Monday, February 10, 2014

Smarter than you think: How technology is Changing our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson (Read by Jeff Cummings)

We are all playing advance chess this days, we just haven't learn to appreciate it

Why I read this book?

I've been hearing about this book in several podcasts I follow. Being in my generation there is no doubt that we are touched by technology and a book that tackles the question to whether this is a good thing or not is always interesting. I got it through Audible and heard it with my boyfriend during commute.

What the book is about?

Thompson shows us in almost 11 hours, how every time a new technology has emerged it has been labeled in very black and white terms, however their whole effect is actually never just one or the other. Passing through cell phones, internet availability and more he defends his thesis that it all depends on the usage you give to the technology you've been given.

First impressions

The book was well researched. It has a nice pace and flow between chapters. In general it has an optimistic view of how we might be using technology. 

Reading makes us a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man.

Final thoughts

The book was very interesting, shedding light into several current or recent events, and how technology was used in each situation, such as the Arab Spring. It was funny to hear about TV being the school of the future when it first was invented. On point that Thompson really works on is that one should not talk down or up new technologies right away.

One of the chapters I enjoyed the most it the one about ambient awareness and how social networks can bring change that affect communities in all possible levels of development. Group thinking, the development of "centaur" like creatures (man with computer) were all very interesting ideas that although I somehow knew about in the back of my mind I never sat down to ponder about them. I think the fact that I was listening to this with someone else made the experience even better since at the end of the day we would pause the book and discuss for a good while about it..

Jeff Cummings has a great voice for this non-fiction book. 

Literacy has historically focus on reading, not writing; consumption, not production

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