October 19, 1994. 13 Vinod Khosla ... once told: “An Oral History of the Internet,” Vanity Fair, July 2008. 13 “a tsunami”: author interview with Craig Newmark, January 11, 2008. 14 Nielsen reported: The Nielsen Company, “Three Screen Report,” May 2008. 14 In 2008, more Americans: press release from the Pew Research Center for People & the Press, December 23, 2008. 14 the number one network teleuision show: Nielsen Media Research. 14 an estimated 1.6 billion: Universal McCann study, “Wave.3,” March 2008, and John Markoff, the New York Times, August 30, 2008. 14 newspapers, which traditionally claimed nearly a quarter: JackMyers.com. 14 lost 167,000 jobs: Advertising Age report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 18, 2008. 14 two hundred billion dollars: Myers Advertising and Marketing Investment Insights, annual advertising spending forecast, September 15, 2007. 14 plunge below 20 percent: McCann Erickson Worldwide chart of percentage of ad dollars by media, 1980-2007. 15 it took telephones seventy-one years ... just five years: Progress & Freedom Foundation report, January 16, 2008, and “The Decade of Online Advertising,” DoubleClick, April 2005. 15 thirty-four technology stocks: charts provided to the author by Yossi Vardi. 15 1 million job applications: author interview with Lazslo Bock, August 22, 2007. 15 Its revenues... from advertising and other Google statistics: Google’s SEC filing for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, Google Amendment No. 9 to Form S-1, filed with the SEC August 18, 2004, and Google 10-K filed with the SEC, December 31, 2008. 16 daily advertising impressions: Google Product Strategy Meeting attended by the author, April 16, 2008. 16 Google’s hundreds of millions of daily auctions: reported in its Google 10-K SEC filing for the year ending December 31, 2007. 16 index contained: Google’s third-quarter earnings report, October 16, 2008. 16 billions of pages per day: Google internal documents for March 2008, presented at an April 16, 2008, Google Product Strategy Meeting attended by the author. 16 tens of billions: May 2007 revenue report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau. 16 YouTube ... twenty-five million unique daily visitors; DoubleClick posted seventeen billion: Eric Schmidt presentation to Google employees, April 28, 2008. 16 Google’s ad revenues in 2008: “Media Spending 2006-2009 Estimates,” JackMyers. com, January 29, 2008. 16 “We began”: Google 10-K filed in 2008 for the period ending December 31, 2007. 16 “We are in the advertising business”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 9, 2007. 17 likens Google to ...


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Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky

Andrew Keen, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, experimental economics, experimental subject, fundamental attribution error, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Kevin Kelly, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, social software, Steve Ballmer, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, ultimatum game

., 1914): 164. 48 The essay, titled “The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck”: Melissa McEwan’s, “The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck,” Shakesville from August 14, 2009 is at http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/08/terrible-bargain-we-have-regretfully.html. The comment thread is also extraordinary (accessed January 8, 2010). 50 Whether this revolution in the reading habits of the American public: Quoted in Kenneth Davis and Joann Giusto-Davis, Two-Bit Culture: The Paperbacking of America (New York and Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984): 68. 57 The writer Nicholas Carr has dubbed this pattern digital sharecropping: Nicholas Carr writes at his blog, Rough Type. “Sharecropping the Long Tail” is from December 19, 2006, http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/12/sharecropping_t.php (accessed January 8, 2010). 59 sued AOL on behalf of the ten thousand or so other volunteers: Lisa Napoli covered the AOL lawsuit for The New York Times: “Former Volunteers Sue AOL, Seeking Back Pay for Work,” The New York Times, March 26, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/26/nyregion/former-volunteers-sue-aolseeking-back-pay-for-work.html?

It can seem unfair for amateurs to be contributing their work for free to people who are making money from aggregating and sharing that work. At least traditional media outlets pay their contributors; with the new services, which enable amateurs to share work, the revenue goes not to the content creators but to the owners of the platform that enables the sharing, leading to the obvious question: why are all these people working for free? The writer Nicholas Carr has dubbed this pattern digital sharecropping, after the post- Civil War sharecroppers who worked the land but didn’t own it or the food they grew on it. With digital sharecropping, the platform owners get the money and the creators of the content don’t, a situation Carr regards as manifestly unfair. Curiously, the people most affected by this state of affairs don’t seem to be terribly up in arms about it.


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I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton

3D printing, 4chan, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Internet of things, Joan Didion, John Gruber, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Carr, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand

WWW 2010 (2010); Gilad Lotan, “ReTweet Revolution,” ReTweet Revolution, June 2009, http://giladlotan.org/viz/iranelection/index.html; Personal interview with Gilad Lotan, Microsoft Research Labs. 7 Young people tended to share political news: Brian Stelter, “Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On,” New York Times, March 27, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/world/americas/27iht-27voters.11460487.html. Chapter 5: when surgeons play video games 1 “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”: Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic July–August, 2008, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/. Also Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. 2 A number of books: Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (or, Don’t Trust Anyone under 30), New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008. Also: Maggie Jackson, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus, 2008. 3 Stanislas Dehaene: Unite de Neuroimageire Cognitive.

Instead, trusted anchoring communities will help you filter and navigate a bigger world in an eye-opening way that has never been possible before. You just have to get your brain around the possibilities. 5 when surgeons play video games our changing brains Men were twice as likely [as women] to tweet or post status updates after sex. This Time, We’re Really Going to Hell In the summer of 2008, Nicholas Carr, an author and writer for The Atlantic magazine, felt his brain slipping ever so slightly from its moorings. In the past, he wrote, “Immersing myself in a book or lengthy article used to be easy.” Not anymore. “Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do,” he said. “I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text.”


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Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, superconnector, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

Some people panic that our brains are being deformed on a physiological level by today’s technology: spend too much time flipping between windows and skimming text instead of reading a book, or interrupting your conversations to read text messages, and pretty soon you won’t be able to concentrate on anything—and if you can’t concentrate on it, you can’t understand it either. In his book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr eloquently raised this alarm, arguing that the quality of our thought, as a species, rose in tandem with the ascendance of slow-moving, linear print and began declining with the arrival of the zingy, flighty Internet. “I’m not thinking the way I used to think,” he worried. I’m certain that many of these fears are warranted. It has always been difficult for us to maintain mental habits of concentration and deep thought; that’s precisely why societies have engineered massive social institutions (everything from universities to book clubs and temples of worship) to encourage us to keep it up.

When informatics professor Gloria Mark studied office employees for one thousand hours, she found that they could concentrate for only eleven minutes at a time on a project before being interrupted or switching to another task—and once they’d been interrupted, it took an average of twenty-five minutes to return to their original work. Other research has confirmed that rapid task switching makes it harder to manage our attention and to retain what we read. In one experiment, students who watched lectures while sending text messages did roughly 19 percent worse on a test than nontexting students. We develop what Nicholas Carr dubbed the “juggler’s brain,” a mind that can’t learn things because it doesn’t stand still long enough. Of course, task switching isn’t always bad. Certain kinds of work actually require and reward it. One survey of 197 businesses found that those with top management who were heavy multitaskers got 130 percent better financial results than companies that worked in a more “monochronic” fashion.

That includes Tricia Wang, An Xiao Mina, Debbie Chachra, Liz Lawley, Zeynep Tufekci, Clay Shirky, Brooke Gladstone, Tom Igoe, Max Whitney, Terri Senft, Misha Tepper, Fred Kaplan, Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, Liz Lawley, Nick Bilton, Gary Marcus, Heidi Siwak, Ann Blair, Eli Pariser, Ethan Zuckerman, Ian Bogost, Fred Benenson, Heather Gold, Douglas Rushkoff, Rebecca MacKinnon, Cory Menscher, Mark Belinsky, Quinn Norton, Anil Dash, Cathy Marshall, Elizabeth Stock, Philip Howard, Denise Hand, Robin Sloan, Tim Carmody, Don Tapscott, Steven Johnson, Kevin Kelly, Nina Khosla, Laura Fitton, Jillian York, Hilary Mason, Craig Mod, Bre Pettis, Glenn Kelman, Susan Cain, Noah Schachtman, Irin Carmon, Matthew Battles, Cathy Davidson, Linda Stone, Jess Kimball, Phil Libin, Kati London, Jim Marggraff, Dan Zalewski, Sasha Nemecek, Laura Miller, Brian McNely, Duncan Watts, Kenyatta Cheese, Nora Abousteit, Deanna Zandt, David Wallis, Nick Denton, Alissa Quart, Stan James, Andrew Hearst, Gary Stager, Evan Selinger, Steven Demmler, and Vint Cerf. I’m grateful to Nicholas Carr for pushing forward my thinking about memory and creativity in The Shallows. More than a decade ago, Carl Goodman and Rochelle Slovin from the American Museum of the Moving Image first inspired me to think about the role of moving image in our thought. My apologies to the many colleagues I’ve inadvertently left out here; human memory being, as I’ve written, rather fragile, this is a necessarily incomplete list.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The fact that we are always connected may deprive us of one of our most important assets: the time to pause, reflect and engage in a substantive conversation neither aided by technology nor intermediated by social media. Turkle refers to studies showing that, when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on the table between them or in their peripheral vision changes both what they talk about and their degree of connectedness.65 This does not mean we give up our phones but rather that we use them “with greater intention”. Other experts express related concerns. Technology and culture writer Nicholas Carr states that the more time we spend immersed in digital waters, the shallower our cognitive capabilities become due to the fact that we cease exercising control over our attention: “The Net is by design an interruption system, a machine geared for dividing attention. Frequent interruptions scatter our thoughts, weaken our memory, and make us tense and anxious. The more complex the train of thought we’re involved in, the greater the impairment the distractions cause.”66 Back in 1971, Herbert Simon, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978, warned that “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

“Changes in dispositional empathy in American college students over time: A meta-analysis.” Personality and Social Psychology Review (2010). 64 Quoted in: Simon Kuper, “Log out, switch off, join in”, FT Magazine, 2 October 2015. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fc76fce2-67b3-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5.html 65 Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Penguin, 2015. 66 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember, Atlantic Books, 2010. 67 Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Simon and Schuster, 2014. 68 Quoted in: Elizabeth Segran, “The Ethical Quandaries You Should Think About the Next Time You Look at Your Phone”, Fast Company, 5 October 2015. http://www.fastcompany.com/3051786/most-creative-people/the-ethical-quandaries-you-should-think-about-the-next-time-you-look-at 69 The term “contextual intelligence” was coined by Nihtin Nohria several years before he became the dean of Harvard Business School. 70 Klaus Schwab, Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau (Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering), VDMA, 1971. 71 Quoted in: Peter Snow, The Human Psyche in Love, War & Enlightenment, Boolarong Press, 2010. 72 Daniel Goleman, “What Makes A Leader?”


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

ENDNOTES (1) The term economic singularity was first used (as far as I can tell) by the economist Robin Hanson: http://mason.gmu.edu/~rhanson/fastgrow.html (2) http://arxiv.org/pdf/0712.3329v1.pdf (3) http://skyview.vansd.org/lschmidt/Projects/The%20Nine%20Types%20of%20Intelligence.html (4) The term AGI has been popularised by AI researcher Ben Goertzel, although he gives credit for its invention to Shane Legg and others: http://wp.goertzel.org/who-coined-the-term-agi/ (5) The Shape of Automation for Men and Management by Herbert Simon, 1965 (6) Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines by Marvin Minsky, 1967 (7) http://www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/ (8) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-frequency_trading (9) The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr (p 212) (10) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army#Third_Department (11) The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr (p 212) (12) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skfw282fJak (13) The Economist, December 4, 2003 (14) Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt (15) http://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/ (16) http://lazooz.org/ (17) https://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/11/19/losing-humanity (18) http://www.ifr.org/industrial-robots/statistics/ (19) “Economic possibilities for our grandchildren”: http://www.econ.yale.edu/smith/econ116a/keynes1.pdf (20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?


pages: 307 words: 17,123

Behind the cloud: the untold story of how Salesforce.com went from idea to billion-dollar company--and revolutionized an industry by Marc Benioff, Carlye Adler

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, business continuity plan, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, iterative process, Maui Hawaii, Nicholas Carr, platform as a service, Silicon Valley, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

The software would be on a Web site that they could access from any device anywhere in the world, 24/7. This model made software similar to a utility, akin to paying a monthly electric bill. Why couldn’t customers pay a monthly bill for a service that would run business applications whenever and wherever? This delivery model seems so obvious now. Today we call it on-demand, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), multitenant (shared infrastructure), or cloud computing. In fact, Nicholas Carr, former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review and one of the most influential thinkers in the IT industry, has since written two best-selling books validating this idea. Carr has even suggested that ‘‘utility-supplied’’ computing will have economic and social impacts as profound as the ones that took place one hundred years ago, when companies ‘‘stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid.’’1 The industry has come a long way, but consider that when we started, we didn’t have these industry supporters, or even these words, to describe the computing revolution we believed was beginning.

One of the ways we do this is by making ourselves available to discuss the direction of the 42 The Marketing Playbook industry. We don’t just sit around and wait for someone to call. If something happens that I can leverage, I immediately send a journalist an e-mail with my comments or ‘‘leak’’ an internal memo. I also like to forward related articles and other people’s ideas that help establish our point. For instance, we often referenced Clayton M. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma and Nicholas Carr’s The Big Switch, two thought-provoking books that validated our crusade. It is essential to spend time learning about what is happening in your industry to leverage these opportunities as well as to prevent being caught off guard. Using industry news to our advantage has served us very well. For example, when Microsoft made an announcement that it was planning to buy Great Plains, a competitor of salesforce.com, I sent a memo to our staff and forwarded my comments to journalists.

I know that you must be passionate, unreasonable, and a little bit crazy to follow your own ideas and do things differently. But it’s worth it. Life grows relative to one’s 259 BEHIND THE CLOUD investment in it. I promise you that by considering everyone’s success, you will see the return. I wish you great success. I look forward to hearing about the future you predict—and living in the one you create. Aloha, Marc 260 Notes Part 1 1. Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, New York: Norton, 2008, http://www .nicholasgcarr.com/bigswitch/. 2. The Yankee Group. ‘‘Mid-Market CRM Total Cost of Ownership: Noodling the Numbers,’’ Customer Relationship Strategies, Vol. 3, No. 6, June 2001. 3. Gartner, Inc., ‘‘SaaS at the Forefront of the Consumerization of IT,’’ May 8, 2007, http://www.gartner.com/Display Document?


pages: 297 words: 84,009

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, experimental economics, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, ultimatum game, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

And they say that its supposedly free offerings come at the cost of our privacy and vulnerability to the surveillance state. (By the way, since often I am referring to the slightly distant past, most of the time I will use the word “Google” to refer to what is now Google and its parent company Alphabet combined, with Google as a subsidiary of Alphabet since 2015.) Coming from another direction, Nicholas Carr wrote a book arguing that Google is partly responsible for the decline in our memories—why remember facts when you can just search for them? He asserted outright that Google makes us stupider. More recently, social media companies have been blamed for the ascent of Donald Trump, the renaissance of racism, “fake news,” and the collapse of appropriate democratic discourse. The framing of “great stuff for free” has been replaced by “the product is us.”

We’ll see if they succeed. Overall, I am astonished at just how varied the innovations of the major tech companies have been. It seems they have a core capacity for assembling, motivating, and coordinating human talent above and beyond the particular business lines where they won their earliest victories. DOES TECH MAKE US STUPID? Another criticism of the tech companies comes from thinkers such as Nicholas Carr, who has referred to the internet as “the shallows” and who has argued that Google is making us stupid. This criticism strikes me as a bit outside the focus of this book, as it pinpoints broader social and technological forces rather than the tech companies qua companies. Still, one feature of the current intellectual environment is that if a criticism of companies can be made, it will to some extent stick.

Scott did find that nine other of the supported companies might count as “silly,” and of course not all of those listed will succeed, but overall is that such a bad record? Keep in mind that as you look forward, it is not always easy to tell which “silly” innovation might, every now and then, prove to be pathbreaking.11 In any case, I wonder how much the internet critics really believe their own words. I recall one time debating Nicholas Carr in a television studio on whether Google makes us stupider. The first question I asked him was whether, in preparing for the debate, he had used Google to research who I am. I thought I had won right then and there. I also suspect that a book as intellectual as his sold a disproportionate share of its copies online rather than in physical stores. There is simply too strong a tendency for critics to think that the internet is mainly making “the other people” stupid.


pages: 280 words: 85,091

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton

Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Madoff, business climate, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, G4S, impulse control, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game

News, “Today’s College Students More Likely to Lack Empathy.” 17 “People haven’t had the same exposure to traditional values …” See Thomas Harding, “Army Should Provide Moral Education for Troops to Stop Outrages,” The Telegraph, February 22, 2011, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8341030/Army-should-provide-moral-education-for-troops-to-stop-outrages.html. 18 But the beginnings of an even more fundamental answer may lie … See Nicole K. Speer, Jeremy R. Reynolds, Khena M. Swallow, and Jeffrey M. Zacks, “Reading Stories Activates Neural Representations of Perceptual and Motor Experiences,” Psychological Science 20, no, 8 (2009): 989–99. 19 Makes us, as Nicholas Carr puts it in his recent essay … Nicholas Carr’s “The Dreams of Readers” appears in Mark Haddon (ed.), Stop What You’re Doing and Read This! (London: Vintage, 2011), a collection of essays about the transformative power of reading. 20 The quicksilver virtual world … Christina Clark, Jane Woodley, and Fiona Lewis, The Gift of Reading in 2011: Children and Young People’s Access to Books and Attitudes Towards Reading—see www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0001/1303/The_Gift_of_Reading_in_2011.pdf. 21 … we’ve been talking about the emergence of neurolaw … For an excellent introduction to the emerging subdiscipline of neurolaw, see David Eagleman, “The Brain on Trial,” The Atlantic., July/August 2011, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/8520/. 22 The watershed study was published in 2002 … See Avshalom Caspi, Joseph McClay, Terrie E.

Whenever we read a story, our level of engagement with it is such that we “mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative,” according to lead researcher Nicole Speer. Our brains then interweave these newly encountered situations with knowledge and experience gleaned from our own lives, to create an organic mosaic of dynamic mental syntheses. Reading a book carves brand new neural pathways into the ancient cortical bedrock of our brains. It transforms the way we see the world. Makes us, as Nicholas Carr puts it in his recent essay “The Dreams of Readers,” “more alert to the inner lives of others.” We become vampires without being bitten—in other words, more empathic. Books make us see in a way that casual immersion in the Internet, and the quicksilver virtual world it offers, doesn’t.2 Guilty, But Not to Blame Back in Montreal, Bob Hare and I down another whiskey. On the subject of empathy and perspective taking, we’ve been talking about the emergence of neurolaw, a developing subdiscipline born out of the increasingly greater interest the courts are now taking in cutting-edge neuroscience.


pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Advocates for UBI rely on assumptions about the falling future costs of essential goods. Sam Altman, for example, in a 2016 discussion on the subject, said that it would be affordable in the future because of huge increases in productivity and a reduction in the cost of necessities. I doubt this would be a strong enough basis to persuade most policy-makers in government). ‘It strains credulity,’ writes tech critic Nicholas Carr, ‘to imagine today’s technology moguls, with their libertarian leanings and impatience with government, agreeing to the kind of vast wealth distribution scheme that would be necessary.’13 Certainly their behaviour to date does not bode well. I asked Sam what felt to me like a very simple question: would people really be happy living in a society in which there are a small number of very rich people, and everyone else is given money to keep them occupied.

‘The World’s 8 Richest Men Are Now as Wealthy as Half the World’s Population’, www.fortune.com, 16 January 2017. 9 David Madland, ‘Growth and the Middle Class’ (Spring 2011), Democracy Journal, 20. 10 Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level (Penguin, 2009). 11 Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level, pp.272-273. 12 Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay. 13 Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage (Bodley Head, 2015). Chapter 5: The Everything Monopoly 1 Douglas Rushkoff, one of the more self-aware of these people come close to an apology for his previous work in his recent book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus (Penguin, 2016). 2 Before he become Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian wrote a book called Information Rules (Harvard Business Review Press, 1998), where he summed this all up very well: ‘positive feedback makes the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker, leading to extreme outcomes.’ 3 This, according to data available through Nielsen SoundScan, cited in Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff. 4 Duncan Robinson, ‘Google heads queue to lobby Brussels’, Financial Times, 24 June 2015.


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Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman

algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, digital map, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The Works, The Heights, and The Way to Go by Kate Ascher examine how cities, skyscrapers, and our transportation networks, respectively, actually work. Beautifully rendered and fascinating books. The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee examines the rapid technological change we are experiencing and can come to expect, and how it will affect our economy, as well as how to handle this change. The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr is about the perils of automation and the related technological complexity around us. Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford explores the importance of getting close to our technologies again, as part of the virtue of manual labor. Summa Technologiae by Stanisław Lem (translated by Joanna Zylinska) is a wide-ranging exploration from the 1960s by a science fiction writer of the future of technology, with an emphasis on the limits of humanity’s powers of understanding.

friendly user interface of TurboTax: Philip Guo tweeted: “i wonder how many layers of nested if-statements are in the code for TurboTax,” March 26, 2014, https://twitter.com/pgbovine/status/448988621778194432. I thank Dan Katz for the insight of TurboTax as an interface for the law. tools that, in Gingold’s words: Chaim Gingold, Miniature Gardens and Magic Crayons: Games, Spaces, and Worlds, master’s thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003, 62, http://levitylab.com/cog/writing/Games-Spaces-Worlds.pdf. systems are so completely automated: For further reading, see Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). “concealed electronic complexity”: Winner, Autonomous Technology, 285. component of the telephone system: Eytan Adar et al., “Benevolent Deception in Human Computer Interaction,” CHI ’13: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris, France, April 27–May 2, 2013 (New York: ACM Digital Library, 2013): 1863–72.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

IS THE INTERNET CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK? The Net’s Impact on Our Minds and Future Edited by John Brockman To KHM Contents Cover Title Page Preface: The Edge Question Introduction: The Dawn of Entanglement: W. Daniel Hillis The Bookless Library: Nicholas Carr The Invisible College: Clay Shirky Net Gain: Richard Dawkins Let Us Calculate: Frank Wilczek The Waking Dream: Kevin Kelly To Dream the Waking Dream in New Ways: Richard Saul Wurman Tweet Me Nice: Ian Gold and Joel Gold The Dazed State: Richard Foreman What’s Missing Here?: Matthew Ritchie Power Corrupts: Daniel C. Dennett The Rediscovery of Fire: Chris Anderson The Rise of Social Media Is Really a Reprise: June Cohen The Internet and the Loss of Tranquility: Noga Arikha The Greatest Detractor to Serious Thinking Since Television: Leo Chalupa The Large Information Collider, BDTs, and Gravity Holidays on Tuesdays: Paul Kedrosky The Web Helps Us See What Isn’t There: Eric Drexler Knowledge Without, Focus Within, People Everywhere: David Dalrymple A Level Playing Field: Martin Rees Move Aside, Sex: Seth Lloyd Rivaling Gutenberg: John Tooby The Shoulders of Giants: William Calvin Brain Candy and Bad Mathematics: Mark Pagel Publications Can Perish: Robert Shapiro Will the Great Leveler Destroy Diversity of Thought?

Now we are attending to a financial crisis caused by the banking system having miscomputed risks, and to a debate on global warming in which experts argue not so much about the data as about what the computers predict from the data. We have linked our destinies not only to one another across the globe but also to our technology. If the theme of the Enlightenment was independence, ours is interdependence. We are now all connected, humans and machines. Welcome to the dawn of the Entanglement. The Bookless Library Nicholas Carr Author, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains As the school year began last September, Cushing Academy, an elite Massachusetts prep school that has been around since Civil War days, announced that it was emptying its library of books. In place of the thousands of volumes that had once crowded the building’s shelves, the school was installing, it said, “state-of-the-art computers with high-definition screens for research and reading,” as well as “monitors that provide students with real-time interactive data and news feeds from around the world.”

I don’t even especially worry about where I am, either, considering myself not unlike a packet being routed—not from client machine to router to server to backhaul to peer to machine to client machine, but instead from house to car to plane to car to hotel to car to office or conference to car to hotel to car to plane to car to home, with jet lag my only friend and my laptop my source of entertaining books (Neutron Star), movies (Good Bye Lenin!), games (Fallout), or music (Orbital, Meat to Munich), with cellular data, headphones, and circuits. Some would equate this sort of information pruning to a kind of reinforced and embraced ignorance or evidence of an empty life. Nicholas Carr, writing in the Atlantic, enjoyed some attention in 2008 with his article titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The author, reacting to (or justifying) his own reduced attention span, accuses Google (my employer) of trying to do away with deep thinking, while indulging in what comes off as an absurd nostalgia for making knowledge difficult to find and obtain. There was an important thought worthy of exploration within that article—that there is a kind of danger in reinforcing the shallow.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

There are very few aspects of our daily lives, and especially of the operation of businesses and organizations of all sizes, that are not significantly influenced by or even highly dependent on information technology. Computers, networks, and the Internet are now irretrievably integrated into our economic, social, and financial systems. IT is everywhere, and it’s difficult to even imagine life without it. Many observers have compared information technology to electricity, the other transformative general-purpose technology that came into widespread use in the first half of the twentieth century. Nicholas Carr makes an especially compelling argument for viewing IT as an electricity-like utility in his 2008 book The Big Switch. While many of these comparisons are apt, the truth is that electricity is a tough act to follow. Electrification transformed businesses, the overall economy, social institutions, and individual lives to an astonishing degree—and it did so in ways that were overwhelmingly positive.

The Anti-Automation View Another often-proffered solution is simply to try to put a stop to this relentless progression toward ever more automation. At its most blunt, this might take the form of a union resisting the installation of new machinery in a factory, warehouse, or supermarket. There is also a more nuanced intellectual argument which says that too much automation is simply bad for us—and quite possibly dangerous. Nicholas Carr is perhaps the best-known proponent of this view. In his 2010 book The Shallows, Carr argues that the Internet may be having a negative impact on our ability to think. In a 2013 article for The Atlantic, entitled “All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines,” he makes a similar argument about the impact of automation. Carr complains about the “the rise of ‘technology-centered automation’ as the dominant design philosophy of computer engineers and programmers” and believes that this “philosophy gives precedence to the capabilities of technology over the interests of people.”7 Carr’s Atlantic article includes a number of anecdotes demonstrating how automation can erode human skills, in some cases with disastrous consequences.

Jin Zhu, “More Workers Say They Are Over-Educated,” China Daily, February 8, 2013, http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013–02/08/content_16213715.htm. 5. Hal Salzman, Daniel Kuehn, and B. Lindsay Lowell, “Guestworkers in the High-Skill U.S. Labor Market,” Economic Policy Institute, April 24, 2013, http://www.epi.org/publication/bp359-guestworkers-high-skill-labor-market-analysis/. 6. Steven Brint, “The Educational Lottery,” Los Angeles Review of Books, November 15, 2011, http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/the-educational-lottery. 7. Nicholas Carr, “Transparency Through Opacity” (blog), Rough Type, May 5, 2014, http://www.roughtype.com/?p=4496. 8. Erik Brynjolfsson, “Race Against the Machine,” presentation to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), May 3, 2013, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/PCAST/PCAST_May3_Erik%20Brynjolfsson.pdf, p. 28. 9. Claire Cain Miller and Chi Birmingham, “A Vision of the Future from Those Likely to Invent It,” New York Times (The Upshot), May 2, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/02/upshot/FUTURE.html. 10.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

Doug Tsuruoka, “Amazon.com’s Third-Party Sales Balloon,” Investors.com (July 4, 2009). 12. Adam Pagnucco, “Why MPW Turned Down the Washington Post,” Maryland Politics Watch (April 20, 2010). 13. Laura M. Holson, “Tell-All Generation Learns to Keep Things Offline,” The New York Times (May 8, 2010). 14. Don Tapscott, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World (McGraw-Hill, 2008). 15. Ibid. 16. Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, The Atlantic (July/August 2008). 17. Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (Atlantic Books, 2010). 18. James Harkin, Lost in Cyburbia: How Life on the Net Has Created a Life of Its Own (Knopf Doubleday, 2009). 19. Evgeny Morozov, “Think Again: The Internet,” Foreign Policy (May/June 2010). 20. Nicholas Kimbrell, “Reinventing Detroit,” The National (February 27, 2010). 21.

In a 2010 study, the Pew Internet Project has found that people in their twenties exert more control over their digital reputations than older adults, more vigorously deleting unwanted posts and limiting information about themselves.13 This supports our findings and those of others who have argued that young people who have grown up digital are confronted with the privacy issue at an earlier age and naturally come to grips with it earlier.14 Helen Nissenbaum, an NYU professor of culture, media, and communication, came to the same conclusion in her book Privacy in Context, explaining that teenagers naturally learn to be protective of their privacy as they navigate the path to adulthood.15 Managing the Dark Side The list of concerns goes on and the skeptics are ascendant. Media critic Nicholas Carr posed the question “Is Google making us stupid?” in an Atlantic Monthly cover story16 and followed it up with a book called The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. His conclusion is that the Web is taking us from the depths of thought to the shallows of distraction, fostering ignorance and changing the very conception of ourselves.17 Writer James Harkin says social networking is killing human relationships: we’ve all ended up in “Cyburbia: a peculiar no man’s land, populated by people who don’t really know each other, gossiping, having illicit encounters and endlessly twitching their curtains.”18 One thing is for sure.

They ensure that integrity is part of their corporate DNA. They design business models, structures, and business processes to ensure that work systems best serve the organization and maximize collaboration and the effectiveness of its people. But on the personal front, most of us muddle through this new networked and open world, stumbling from decision to decision or crisis to crisis without an overarching strategy. There is some truth to Nicholas Carr’s assertion that with the myriad technologies interrupting us, it’s tougher to focus deeply on a task or to read and analyze a long piece of text. Do we rely too much on Google to remember things for us? Sure, our kids are able to perform multiple tasks, including light homework, at once, but do we ensure that they have balance in their lives? Certainly we all need to consider how we manage our time and make sure we have balance in our lives, cherishing face-to-face engagement with those for whom we truly care.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, yield curve

They instead help people to avoid bad decisions. Most investors are confident that they do not need the advice offered by neuroeconomists, but Malleret thinks that one of the legacies of the recent crisis could be a greater willingness to listen to them. Mark Roeder analyzes the role of information in the modern economy. Roeder notes that the spread of the Internet has changed how people absorb and use information. He quotes Nicholas Carr, who asserts that the Internet is impeding people’s ability to concentrate and contemplate. He believes that technology is encouraging us to be shallow and never dwell on one subject for long. The Internet can also cause us to become excessively narrow because we can choose to see only the information we want to see, whereas an ordinary newspaper could expose us to many topics. Roeder also notes that brain imaging technology has indicated that the Internet activates reward pathways that have been linked to addiction.

Many of us are able to scan vast amounts of information by jumping from hyperlink to hyperlink with astonishing dexterity. This behavior is facilitated by a dazzling array of new gadgets, such as Apple’s iPad, which provide simple and instantaneous access to the Net. How Skimming Is Hurting Our Ability to Think Although it may appear that skimming is simply the Internet version of “speed reading,” this would be to underestimate its influence on the way we process information. Nicholas Carr, writing in the Atlantic, says: What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski. I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences.

In the meantime, until these commercial and quality issues are sorted out, the cumulative effect of the trends outlined in this chapter will be to create a “diminishing law of returns of the Information Age” for both consumers and media companies. Indeed, this is the great paradox of our world today. Never before have we had access to so much information, yet so little understanding of how to manage it. Notes 1. Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2008, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/. See also Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan, iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind (New York: Harper Collins, 2008). See also Sharon Begley, Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain (New York: Ballantine Books, 2007). 2. Eyal Ophir, Clifford Nass, and Anthony D.


pages: 244 words: 66,977

Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It by Tien Tzuo, Gabe Weisert

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, connected car, death of newspapers, digital twin, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Lean Startup, Lyft, manufacturing employment, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pets.com, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart meter, social graph, software as a service, spice trade, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, transport as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Y2K, Zipcar

Wall Street declared that the industry had permanently matured and that firms should start paying out dividends like (gasp!) regular old utilities. Financial analysts argued that the software industry should be viewed as an area of “discretionary” spending that businesses would seek to minimize if the economy took another southward turn. The title of a 2003 Harvard Business Review article summed up the prevailing mood at the time: “IT Doesn’t Matter.” Its author, Nicholas Carr, basically called the entire sector a bunch of glorified plumbers: “By now, the core functions of IT—data storage, data processing, and data transport—have become available and affordable to all. Their very power and presence have begun to transform them from potentially strategic resources into commodity factors of production. They are becoming costs of doing business that must be paid by all but provide distinction to none.”

They were open and transparent in their financial reporting . . . the louder and more publicly aggressive companies seem to be about their pivot to technology as a service, the better chance their stock price has of weathering the transition period.” Today the tech sector is booming again. According to the St. Louis Fed, since the Great Recession ended, jobs in the tech sector have been growing by 20 percent, compared with 11 percent growth in the rest of the private sector. In 2015, tech sector employment exceeded 4.6 million workers, passing its 2000 peak. I don’t think that was a given. I think Nicholas Carr could have easily been right—thanks to rampant commodification, the tech industry could have been relegated to a steady if underwhelming sector of the global economy. Until 1996 most of the jobs in the tech industry were in manufacturing—you went to work at a fabrication plant, not a hip start-up office. Today nearly 80 percent of tech workers are in services. When an industry embraces this shift, it finds growth.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

While I don’t think the methodology peddlers are snake oil salespeople—they each report hard-earned lessons that software makers can learn from—they are inevitably backward-looking. They provide solutions for problems that beset their industry today but can’t offer much help when the next wave of problems crashes down, which is why each new decade seems to bring a new bundle of methodologies. But there is one set of circumstances under which methodologies really are The Answer. This is the scenario presented by a business thinker named Nicholas Carr in a notorious May 2003 article in the Harvard Business Review titled “IT Doesn’t Matter.” Carr infuriated legions of Silicon Valley visionaries and technology executives by suggesting that their products—the entire corpus of information technology, or IT—had become irrelevant. Like Francis Fukuyama, the Hegelian philosopher who famously declared “the end of history” when the Berlin wall fell and the Soviet Union imploded, Carr argued, essentially, that software history is over, done.

Over and over, those who have bet that there can be nothing new under the technology industry sun have lost their shirts. To believe that we already know all the possible uses for software is to assume that the programs we already possess satisfy all our needs and that people are going to stop seeking something better. Irate critics of software flaws like The Software Conspiracy’s Mark Minasi and skeptical analysts of the software business like Nicholas Carr share these end-of-history blinders. If you believe that we already know everything we want from software, then it’s natural to believe that with enough hard work and planning, we can perfect it—and that’s where we should place our energies. Don’t even think about new features and novel ideas; focus everyone’s energies on whittling down every product’s bug list until we can say, for the first time in history, that most software is in great shape.

The Joel Test: Joel Spolsky posting from August 9, 2000, at http://www.joelon software.com/articles/fog0000000043.htm, and also in Joel on Software, p. 17. 37 Signals presented more on its philosophy in a 2006 PDF book, Getting Real, at https://gettingreal.37signals.com/. Google’s software development methods are outlined in Quentin Hardy, “Google Thinks Small,” Forbes, November 14, 2005, at http://www.forbes.com/global/2005/1114/054A_ print.htm. Nicholas Carr, “IT Doesn’t Matter,” Harvard Business Review, May 2003, at http://www.nicholasgcarr.com/articles/matter.htm. CHAPTER 10 ENGINEERS AND ARTISTS All quotes are from the 1968 NATO software engineering conference report: P. Naur and B. Randell, eds., “Software Engineering: Report of a Conference Sponsored by the NATO Science Committee,” Garmisch, Germany, October 7–11, 1968 (Scientific Affairs Division, NATO, 1969).


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

We have another fifty years of change of this kind to come and the scale of the upheavals may be even greater as the technology becomes widely adopted and gains momentum. A third small but vociferous group are people who say the web is already having a big impact on society and it is mainly bad for us. The chief proponents of this view are the polemicist Andrew Keen in his book The Cult of the Amateur, Nicholas Carr in his thoughtful The Big Switch, Larry Sanger, one of the co-creators of Wikipedia and the brain scientist Susan Greenfield. These critics worry the web is uprooting the authority of experts, professionals and institutions which help us to sort truth from falsehood, knowledge from supposition, fact from gossip. Instead the web is licensing a cacophonous mass in which it is increasingly difficult to discern the truth as experts themselves are drowned out by low grade amateurs.

Instead the web is licensing a cacophonous mass in which it is increasingly difficult to discern the truth as experts themselves are drowned out by low grade amateurs. This scepticism is echoed by many professions who feel threatened by the web: journalists, teachers, academics and librarians among them. The boulders might have been cumbersome but they filtered the good from the bad before it was published. In web world things get published first and then filtered afterwards, depending on people’s reactions to them. A related worry, articulated by Nicholas Carr and Susan Greenfield, is that our dependence on the web and computers is eroding our ability for independent thought. ‘Google is making us stupid,’ is Carr’s catchphrase. We accept the answers the search engines supply without really analysing what they mean or where they came from. Screens make our thinking dependent on stimulation, according to Greenfield. We are no longer self-starting, critical thinkers.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

AI winter, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

And when we’re upgrading components of our own brains, instead of updating Microsoft Office or buying a few chips of RAM, it’ll be a much more delicate procedure than anything we’ve experienced before, at least at first. Yet Kurzweil claims that in this century we’ll experience 200,000 years of technological progress in a hundred calendar years. Could we tolerate so much progress coming so fast? Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, argues that smart phones and computers are lowering the quality of our thoughts, and changing the shape of our brains. In his book, Virtually You, psychiatrist Elias Aboujaoude warns that social networking and role-playing games encourage a swarm of maladies, including narcissism and egocentricity. Immersion in technology weakens individuality and character, proposes the programmer who pioneered virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.

He notes that more than five billion are deployed worldwide, or not far short of one per person. The next step for intelligence augmentation is to put all the enhancement contained in a smart phone inside us—to connect it to our brains. Right now we interface with our computers with our ears and eyes, but in the future imagine implanted devices that permit our brains to connect wirelessly to a cloud, from anywhere. According to Nicholas Carr, author of the Big Switch, that’s what Google’s cofounder Larry Page has in mind for the search engine’s future. “The idea is that you no longer have to sit down at a keyboard to locate information,” said Carr. “It becomes automatic, a sort of machine-mind meld. Larry Page has discussed a scenario where you merely think of a question, and Google whispers the answer into your ear through your cell phone.”


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business cycle, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

Although personal capabilities grow more miraculous by the week, there is mounting evidence that these greater levels of personalization aren’t necessarily making us any more enlightened—about our own self-interest or the interests of the broader society. At the outset of this book, we saw how software designers keep online gamers glued to their screens—and thus evermore detached from the real world. But that dynamic, it turns out, isn’t confined to gaming. As journalist Nicholas Carr demonstrated in his sharp and depressing account The Shallows, everyone who regularly partakes of the digital realm is exposed to the same patterns. The problem, as Carr documents, lies in the very elements of the digital environment that so willingly conform to our preferences. The online environment is naturally organized like a gigantic game, with endless opportunities for what psychologists call positive reinforcement.

Cited in Tom Murphy, “An Angel and a Brute: Self-Interest and Individualism in Tocqueville’s America,” essay for preceptorial on Democracy in America, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM, http://www.brtom.org/sjc/sjc4.html. 6. Michio Kaku, “The Next 20 Years: Interacting with Computers, Telecom, and AI in the Future,” keynote address, RSA Conference 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Y6kmb16zSOY. 7. Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011), p. 117. 8. Kent Gibbons, “Advanced Advertising: Obama Campaign Showed Valueof Targeting Viewers,” MultichannelNews, Nov. 13, 2012, http://www.multichannel.com/mcnbc-events/advanced-advertising-obama-campaign-showed-value-targeting-viewers/140262. 9. C. Duhigg, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets,” New York Times Magazine, Feb. 16, 2012. 10.


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Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Year of Magical Thinking

These information nuggets may be as uniquely potent for humans as a Froot Loop to a rat. When you give a rat a minuscule dose of sugar, it engenders “a panting appetite,” Berridge says—a powerful and not necessarily pleasant state. See Emily Yoffe, “Seeking How the Brain Hard-Wires Us to Love Google, Twitter, and Texting. And Why That’s Dangerous,” Slate, August 12, 2009, www.slate.com/id/2224932/pagenum/all/#p2 (accessed September 25, 2009). See also Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, July-August 2008, www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google (accessed November 20, 2009), and Kent C. Berridge and Terry E. Robinson, “What Is the Role of Dopamine in Reward: Hedonic Impact, Reward Learning, or Incentive Salience?” Brain Research Reviews 28 (1998): 309-369. CHAPTER 12: TRUE CONFESSIONS 1 The PostSecret site is run by Frank Warren.

In particular I acknowledge the adolescent psychiatrist John Hamilton and the panels on “Adolescence in Cyberspace” on which we have collaborated at the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in October 2004 and October 2008; the participants in the MIT working group, “Whither Psychoanalysis in Digital Culture” Initiative on Technology and Self, 2003-2004; and participants at the Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis’s “New Directions” Conference, April 30, 2010. 31 Maggie Jackson, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (New York: Prometheus, 2008). 32 Matt Richtel, “Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price,” New York Times, July 7, 2010, http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brain.html?sort=oldest&offset=2 (accessed July 7, 2010). 33 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2010). Here, the argument is that online activities—surfing, searching, jumping from e-mail to text—actually change the nature of the brain. The more time we spend online, the more we are incapable of quiet reverie, not because of habits of mind but because of a rewiring of our circuitry. This area of research is, happily, getting more and more public attention.

They surely cannot be dealt with by the same technical maneuvers. Yet the fantasy is potent. Bell and Gemmell admit that despite all problems, “for us the excitement outweighs the fear.” See Bell and Gemmell, “A Digital Life.” 8 Indeed, with far less “remembrance technology,” many of us wonder if Google is “making us stupid” because it is always easier to search than remember. The originator of this memorable phrase is Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, July/August 2008, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/ (accessed August 12, 2010). 9 Thompson, “A Head for Detail.” 10 Thompson, “A Head for Detail.” 11 Obama himself fought hard and famously to keep his BlackBerry, arguing that he counts on this digital device to make sure that the “bubble” of his office does not separate him from the “real” world.


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New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

He has, for most of his career, been an articulate cheerleader for the potential of the internet to distribute power—culturally, politically, and economically. His work has influenced our thinking greatly. In the distant days of 2006, when Facebook was just a toddler, Benkler got into an argument that would grow into a big bet about the future (and would also sound a little like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel). It became known as the “Carr-Benkler wager.” It all began with some strong words. Nicholas Carr, the technology writer and commentator, posted a somewhat snarky response to Benkler’s then-recent book, The Wealth of Networks, in which Benkler anticipated a wave of “nonmarket-based cooperation and productive collaboration,” which translates roughly as “people creating things together for reasons other than financial reward.” Wikipedia and open-source software are good examples. Benkler predicted that this kind of “peer production” was going to become a lot more common in a hyperconnected age.

“techno-anarcho-utopian magnum opus”: Matthew Ingram, “The Carr-Benkler Wager and the Peer-Powered Economy,” Gigaom, May 9, 2012. “amateur activity springing up”: Olivier Silvian, “Contingency and the ‘Networked Information Economy’: A Critique of The Wealth of Networks,” International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society 4 (2008): 7. “We could decide to appoint”: Yochai Benkler, “Carr-Benkler Wager Revisited,” Yochai Benkler’s blog, May 7, 2012. www.blogs.harvard.edu. “Pay Up, Yochai Benkler!”: Nicholas Carr, “Pay Up, Yochai Benkler,” Rough Type (blog), May 1, 2012. www.roughtype.com. “For investors, no less than”: Benkler, “Carr-Benkler Wager Revisited.” The early flourish of something like: Couchsurfing International, July 2017. www.couchsurfing.com. “I’m thrilled that you’re writing”: Yochai Benkler, discussion with authors, December 2, 2016. “What’s interesting is that if you teach”: Ibid.


pages: 360 words: 101,038

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

The challenge, according to Vega, was to undo the classic assembly-line mentality most of the workers had grown up with, and make them understand that they were an active and dynamic part of the manufacturing process. The term economists have used for this is reskilling, which is the antidote to the phenomenon of deskilling that has been a natural consequence of automating workflow. In his excellent book on the cost of automation, The Glass Cage, Nicholas Carr defines deskilling: “As more skills are built into the machine, it assumes more control over the work, and the worker’s opportunity to engage in and develop deeper talents, such as those involved in interpretation and judgment, dwindles. When automation reaches its highest level, when it takes command of the job, the worker, skill wise, has nowhere to go but down.” Carr tracks the consequences of this, from plane crashes that occurred because pilots became too reliant on autopilot to doctors who miss diseases because they use diagnostic software.

Human input will become more valuable, and analog tools and practices–from note taking on whiteboards to translating digital experiences into the real world (such as retail stores)—will separate the leading businesses from the rest of the pack. That is because analog is a tool of productivity. Often the best tool. “We assume that anyone who rejects a new tool in favor of an older one is guilty of nostalgia, of making choices sentimentally rather than rationally,” Nicholas Carr wrote in The Glass Cage. “But the real sentimental fallacy is the assumption that the new thing is always better suited to our purposes and intentions than the old thing. That’s the view of a child, naive and pliable. What makes one tool superior to another has nothing to do with how new it is. What matters is how it enlarges us or diminishes us, how it shapes our experience of nature and culture and one another.”


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, G4S, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

The Resurgence of Utopianism 231 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 232 See Ben Hammersley, “Audible Revolution,” The Guardian, February 12, 2004, 27; and James Van Orden, “The History of Podcasting,” http://www.how-to-podcast-tutorial.com/history-of-podcasting. htm. See Claire Cain Miller, “To Win Over Today’s Users, Gadgets Have to Be Touchable,” New York Times, September 1, 2010, B1. But see the critique of e-books by Nicholas Carr, “Schools, Beware the E-Book,” Portland Press Herald, August 15, 2011, A7. See Joseph Galante, Bloomberg News, “Amazon Says It Sells More EBooks than Hardcovers,” Boston Globe, July 20, 2010, B9. See also Julie Bosman, “Pete Hamill, Patriarch of Print, Goes Direct to Digital,” New York Times, August 12, 2010, C6. See Eric Pfanner, “Reading Device Enlisted to Help French Papers,” New York Times, July 21, 2008, C8.

See also Josh Quittner, “The Future of Reading,” Fortune, 161 (March 1, 2010), 63–67, regarding publishing’s foolish reliance on simple-minded and ignorant consultants rather than on their foremost reporters to try to grasp the ongoing changes in the industry from the mid-1990s onward. The Resurgence of Utopianism 76 All quotations are from Steven Johnson, “Unboxed: Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social,” Sunday New York Times, Week in Review, June 20, 2010, 3. See also Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Atlantic, 302 (July/August 2008), 56–63. On one couple’s differing preference for conventional versus electronic reading materials, see Matt Richtel and Claire Cain Miller, “Of Two Minds About Books: Print or Pixels?” New York Times, September 2, 2010, B1, B4. See also Nick Bilton, “Personal Tech: Deciding on a Book, and How to Read It,” New York Times, August 11, 2011, B10.


pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

Mark Lilla, “The Tea Party Jacobins,” New York Review of Books, May 27, 2010. 28. David Frum, “When Did the GOP Lose Touch with Reality?” New York, November 20, 2011. 29. Tommy Christopher, “Van Susteren Explains Why Anti-Fox Clip with Occupy Wall St. Protester Got Cut,” MediaIte.com, October 3, 2011, www.mediaite.com/tv/van-susteren-explains-why-anti-fox-interview-with-occupy-wall-st-protester-got-cut. CHAPTER 2: DIGIPHRENIA: BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO 1. See Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010) and Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic Books, 2011). 2. Look at Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas for the earliest notions of real time and existence compared with human-defined days and years. See Lewis Mumford, Harold Innis, David S.

Kutcher then turned his Twitter account over to a professional PR firm. 33. For more on drones and drone pilots, see my PBS documentary on Frontline, Digital Nation, in particular the section on “War by Remote,” www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/blog/2009/10/new-video-fighting-from-afar.html. Also see Phil Stewart, “Overstretched Drone Pilots Face Stress Risk.” Reuters, December 18, 2011. 34. See Nicholas Carr, The Shallows; Sherry Turkle, Alone Together; and Maggie Jackson, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (New York: Prometheus, 2009). 35. Henry Greely, “Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive-enhancing Drugs by the Healthy,” Nature, December 7, 2008. 36. James G. March, A Primer on Decision Making (New York: Free Press, 1994), 245. 37. James Borg, Body Language: 7 Easy Lessons to Master the Silent Language (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2010). 38.


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This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Clifford Pickover The Kaleidoscopic Discovery Engine We are reluctant to believe that great discoveries are part of a discovery kaleidoscope and are mirrored in numerous individuals at once. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Inference to the Best Explanation Not all explanations are created equal. Emanuel Derman Pragmamorphism Being pragmamorphic sounds equivalent to taking a scientific attitude toward the world, but it easily evolves into dull scientism. Nicholas Carr Cognitive Load When our cognitive load exceeds the capacity of our working memory, our intellectual abilities take a hit. Hans Ulrich Obrist To Curate In our phase of globalization . . . there is a danger of homogenization but at the same time a countermovement, the retreat into one’s own culture. Richard Nisbett “Graceful” SHAs An assumption of educators for centuries has been that formal logic improves thinking skills. . . .

So, too, have debates that many of us have conducted over scientific versus religious explanations. These debates could be sharpened by bringing to bear on them the rationality-steeped notion of inference to the best explanation, its invocation of the sorts of standards that make some explanations objectively better than others, beginning with Peirce’s enjoinder that extraordinary hypotheses be ranked far away from the best. Cognitive Load Nicholas Carr Science and technology journalist; author, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains You’re sprawled on the couch in your living room, watching a new episode of Justified on the tube, when you think of something you need to do in the kitchen. You get up, take ten quick steps across the carpet, and then just as you reach the kitchen—poof!—you realize you’ve forgotten what it was you got up to do.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

(Starr), 218 When We Are No More (Rumsey), 325–27 Whitman, Walt, 20, 183, 184 wicks, 229–30 Wiener, Anthony, 315 wiki, as term, 19 “wikinomics,” 84 Wikipedia, xvi, 21, 192 in fact-mongering, 58 hegemony of, 68 ideological split in, 18–20 slipshod quality of, 5–8 wiki-sects, 18 Wilde, Oscar, 174, 308 Williams, Anthony, 84 Wilson, Fred, 11 Windows Home Server, 32 Winer, Dave, 35 wings, human fascination with, 329–30, 335, 340–42 wingsuits, 341–42 Wired, xvii, xxi, 3, 4, 106, 156, 162, 174, 195, 232 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 215 Wolf, Gary, 163 Wolf, Maryanne, 234 Wolfe, Tom, 170 work: as basis for society, 310–11, 313 in contemplative state, 298–99 efficiency in, 165–66, 237–38 job displacement in, 164–65, 174, 310 trivial alternatives to, 64 World Brain (Wells), 267 World Health Organization, 244 World of Warcraft, 59 Wozniac, Steve “Woz,” 32 Wright brothers, 299 writing: archiving of, 325–27 and invention of paper, 286–87 writing skills, changes in, 231–32, 234–35, 240 Xbox, 64, 93, 260 X-Ray Spex, 63 Yahoo, 67, 279–80 Yahoo People Search, 256 Y Combinator Startup School, 172 Yeats, William Butler, 88 Yelp, 31 Yosemite Valley, 341–42 youth culture, 10–11 as apolitical, 294–95 music and, 125 TV viewing in, 80–81 YouTube, 29, 31, 58, 75, 81, 102, 186, 205, 225, 314 technology marketing on, 108–9 Zittrain, Jonathan, 76–77 zombies, 260, 263 Zuckerberg, Mark, xvii, xxii, 53, 115, 155, 158, 215, 225 Facebook Q & A session of, 210–11, 213, 214 imagined as jackal, xv ALSO BY NICHOLAS CARR The Glass Cage The Shallows The Big Switch Does IT Matter? The Digital Enterprise (editor) Copyright © 2016 by Nicholas Carr All rights reserved First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact W. W. Norton Special Sales at specialsales@wwnorton.com or 800-233-4830 Book design by Lovedog Studio Production manager: Anna Oler Jacket design by Alex Merto Jacket art by Oberart / Getty Images ISBN 978-0-393-25454-9 ISBN 978-0-393-25455-6 (e-book) W.


pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega

Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, Donald Davies, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, market design, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, peer-to-peer, performance metric, pirate software, Robert Bork, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

BPM software will be able to facilitate new business models, microchunking business processes to deliver the end solution faster, better, or more cheaply. This is potentially a major paradigm shift in many of the security technologies we have come to accept, decoupling the content from the delivery mechanism. In the future, thanks to BPM software security, analysts will be able to select the best anti-virus engine and the best analysis feed to fuel it—but they will probably not come from the same vendor. When Nicholas Carr wrote Does IT Matter?,† he argued that technology needs to be realigned to support business instead of driving it. BPM is not rocket science (although it may include rocket science in its future), but it’s doing just that: realigning technology to support the business. In addition to offering radical improvements to information security by opening new markets, BPM can deliver even more powerful changes through its effects on the evolution of the science behind security.

Understand Metrics and Objectives Security effect: Understand success criteria and track their effectiveness 3. Model and Automate Process Security effect: Improve efficiency and reduce cost 4. Understand Operations and Implement Controls Security effect: Improve efficiency and reduce cost Security effect: Fast and accurate compliance and audit data (visibility) 5. Optimize and Improve † Does IT Matter?, Nicholas Carr, Harvard Business School Press, 2004. TOMORROW’S SECURITY COGS AND LEVERS 157 Security effect: Do more with less Security effect: Reduce cost Put another way: if you understand and document your process, metrics, and objectives; model and automate your process; understand and implement your process; and optimize and improve the process, you will implement a structured and effective information security program, understand the success criteria and track effectiveness, improve efficiency and reduce cost, produce fast and accurate compliance, audit data, and ultimately do more with less and reduce the cost of security.


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

“They eliminated the step of the pharmacist checking on the robot, because the idea is you’re paying so much money because it’s so accurate.” Chapter 18 The Nurse Automation bias occurs when we place too much faith in the accuracy of the information coming through our monitors. Our trust in the software becomes so strong that we ignore or discount other information sources, including our eyes and ears. —Nicholas Carr, writing in the Atlantic, 2013 Brooke Levitt had been on the nursing staff at UCSF for about 10 months when Pablo Garcia was admitted for his colonoscopy. Levitt is in her mid-twenties, with an open face, a ready smile, and an upbeat Southern California vibe that makes her a favorite of kids and their parents. She couldn’t have been more thrilled to land a job at the renowned academic medical center straight out of nursing school.

But then there are the tragic stories of crashes (such as the 2009 crashes of Air France 447 off the coast of Brazil and Colgan Air 3407 near Buffalo) in which the machines failed, and, after they did, it became clear that the pilots did not know how to fly the planes. Experts call this phenomenon deskilling, and preventing it is a major focus of today’s aviation safety efforts. In his 2014 book, The Glass Cage, Nicholas Carr describes the challenge. “How do you measure the expense of an erosion of effort and engagement, or a waning of agency and autonomy, or a subtle deterioration of skill?” he asked. “You can’t. Those are the kinds of shadowy, intangible things that we rarely appreciate until after they’re gone.” In a perverse way, we’ve been lucky that the current state of health IT is so woeful. It gives us the time we need to begin to sort out how to prevent such deskilling and disengagement before the computers really take over.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

As our roads and bridges crumble for lack of investment, it seems a little dicey to hand off control to an internal conversation between your car’s computers and previously compiled GPS maps—suppose there is a new and very large crater in the road? If there is a fight for control, we want whoever is right (the computer or the person behind the wheel) to win that battle, but both are fallible. The human being is more fallible than he was previously, due to the cognitive challenges of partial automation. In The Glass Cage, Nicholas Carr writes, “We all know about the ill effects of information overload. It turns out that information underload can be equally debilitating.” He cites work in human factors research that shows how making things too easy for people can backfire, because our “attentional capacity . . . shrinks to accommodate reductions in mental workload.” This is especially worrying because it is hard to detect. The operator simply tunes out because he or she doesn’t have enough to do.

How Long Does It Take to Get the Driver Back into the Loop?” in Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (San Diego, CA, Sept. 30–Oct. 4) (Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2013), pp. 1938–1942, as cited in Casner et al., “The Challenges of Partially Automated Driving.” 25.Thus MacArthur Job, Air Disaster, vol. 3 (Australia: Aerospace Publications, 1998), p. 155. 26.Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us (New York: Norton, 2014), pp. 90-91, citing Mark S. Young and Neville A. Stanton, “Attention and Automation: New Perspectives on Mental Overload and Performance,” Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science 3, no. 2 (2002) and a classic work in psychology by Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson, “The Relation of Strength of Stimulus to Rapidity of Habit-Formation,” Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology 18 (1908). 27.From Henry Petroski, The Road Taken (New York: Bloomsbury, 2017): “In the summer of 2014 the U.S.


pages: 463 words: 115,103

Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

Consider the way in which environmental or gender equality concerns have impacted the business plans of big corporations in recent decades. One of the forces driving change is political pressure from voters who don’t share the interests of the cognitive classes. And there are other trends that suggest the Head will soon face a more even contest with Hand and Heart. A dystopian trend was suggested by American journalist Nicholas Carr in his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, in which he argued that we are all being made dumber by the Internet.13 Carr argued that sustained exposure to the Internet is reordering our synapses in ways that make us crave novelty and struggle to focus. This may bring improvements in some fields, but overall it means significant losses in linguistic facility, memory, and concentration.

DDD34+drmg83. 10 Press release from Harvard Business School Press for Joan C. Williams, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America (2019). 11 Michael Lind, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2020), 16. 12 Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Questions (Penguin, 2019). 13 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010). 14 Paul Krugman, “White Collar Workers Turn Blue,” New York Times Magazine, September 29, 1996, https://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/BACKWRD2.html. 15 Economist, June 22, 2019, 65. 16 “Woman and Work: Do Attitudes Reflect Policy Shifts?,” British Social Attitudes 36, https://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/media/39297/4_bsa36_women-and-work.pdf.


Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett

Buckminster Fuller, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Downton Abbey, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, housing crisis, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, open borders, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Florida, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

* * * Friction and cognition A slew of technology critics have criticized the dumbing-down effects of living too much online. Among them, the psychologist Sherry Turkle has observed youngsters obsessed with computer games. The sorts of disputes kids have on real playing fields about who plays fair or what should be the rules of play do not occur when they sit down in front of the computer; they are absorbed within the frame of predetermined rules which ensure the game can go forward. Nicholas Carr has argued that multitasking onscreen disables people cognitively, shortening their attention span and so leading them to avoid situations which demand prolonged attention to be understood. Both are saying that certain experiences of technology disable cognition of a sustained and questioning sort. Friction-free computer culture can be a narcotic diminishing physical stimulation, with disturbing stimulations in particular being repressed: if you don’t like what you see, press Delete, go to another window.13, 14, 15 We need to refine this critique, for not any and all tech has a villainous effect on the brain.

George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013) and Bill Gates, The Road Ahead (New York: Viking Press, 1995), pp. 180–82. 12. Paul Merholz, ‘“Frictionless” as an Alternative to “Simplicity” in Design’, Adaptive Path blog, 22 July 2010; http://adaptivepath.org/ideas/friction-as-an-alternative-to-simplicity-in-design/. 13. Evgeny Morozov, To Save Everything, Click Here: Smart Machines, Dumb Humans, and the Myth of Technological Perfectionism (New York: Perseus Books, 2013). 14. Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011). 15. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic Books, 2012). 16. Norman J. Slamecka and Peter Graf, ‘The Generation Effect: Delineation of a Phenomenon’, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory 4, no. 6 (1978): 592–604. 17.


pages: 158 words: 46,353

Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert H. Latiff

Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, cyber-physical system, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, Internet of things, low earth orbit, Nicholas Carr, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, self-driving car, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Wall-E

More worrisome from a weapons standpoint, rare earth metals are ubiquitous in high-performance aircraft, missiles, and advanced electronics. Without the powerful magnets they make possible, some weapons simply will not work. Ten times stronger than a typical iron magnet, rare earth magnets enable control of the fins on highly maneuverable and very-high-speed missiles. The technology and culture writer Nicholas Carr has said that “the deeper a technology is woven into the patterns of everyday life, the less choice we have about whether and how we use that technology.” Sometimes technical “advancements” make little practical sense and our dependence on them is not much more than wishful thinking. For example, many consider ballistic missile defense technologies essential, thereby justifying the enormous resources spent on them, notwithstanding their somewhat inconsistent operational performance.


pages: 550 words: 154,725

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, business climate, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, Edward Thorp, horn antenna, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Karl Jansky, knowledge economy, Leonard Kleinrock, Metcalfe’s law, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Picturephone, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, traveling salesman, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The hardware store and old telephone exchange is now a vacant building, with a few telltale hanks of telephone wire dangling from a dilapidated corner mount. There are a variety of reasons for the decline of small-town America. But when all kinds of communications and entertainment are delivered to your home, there are fewer and fewer reasons to go into town and exchange greetings in person. Information brings with it unintended consequences, too. Some technology journalists, notably the writer Nicholas Carr, have asked recently whether an increasing reliance on instant communications and Internet data is eroding our need, or ability, to think deeply. “What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation,” Carr writes. “My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.”5 It is the dark side, in many respects, of Kelly’s 1951 prediction, which has proven largely correct, that future networks would be “more like the biological systems of man’s brain and nervous system.”

The researchers at the new lab focused on microwave and lightwave communications. 3 Press release, Intel Corporation, October 19, 2010. 4 Hendrik Hertzberg,“Open Secrets,” New Yorker, August 2, 2010. Hertzberg’s column summarized many points in the multipart Washington Post story “Top Secret America,” by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin; http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america. 5 Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Atlantic, July–August 2008. 6 M. J. Kelly, “Remarks Before Bell System Lecturer’s Conference,” October 2, 1951. 7 Jon Gertner, “Mad Scientist,” Fast Company, February 2008. 8 John Pierce, Testimony, Subcommittee on Communication of the Senate Commerce Committee, March 22, 1977. Pierce Collection, Huntington Library. 9 “Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5,” National Academy of Sciences, 2010.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Fred Benenson, a coder friend of mine, wrote a similar program in college to do calculus computations on his Texas Instruments calculator, and once his pals got wind of it, they asked him for copies, so he shared. “But then they were just using a program to basically avoid learning things in the first place,” he says. So Fred got an early exposure to the ethical complexities of software: By making something easy to do, you can change the mental habits of other people. Humans are inherently pretty lazy; as Nicholas Carr notes in The Glass Cage, when someone offers us the ability to take a shortcut, we take it. We only discover later that we may have traded off an ingrained skill—or, in the case of calculus, never learned it in the first place. But it’s incredibly hard to resist because we’re constantly given new tools from programmers who’ve figured out how to remove friction from daily life. Larry Wall, the famous coder and linguist who created the Perl programming language, deeply intuited this coderly aversion to repetition.

psychologists call “prospective memory”: Clive Thompson, “We Need Technology to Help Us Remember the Future,” Wired, January 22, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.wired.com/2013/01/a-sense-of-place-ct. Greek word for “time”: Kah Seng Tay, “What Is the Etymology of ‘Cron’?,” Quora, December 22, 2015, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-etymology-of-cron. do it over and over: Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming (New York: Apress, 2009), 77. we take it: Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014). “so many questions about it”: Tom Christiansen, Brian D. Foy, Larry Wall, and Jon Orwant, Programming Perl: Unmatched Power for Text Processing and Scripting (Sebastapol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2012), 387, 1062. “when are you free?”: “As a programmer, what tasks have you automated to make your everyday life easier? How can one expect to improve life through automated programming?


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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

This process will likely develop into a two-way system. As networks begin to understand how we think and feel, they will prompt us for more information or suggest emotional responses, all of which will be machine-readable. They may also allow companies such as Facebook to help us stop self-censoring by pushing us to reconsider deleted updates or to post something when they detect a change in our mood. The writer Nicholas Carr envisions a system that “automates the feels”: “Whenever you write a message or update, the camera in your smartphone or tablet will ‘read’ your eyes and your facial expression, precisely calculate your mood, and append the appropriate emoji. Not only does this speed up the process immensely, but it removes the requirement for subjective self-examination and possible obfuscation. Automatically feeding objective mood readings into the mood graph helps purify and enrich the data even as it enhances the efficiency of the realtime stream.

Oct. 12, 2013. nytimes.com/2013/10/13/business/in-a-mood-call-center-agents-can-tell.html. 40 Beyond Verbal background: Beyond Verbal. “App Developers.” beyondverbal.com/join-us/app-developers. 41 “measure psychological traits”: Michal Kosinski, David Stilwell, and Thor Graepel. “Private Traits and Attributes Are Predictable from Digital Records of Human Behavior.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. March 11, 2013, 110(15), 5802-5. pnas.org/content/early/2013/03/06/1218772110. 42 “a win-win-win”: Nicholas Carr. “Automating the Feels.” Rough Type. Aug. 20, 2013. roughtype.com/?p=3693. 42 “The more proactive”: Betsy Morais. “Can Humans Fall in Love with Bots?” New Yorker. Nov. 19, 2013. newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/11/her-film-spike-jonze-can-humans-fall-in-love-with-bots.html. 42 Suggest responses: BBC News. “Google Patents Robot Help for Social Media Burnout.” Nov. 22, 2013. bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25033172. 43 Robot sales pitch: Zeke Miller and Denver Nicks.


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The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest by Yochai Benkler

business process, California gold rush, citizen journalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, East Village, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental economics, experimental subject, framing effect, informal economy, invisible hand, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, twin studies, ultimatum game, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game, Zipcar

They do, however, provide a place where people trained in a free software project could turn around and monetize their skills even if they were not employed by a company to develop the open-source project.) As many examples from the software world repeatedly show, looser, more indirect forms of payment that are not directly tied to specific actions are far better at motivating participation in collaborative projects. A direct appeal or a pay-for-performance model (what Nicholas Carr called Calacanis’s Wallet) simply deters those who are seeking to pursue their own intrinsic interests. Models of payment, then, to the extent necessary and desirable at all, need to be more removed and distinct from the intrinsically motivated activity. So crowding out does not occur in the open-source software world, because the industry developed practices to keep an unusual degree of autonomy in the hands of the software developers and to make the creation process a rewarding one.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

A world of interoperable self-driving cars would provide an opportunity for current on-demand drivers—or, in a future world of self-driving trucks, independent truckers—to participate in the marketplace as owner-operators; a world in which a company like Tesla is able to limit the ability of its car owners to drive for any competing service reduces the drivers to a real-world version of what author Nicholas Carr has called “digital sharecroppers.” Ensuring interoperability of self-driving cars is as important as was the original interoperability that drove the Internet revolution. Open standards in this area will help ordinary people, not just big companies, to reap the benefits of the next wave of automation. Betsy Masiello, who works in public policy at Uber, responded to my questions on how the peer-to-peer model might mix with autonomous vehicles by saying that right now, people think of Uber as a replacement for taxis; perhaps instead, it will end up closer to peer-to-peer fractional car rental.

The essay is also available online at http://archive.oreilly.com/pub/a/495. 54 “a remote control for real life”: Kara Swisher, “Man and Uber Man,” Vanity Fair, December 2014, retrieved March 30, 2017, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2014/12/uber-travis-kalanick-controversy. 54 “That’s what it’s all about”: Brad Stone, The Upstarts (New York: Little, Brown, 2017), 52. 55 they observed in Zimbabwe: As told to me by Logan Green in 2015. 56 the incentives: Stone, The Upstarts, 71. 57 “everyone benefits”: “The Uber Story,” uber.com, retrieved March 30, 2017, https://www.uber.com/our-story/. 57 one customer in Los Angeles: Priya Anand, “People in Los Angeles Are Getting Rid of Their Cars,” BuzzFeed, September 2, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/priya/people-in-los-angeles-are-getting-rid-of-their-cars. 59 one of the most difficult exams in the world: Jody Rosen, “The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS,” New York Times Magazine, November 24, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/t-magazine/london-taxi-test-knowledge.html. 59 it does save them money: “Workforce of the Future: Final Report (Slide 12),” Markle, retrieved March 30, 2017, https://www.markle.org/workforce-future-final-report. 63 Tesla seems to have other plans: Dan Gillmor, “Tesla Says Customers Can’t Use Its Self-Driving Cars for Uber,” Slate, October 21, 2016, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/10/21/tesla_says_customers_can_t_use_its _self_driving_cars_for_uber.html. 64 “digital sharecroppers”: Nicholas Carr, “The Economics of Digital Sharecropping,” Rough Type, May 4, 2012, http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1600. 67 “proximity to the market”: From an unpublished preprint sent to me by Laura Tyson of Laura Tyson and Michael Spence, “Exploring the Effects of Technology on Income and Wealth Inequality,” in After Piketty, ed. Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017). 68 on-demand drivers in their own cars: “Amazon Flex: Be Your Own Boss.


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The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy by Tyler Cowen

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Flynn Effect, framing effect, Google Earth, impulse control, informal economy, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, neurotypical, new economy, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, selection bias, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind

Rather, small bits are building blocks for seeing and understanding some larger trends and narratives. The stereotypical web activity is not to visit a gardening blog one day, visit a Manolo shoes blog the next day, and never return to either. Most online activity, or at least the kinds that persist, is investment in sustained, long-running narratives. That is where the suspense comes from and that is why the internet so holds our attention. Nicholas Carr, in a 2008 article in The Atlantic, asked, “Is Google making us stupid?” and basically he answered that yes, Google is making us stupid. He argued that internet culture shortens our attention spans and renders us less likely to think deep thoughts. But he missed how people can construct wisdom—and long-term dramatic interest in their own self-education—from accumulating, collecting, and ordering small bits of information.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Larger efforts that would be well served by deep thinking, such as forming a new business strategy or writing an important grant application, get fragmented into distracted dashes that produce muted quality. To make matters worse for depth, there’s increasing evidence that this shift toward the shallow is not a choice that can be easily reversed. Spend enough time in a state of frenetic shallowness and you permanently reduce your capacity to perform deep work. “What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation,” admitted journalist Nicholas Carr, in an oft-cited 2008 Atlantic article. “[And] I’m not the only one.” Carr expanded this argument into a book, The Shallows, which became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To write The Shallows, appropriately enough, Carr had to move to a cabin and forcibly disconnect. The idea that network tools are pushing our work from the deep toward the shallow is not new. The Shallows was just the first in a series of recent books to examine the Internet’s effect on our brains and work habits.


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The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

Philadelphia: Benjamins, 1996. 263–87; Yaeger-Dror, Malcah, “Lexical Classes in Montreal French: The Case of (E:),” Language and Speech 35 no. 3 (July/September 1992): 251. 195 there is a Web site called Worldometers: http://www.worldometers.info. 197 the Web site MeasuringWorth.com: http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk. 198 a series called Media Diet: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/posts/media-diet. 198 This is already happening: Sparrow, Betsy, Jenny Liu, and Daniel M. Wegner. “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips.” Science 353, no. 6043 (2011): 776–78. 198 While this is certainly a common argument: Nicholas Carr discusses this topic, in a qualified manner, in his article in the July/August 2008 issue of The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” 198 a constantly updated online medical reference: http://www.uptodate.com/home/about/index.xhtml. CHAPTER 10: AT THE EDGE OF WHAT WE KNOW 200 This error-checking methodology: Johnson, Steven Berlin. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation.


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Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist lawyer, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

He went on to write a book called Computer Power and Human Reason which argued that the limits to what we expect of computers should be ethical rather than technological or mathematical: ‘since we do not now have any ways of making computers wise, we ought not now to give computers tasks that demand wisdom’.90 In the meantime, there has emerged a small school of cybersceptics, reacting against the cyberutopianism of Silicon Valley and the technological determinism that often underpins it. There is, they point out, a vast ocean of rubbish, nonsense and lies online. (A similar complaint was made after the spread of printing in sixteenth-century Europe.) Nicholas Carr and Andrew Keen deplore the online ‘cult of the amateur’, which inordinately privileges mass participation over authority, openness over expertise, Wikipedia over Britannica.91 And the former, they argue, is eroding the latter. Jaron Lanier writes caustically of colleagues who believe that ‘a million, or perhaps a billion, fragmentary insults will eventually yield wisdom’.92 As we are tempted into what Nicholas Carr calls ‘the shallows’ of the online world, so we might all succumb to attention deficit disorder. ‘Homo Zappiens’ is the nice coinage of two Dutch scholars for the generations that have grown up since the 1990s ‘zapping’ between multiple channels and devices.93 Just as social intercourse may be diminished by people’s endless darts to tap or check something on their äppäräti, so the quest for knowledge is subverted by multiple distractions.


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

Her work as a historian of ideas received rave reviews, but most scholars thought of it as a curiosity, albeit an interesting one. Now we’re seeing these early writers for what they were: brilliant precursors straining after some of the most important ideas and techniques of the contemporary world, in this case the art and science of search. Returning to the present, Google is making a lot of the memory arts fall away altogether. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean, as critics such as Nicholas Carr have alleged, that we are becoming stupider. First, we presumably learn something useful through Google, and that information also gives us broader background knowledge for understanding and interpreting other facts about the world, whether they come from Google or not. Second, we have become much better at searching for answers, and that too is a skill. Rather than remembering a fact, I often remember how I can best search for a fact.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

To the extent that the medium of online determines the cultural messages it carries, it pressures creators to make things clickable, browsable, capable of holding attention briefly, but always with the understanding that the reader or watcher will swiftly move on to the next hyperlink, the next video, the next tweet or status update or Instagram pic. It is not impossible for genius to flourish under such constraints, but depth becomes a near impossibility; not for nothing did Nicholas Carr title his powerful critique of Internet culture The Shallows. If the hit single has survived Napster and then iTunes, the old-fashioned album emphatically has not, and there’s an argument—infuriating to novelists, but possibly true—that the novel ceased to matter to mass culture on June 29, 2007, the day Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. The philosophical treatise, the hard poem—to the extent that form follows function, these belong to print rather than to screens, and it’s not remotely surprising that the decline of the fine arts has accelerated under the dominion of the Internet.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Perhaps our employees, bosses, politicians, and educators would better serve us if they were held to such an empirical standard. I would be delighted if education put less emphasis on rote memorization of that which we can easily look up, but I wonder whether Google’s instant access to every imaginable fact will atrophy our memory cells. Or perhaps that’s just my fear of age. In a 2008 article in The Atlantic, internet curmudgeon Nicholas Carr, a sometimes sparring partner of mine in the blogosphere, fretted about these changes in our habits, brains, and society in an article entitled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” He confessed to reading less and differently—as I have. “The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author’s words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds,” Carr argued.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, G4S, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-work, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

A comprehensive discussion of the genomics revolution is far beyond the scope of this book; we mention it here simply to highlight that it is real, and likely to bring profound changes in the years and decades to come. See Kris Wetterstrand, “DNA Sequencing Costs: Data from the NHGRI Genome Sequencing Program (GSP),” National Human Genome Research Institute, July 16, 2013, http://www.genome.gov/sequencingcosts/. 5. On gaming, see Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011); on cyberbalkanization, see Marshall van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson, “Electronic Communities: Global Villages or Cyberbalkanization?” ICIS 1996 Proceedings, December 31, 1996, http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis1996/5; and Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think (New York: Penguin, 2012); on social isolation see Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic Books, 2012); and Robert D.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

In Snow Crash the hackers were most susceptible to the nam-shub because computational thinking had already reordered their minds: “Your nerves grow new connections as you use them—the axons split and push their way between the dividing glial cells—your bioware self-modifies—the software becomes part of the hardware.”58 The process Stephenson describes here is automatization, the realignment of mental faculties to internalize and homeostatically manage a complex task like driving a car. And, as media journalist Nicholas Carr points out in The Glass Cage, we all experienced automatization first-hand when we learned to read, gradually internalizing the rules of grammar and spelling until the interpretation of written symbols was largely effortless.59 Just as Plato feared, our interaction with the technology of the written word not only changed the medium of thought, extending it to external papers, scrolls and other material stuff, but it also changed the mode of thought.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra

Viégas’s work on visualizing the history of Wikipedia edits, “History Flow,” is at www.research.ibm.com/visual/projects/history_flow/. Page 138: Seigenthaler and essjay controversies The Wikipedia articles on the controversy surrounding the John Seigenthaler entry (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Seigenthaler_Sr._Wikipedia_biography_controversy ) and essjay’s faked credentials (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essjay_controversy) are surprisingly good, given that one might expect Wikipedians to pull their punches. Nicholas Carr is also worth reading on this subject; Carr, writing at roughtype.com, is the most insightful and incisive of Wikipedia’s critics. One of his posts worth reading on the essjay controversy is “Wikipedia’s credentialism crisis” (www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/03/wikipedias_cred.php) and Page 140: Ise Shrine Howard Mansfield first noted the linking of the Ise Shrine’s method of construction with its failure to win historic designation from UNESCO in The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throwaway Age, University Press of New England (2000).


pages: 366 words: 100,602

Sextant: A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who ... by David Barrie

centre right, colonial exploitation, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, Maui Hawaii, Nicholas Carr, polynesian navigation, South China Sea, trade route

Wolfgang Schuster, “Protecting the Future,” Navigation News, The Magazine of the Royal Institute of Navigation (September–October 2013) 22–24. 6 “Ships’ navigators go back to the future as white van man gets them into a jam,” Times, March 30, 2013. 7 New Scientist, December 12, 2012. 8 Matthew Crawford has written very interestingly about this subject—though in a slightly different context. See Crawford esp. 59–61. 9 For an interesting overview of this subject, see Alex Hutchinson’s article “Global Impositioning Systems—Is GPS technology actually harming our sense of direction?” in Walrus, November 2009 (http://thewalrus.ca/global-impositioning-systems/). See also Nicholas Carr, “All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines,” in Atlantic, November 2013 (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-great-forgetting/309516/). Glossary Azimuth: the bearing of a celestial body’s geographical position measured in degrees either from the north or south pole (whichever is nearer the observer). Beam: the width of a ship at her widest part; also a term for the transverse members on which a ship’s deck is laid.


Data and the City by Rob Kitchin,Tracey P. Lauriault,Gavin McArdle

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, bike sharing scheme, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, floating exchange rates, global value chain, Google Earth, hive mind, Internet of things, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lifelogging, linked data, loose coupling, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, open economy, openstreetmap, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, place-making, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, semantic web, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, statistical model, TaskRabbit, text mining, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, urban planning, urban sprawl, web application

Rather, we are now inundated with determinist analyses that imagine Where are data citizens? 203 people as relatively passive subjects who participate ‘online’. Notably, Sherry Turkle (2011) no longer celebrates but instead critiques the internet for isolating people from more meaningful and ‘real’ face-to-face human interactions such that especially young people are now ‘alone together’. Numerous other popular critiques such as Nicholas Carr’s (2010) The Shallows and Evgeny Morozov’s (2011) Net Delusion also critique digital lives. While such declarations have been a good correction to utopian visions, they have replaced sovereign subjects with obedient ones. In this way, they reflect a reversal of the understanding of power advanced in modern political theory, which posits a divide between modernity and tradition where a subject to power (tradition) was replaced by a subject of power (modernity).


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Spotify pays 70 percent: “Spotify Explained,” Spotify Artists, 2015. streaming takeover “is inevitable”: Joan E. Solsman, “Attention, Artists: Streaming Music Is the Inescapable Future. Embrace It,” CNET, November 14, 2014. hours of music required: Personal estimation. new podcasts launch every day: Personal correspondence with Todd Pringle, GM and VP of Product, Stitcher, April 26, 2015. four ways books embody fixity: Nicholas Carr, “Words in Stone and on the Wind,” Rough Type, February 3, 2012. 4: SCREENING 50,000 words in Old English to a million: Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil, and William Cran, The Story of English, third revised ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 2002); and Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 10 (Grolier, 1999). romance novel was invented in 1740: Pamela Regis, A Natural History of the Romance Novel (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).


pages: 416 words: 108,370

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, always be closing, augmented reality, Clayton Christensen, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, game design, Gordon Gekko, hindsight bias, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, information trail, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kodak vs Instagram, linear programming, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, subscription business, telemarketer, the medium is the message, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, women in the workforce

music technology would give black Americans: Ross makes a similar point about the democratizing power of music technology for black artists in “The Record Effect.” the top 1 percent of bands and solo artists: Thompson, “The Shazam Effect.” the number of transistors that fit on a microchip: Gordon E. Moore, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits,” Electronics 38, no. 8 (April 19, 1965), www.monolithic3d.com/uploads/6/0/5/5/6055488/gordon_moore_1965_article.pdf. humans plod along at a leisurely Darwinian pace: Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage (New York: Norton, 2014), 41. I’ve seen several writers juxtapose the exponential pace of technology and the methodical evolution of humans, but the first place I recall reading this construction was in Carr’s book: “Where computers sprint forward at the pace of Moore’s law, our own innate abilities creep ahead with the tortoise-like tread of Darwin’s law.” “Radio has become a companion”: J.


pages: 374 words: 111,284

The AI Economy: Work, Wealth and Welfare in the Robot Age by Roger Bootle

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, anti-work, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mega-rich, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, positional goods, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, Y2K, Yogi Berra

There is no good reason why our investment in our ability to enjoy ourselves and derive deep pleasure from our leisure time should be restricted only to the first 10–20 years of our life. Mind you, the advances of technology are not necessarily all positive for the education and overall mental wellbeing of citizens. There is some evidence of cognitive decay as a result of recent technological developments, notably in video game technology and smartphones. In his book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr argues that the internet is having an adverse effect on our ability to think.30 In an article published in The Atlantic in 2013 called “All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines,” he bemoaned the rise of “technology centered automation that elevates the capabilities of technology above the interests of people.” Similarly, it has been argued that reliance on GPS for directions is hindering our ability to reason and remember spatially.31 If it were to be established that, above and beyond some threshold level, exposure to these things did indeed impair cognitive ability, then there would be an argument for restricting humans’ reliance on such technologies.


pages: 424 words: 114,905

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, blockchain, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, digital twin, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, George Santayana, Google Glasses, ImageNet competition, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nudge unit, pattern recognition, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, text mining, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

The hacking vulnerability of voice assistants has been shown with such techniques as the so-called dolphin attack, which used ultrasonic frequencies, too high for the human ear to hear, to seize control of voice-activated gadgets.20 There has even been a murder case in which Amazon was forced to provide the Echo recordings obtained when it wasn’t activated but only listening, fulfilling the legal descriptor of a “ticking constitutional time bomb” with respect to the First Amendment.21 Unknowingly, a couple in Portland, Oregon, had their conversation recorded and their audio files sent to their contacts.22 These examples portend the problems of not establishing data protection and privacy. Nicholas Carr, who is known for bringing out the bad side of technology, had this to say: “Even as they spy on us, the devices offer sanctuary from the unruliness of reality, with all its frictions and strains. They place us in a virtual world meticulously arranged to suit our bents and biases, a world that understands us and shapes itself to our desires. Amazon’s decision to draw on classical mythology in naming its smart speaker was a masterstroke.


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813. Available at http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu /founders/documents /a1_8_8s12 .html. 3 The Hidden Logics of Search 1. David Stark, The Sense of Dissonance: Accounts of Worth in Economic Life (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009), 1. 2. On the use and abuse of the distinction between “IRL” (in real life) and virtual spaces, see Nicholas Carr, “Digital Dualism Denialism,” Rough Type (blog), February 20, 2013, http://www.roughtype.com /?p=2090. 3. Rotten Tomatoes, http://www.rottentomatoes.com /; “Customer Reviews,” Amazon Help. Available at http://www.amazon.com /gp/help/customer /display.html /?nodeId=12177361. Sam Costello, “Buying Music from the iTunes Store,” About.com. Available at http://ipod.about.com /od /buyingfromitunesstore/ss/buying_itunes _3.htm. 4.


pages: 428 words: 121,717

Warnings by Richard A. Clarke

active measures, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Madoff, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Elon Musk, failed state, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forensic accounting, friendly AI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge worker, Maui Hawaii, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, mouse model, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y2K

Quora, https://www.quora.com/Is-AI-an-existential-threat-to-humanity/answer/Andrew-Ng (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 24. The study looks at jobs at risk from weak AI and robotics. Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osbourne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?” Sept. 17, 2013, Oxford Martin School, www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 25. Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us (New York: Norton, 2014), reviewed in Sean Braswell, “All Rise for Chief Justice Robot!” Ozy.com, www.ozy.com/immodest-proposal/all-rise-for-chief-justice-robot/41131 (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 26. McKinsey Global Institute, referenced in Lakshmi Sandhana, “47% of U.S. Jobs under Threat from Computerization According to Oxford Study,” New Atlas, http://newatlas.com/half-of-us-jobs-computerized/29142 (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 27.


Innovation and Its Enemies by Calestous Juma

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deskilling, disruptive innovation, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, global value chain, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, smart grid, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Travis Kalanick

Data-based firms such as Google and IBM are moving into pharmaceutical research. Sharing services such as Uber are acquiring robotics and other engineering capabilities. The implications of exponential growth will continue to elude political leaders if they persist in operating with linear worldviews. These trends have added new elements of uncertainty in human relations in general and in the economy in particular. As Nicholas Carr writes in his book The Glass Cage, “Automation severs ends from means. It makes getting what we want easier, but it distances us from the work of knowing.”8 Such uncertainty may encompass basic societal trends, from the inability to foresee the impact of new technologies to extreme social responses driven by the fear of loss.9 There are also numerous cases where society has underestimated the risks posed by new technologies or adopted them without adequate knowledge about their risks.


The Future of Technology by Tom Standage

air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, creative destruction, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, Marc Andreessen, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

That is the nature of revolutions: they are rarely as quick or as clean as the revolutionaries expect them to be. On the other hand, however, this means that the revolutionary ideas of a few years ago have now become conventional wisdom. Having convinced the business world of the merits of technology, the industry has lost much of its iconoclastic fervour. The corporate adoption of information technology has become such old hat, indeed, that Nicholas Carr, an editor at the Harvard Business Review, even published an article T vii THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY in 2003 entitled “it doesn’t matter”. Many technologists were livid, but Mr Carr had a point. While there are some areas where technology can still provide competitive advantage, its widespread adoption means that it makes less difference than it used to. This shift has many implications for the future of technology, which will be examined in the first part of this book.


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

Yet, almost 5 million children in the United States suffer from food insecurity in any given year.8 Indeed, there is enough food to feed the whole world, but hunger persists. About one in eight people is malnourished; that’s 840 million people eating less than they need.9 Evidently, technological plenty doesn’t mean plenty for everyone. Skeptics believe that technology is overhyped and often destructive. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, suggests that the fast-twitch, hyperlinked Internet not only erodes our ability to think deeply, but also traps us like a Siren: “We may be wary of what our devices are doing to us, but we’re using them more than ever.” His book is ominously subtitled What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. In The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, Evgeny Morozov catalogs the myriad ways in which the Internet boosts, rather than contains, the power of repressive regimes: in China, social media is a tool for disseminating Communist Party propaganda; in Azerbaijan, webcams installed at election stations frightened citizens into voting for state-sponsored incumbents;10 in Iran, the chief of national police acknowledged a chilling fact of their anti-protest efforts: “The new technologies allow us to identify conspirators.”11 Technology skeptics like to point out unintended consequences.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize

Back in the fifteenth century, as Nate Silver summed up, “the amount of information was increasing much more rapidly than our understanding of what to do with it, or our ability to differentiate the useful information from the mistruths.”13 Here in the twenty-first century, we call that “big data,” with more data generated in the past two years than in the history of humankind. And an ever-increasing proportion of that is derived from and is passing through mobile devices. In The Shallows, Nicholas Carr recounts the lines from a play in 1612: “so many books—so much confusion! All around us is an ocean of print. And most of it covered in froth.”14 Today we’re at about three quintillion bytes of data generated a day; our digital universe is expected to increase fifty-fold in the current decade (2010–2020) from less than one thousand exabytes to greater than forty thousand. Just as the sudden availability of what was previously a rare commodity—a book—was perceived by many as a supernatural intervention in the late 1400s, the prototypic smartphone’s inventor, Steve Jobs, has been equated to Jesus, the Book of Job, and God.15 Innovation accelerated APP.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

The world was slow to turn on the web, still after all the fountain of the new. Whether for reasons of politics or politesse, the web would suffer a lot of ruin before many critics, who’d fallen in love with its openness, would admit that things had gone awry. Even so, by the mid-2010s, more and more ordinary users had their own impression of the emperor’s new clothes. Perhaps the first sign of elite revolt was the idea best articulated by Nicholas Carr that the web was making us stupider. Maybe it was the growing talk of an “information glut,” or Jaron Lanier’s argument, in his manifesto You Are Not a Gadget, that the culture of the web had resulted in a suppression of individual creativity and innovation. Even the incredibly powerful tools of sharing and communication—email, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram—once employed by entities like BuzzFeed, didn’t seem so magical, having collaborated in building an attentional environment with so little to admire.


pages: 525 words: 142,027

CIOs at Work by Ed Yourdon

8-hour work day, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, distributed generation, Donald Knuth, Flash crash, Googley, Grace Hopper, Infrastructure as a Service, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, Julian Assange, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Nicholas Carr, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Zipcar

Yourdon: That’s an interesting area that you’ve mentioned, because obviously not only has technology changed that authors, like me, and editors publish and produce a book, but it’s completely transformed the marketplace in terms of the consumers and customers and their expectations of how they’re going to get the content. And even more than that, you probably have seen some of the material that Nicholas Carr has written—he’s got a book called The Shallows3, which basically argues that because of the Internet he would never be able to read War and Peace today because he just can’t maintain that attention span. And I assume that that has got to have an enormous impact on publishers, too. Mooney: Well, we also have a “professional,” basically it’s a type of buyer that borders on—I was going to say “Borders,” but I’m not sure Borders is going to be around.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

That such a media-based deliberative practice (initially via television) is possible has already been demonstrated by James Fishkin and his pioneering deliberative polling project, which has had a successful run of applied test cases in more than a dozen countries including the United States, China, Brazil, Bulgaria, Argentina, Japan, Korea, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Fishkin’s technique “combines deliberation in small group discussions with scientific random sampling to provide public consultation for public policy and for electoral issues.”28 We must then be both enthusiastic and wary of digital progress—and for the very same reasons. In his skepticist tract The Shallows, Nicholas Carr focuses on the costs of technological innovation. Written text, he notes, sidelines oral literary traditions; movable type pushes aside illuminated manuscripts; television puts an end to radio plays.29 Carr’s complaint about the web is that its incessant noise makes reading books difficult (though Kindle and Nook readers might disagree). But more pointedly, in the civic realm, the interactivity that could enable us to control new media and communicate with one another actually ends up (for the same reason) allowing the new media to watch and control us; allowing us to influence each other, sometimes in ways we don’t even notice.


pages: 596 words: 163,682

The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind by Raghuram Rajan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, data acquisition, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial repression, full employment, future of work, global supply chain, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Parker, Military Revolution, 1. 29. Jones, European Miracle, 130. 30. Pirenne, Economic and Social History, 83. 31. Pirenne, Economic and Social History, 118–19. 32. Jared Rubin, “Bills of Exchange, Interest Bans, and Impersonal Exchange in Islam and Christianity,” Explorations in Economic History 47, no. 2 (April 2010): 213–27. 33. Goody, Development of Family, 165. 34. Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” The Atlantic, July/August 2008, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/. 35. Timothy Egan, “The Phone is Smart, but Where’s the Big Idea?,” The New York Times, July 7, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/07/opinion/iphone-apple-printing-press.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0. 36. Lester K.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

LPs and CDs had the additional cue of color and size to help remind us what was inside. Apple introduced Album Art to help, but many people feel it’s not the same as holding a physical object. The procedural and cognitive trade-off at stake concerns searchability (with digital files) versus the viscerally and aesthetically satisfying act of employing the kinds of visual and tactile cues our species evolved to use. Technology writer Nicholas Carr writes, “The medium does matter. As a technology, a book focuses our attention, isolates us from the myriad distractions that fill our everyday lives. A networked computer does precisely the opposite.” Faster is not always desirable, and going straight to what you want is not always better. There is a peculiar irony in all of this: Small libraries are far more useful than large ones. The Library of Congress may have one copy of every book ever published, but it is very unlikely that you will serendipitously find a book you did not know about and that will delight you.


pages: 789 words: 207,744

The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, different worldview, Doomsday Book, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Georg Cantor, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Metcalfe's law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pierre-Simon Laplace, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, ultimatum game, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wikimedia commons

The urges to improve ourselves, to master our environment, and to set our children on the best path possible have been the fundamental driving forces of all of human history. Without these urges to ‘play God,’ the world as we know it wouldn't exist today.” Cited in Singularity, 299. 56. Kurzweil, Singularity, 210; Garreau, Radical Evolution, chap. 4. 57. Kurzweil, Singularity, 325. 58. Minsky quoted in McKibben, Enough, 203–4. Page quoted in Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York: Norton, 2011), iBook edition, chap. 8. 59. Christof Koch and Gilles Laurent, “Complexity and the Nervous System,” Science 284 (1999): 96–98. 60. Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, “Mind out of Body,” Scientific American (February 2011): 81–83. 61. Ramez Naam, More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (New York: Broadway Books, 2005), 205–6. 62.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Danielewski) Boreta, Justin: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Oliver Sacks), Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Sam Harris), This Is Your Brain on Music (Daniel J. Levitin), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera) Brach, Tara: The Essential Rumi (Jalal al-Din Rumi, Coleman Barks translation), When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Pema Chödrön), The Shallows (Nicholas Carr), A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life (Jack Kornfield) Brewer, Travis: Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda), Be Here Now (Ram Dass), Conversations with God (Neale Donald Walsch) Brown, Brené: The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) Callen, Bryan: Excellent Sheep (William Deresiewicz), Atlas Shrugged; The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand), The Power of Myth; The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell), The Genealogy of Morals (Friedrich Nietzsche), The Art of Learning (Josh Waitzkin), The 4-Hour Body; The 4-Hour Workweek (Tim Ferriss), Bad Science, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (Ben Goldacre), Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005 (Thomas Ricks), The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11; Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Lawrence Wright), Symposium (Plato) Carl, Shay: The Book of Mormon (Joseph Smith Jr.), As a Man Thinketh (James Allen), How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie), Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill), The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R.