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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The author, a technology guru at the forefront of Internet developments, provides a layperson's explanation of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior and brain development. He shares recommendations for short and long-term responses.
Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2010.
ISBN: 9780307591128
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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