“Should be read by anyone interested in understanding the future,” The Times Literary Supplement raved about the original edition of The Social Life of Information. We’re now living in that future, and one of the seminal books of the Internet Age is more relevant than ever.
The future was a place where technology was supposed to empower individuals and obliterate social organizations. Pundits predicted that information technology would spell the end of almost everything—from mass media to bureaucracies, universities, politics, and governments. Clearly, we are not living in that future. The Social Life of Information explains why.
John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid show us how to look beyond mere information to the social context that creates and gives meaning to it. Arguing elegantly for the important role that human sociability plays, even—perhaps especially—in the digital world, The Social Life of Information gives us an optimistic look beyond the simplicities of information and individuals. It shows how a better understanding of the contribution that communities, organizations, and institutions make to learning, working, and innovating can lead to the richest possible use of technology in our work and everyday lives.With a new introduction by David Weinberger and reflections by the authors on developments since the book’s first publication, this new edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the human place in a digital world.
In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives.
Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar.
Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.
A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age alters how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.
Hailed as “the most influential book so far on the cloud computing movement” (Christian Science Monitor), The Big Switch makes a simple and profound statement: Computing is turning into a utility, and the effects of this transition will ultimately change society as completely as the advent of cheap electricity did. In a new chapter for this edition that brings the story up-to-date, Nicholas Carr revisits the dramatic new world being conjured from the circuits of the “World Wide Computer.”