I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works

Why your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted

Book - 2010
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Are we driving off a digital cliff and heading for disaster, unable to focus, maintain concentration, or form the human bonds that make life worth living? Are media and business doomed and about to be replaced by amateur hour?

The world, as Nick Bilton--with tongue-in-cheek--shows, has been going to hell for a long, long time, and what we are experiencing is the twenty-first-century version of the fear that always takes hold as new technology replaces the old. In fact, as Bilton shows, the digital era we are part of is, in all its creative and disruptive forms, the foundation for exciting and engaging experiences not only for business but society as well.

Both visionary and practical, I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works captures the zeitgeist of an emerging age, providing the understanding of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior:

   * With a walk on the wild side--through the porn industry--we see how this business model is leading the way, adapting product to consumer needs and preferences and beating piracy.
   * By understanding how the Internet is creating a new type of consumer, the "consumnivore," living in a world where immediacy trumps quality and quantity, we see who is dictating the type of content being created.
   * Through exploring the way our brains are adapting, we gain a new understanding of the positive effect of new media narratives on thinking and action. One fascinating study, for example, shows that surgeons who play video games are more skillful than their nonplaying counterparts.
   * Why social networks, the openness of the Internet, and handy new gadgets are not just vehicles for telling the world what you had for breakfast but are becoming the foundation for "anchoring communities" that tame information overload and help determine what news and information to trust and consume and what to ignore.
   * Why the map of tomorrow is centered on "Me," and why that simple fact means a totally new approach to the way media companies shape content.
   * Why people pay for experiences, not content; and why great storytelling and extended relationships will prevail and enable businesses to engage with customers in new ways that go beyond merely selling information, instead creating unique and meaningful experiences.
I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works walks its own talk by creating a unique reader experience: Semacodes embedded in both print and eBook versions will take readers directly to Bilton's website (www.NickBilton.com), where they can access videos of the author further developing his point of view and also delve into the research that was key to shaping the central ideas of the book. The website will also offer links to related content and the ability to comment on a chapter, allowing the reader to join the conversation.
Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307591111
Branch Call Number: 303.4834 B5999i 2010
Characteristics: x, 293 p. ; 22 cm


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Feb 28, 2013

Bilton is an engaging writer: smart, clever, & convincing. Is the internet changing our brains? Do video games make us violent or are they actually helpful? And what does the concept of community mean in the future? Find out what Nick has to say.

jacobsikora Apr 18, 2011

Bilton draws upon past research in psychology and sociology as well as the history of technology to explain both how and why the changes in the last 20 years are unmitigated progress. Readers who have embraced these changes may find this book to be a rallying point but probably won't find lots of new insights. As a digital immigrant, I did find the book to be a helpful tool in reflecting on how I integrate new technology in my life and dealing with the overwhelming feeling of trying to consume everything. I found the introduction, the chapter on anchoring communities, and the chapter on individual economics the most interesting. The rest seemed too engaged in a debate I'm not a part of. Can people multi-task and be productive? Will facebook and twitter ruin young minds? I know people are still debating these points, but it seems fruitless to devote so much of the book to this since, as Bilton so thoroughly points out, nearly everyone under the age of 50 is already multi-tasking and living in the future he describes. Further, Bilton seems too stuck on moralizing about technology and insisting that it is basically good in defense of those who suggest it is basically bad.

Apr 17, 2011

Bilton makes no apology for his stance: this is a book in defense of the Internet and new media. There is, therefore, no expectation that he will present a balanced view, although I found that he does a pretty good job of presenting opposing views, if just to demystify them.

Bilton's position is a solid one: as humans, we fear massive change, and the Internet, being still in its infancy, is reshaping the world in ways that we find difficult to conceive. Just as the printing press wrecked havoc and television was vilified, new technologies are under constant attack, or dismissed as useless, frivolous or obstructive. I agree: new media is here to stay and generally for the better. It also doesn't mean that they can't coexist with older forms of communication.

Bilton is inconclusive on some points, however: while he discusses at length multitasking, he isn't convincing that the long-term use of multitasking doesn't have negative effects, nor does he really talk about the real value of its effectiveness. He also doesn't discuss at all my real pet peeve: critical thinking. The user, constantly at the center of attention, reacts to content on a purely emotional basis and analytical skills are constantly being eroded as a consequence. Do we really want a generation of gullible kids unable to question the information they consume? Admittedly, I didn't use the full "experience" of this book - because I don't have an iPad or iPhone, I wasn't able to use the gizmo embedded in the book, much to my regret. The idea is excellent and perhaps my qualms are addressed in the comments and discussions on line.

Overall, I found this a quick, stimulating read, one that has given me new ideas. It is enjoyable to tap into unbridled optimism sometimes!


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