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I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted [Kindle Edition]

Nick Bilton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his first book, Bilton, lead technology writer for the New York Times and an avowed technophile whose professional life is defined by effectively anticipating and analyzing new tech trends, focuses on how mobile devices like iPads and smart phones have changed the corporate landscape. Content distribution, personalized marketing, and protection of profits are of paramount concern to companies, yet many are ill-equipped to address the changing attitudes of the younger generation. While Bilton deftly synthesizes content from the evolution of the porn industry to the relevance of Twitter, he has little to say to people who have actually followed or embraced these tech shifts. But people who view the iPad as a fad or hold their breath for the comeback of conventional newspapers will be educated by Bilton's straightforward analysis. He does a particularly good job of comparing the development of the Internet to past technological advances like the railroad and the printing press (though he could explore more deeply in order to better explain his reasoning). Though savvy readers will find nothing new here, the more technophobic among us will benefit.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

"A bold and provocative look at the future of storytelling. It’s about the virtues of video games, the science of cocktail parties, and the new business model of journalism.  It’s about a world in which the medium is mostly irrelevant, and the message is everything. Read this book if you want to get your message right.”
—Jonah Lehrer
, author of the New York Times bestseller How We Decide


“Nick Bilton has written a rollicking, upbeat guide to the digital world—a peek into our near future, where news, storytelling, and even human identity are transformed. It’s a fascinating book from a man who has helped pilot the New York Times into a new age of online journalism. If you’re wondering—or worried—about the future of media, this is your road map.”
—Clive Thompson
, Wired magazine columnist and contributing editor


Bilton doesn’t just live in the future, he also understands the past. I Live in the Future explains how our communications tools shaped our present, how new tools are shaping our future, and what we should do to take advantage of all this opportunity.”
—Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody



From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 554 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307591123
  • Publisher: Crown Business (September 14, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003B0W1SK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,224 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More about the present than the future November 21, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought the book because I assumed by its title that it will be a clever analysis of how the near future (next 5 years) will look like, evaluating trends and things to notice and maybe make sure that we're part of on a business level.
But the book was less about the "I live in the future and this is how it looks" and much more about the sub-title "Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted". The review of different current trends is nice for someone who's not involved in this fields already. So if the book wasn't called "I live in the future" it would be a good description of what it is and I'd probably wouldn't have been as disappointed.
So if you're looking for future trends this isn't the book for you (there are just a few highlights in that regard). If you're looking for some overview of the current trends then this is good enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blog-level analysis in a book March 20, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If by the future, you mean "Person in Brooklyn who likes gadgets and has a tech blog" then it's an accurate title. This book is really already so dated (after a year and a half) that it feels about as relevant as an article about the ipad 2.

Mr. Bilton would like to be a tech guru and prognosticator, and maybe he knows something more than what's in this book, but content-wise he just doesn't present any new ideas or unifying themes. The analysis doesn't go beyond what appear to be a series of blog-length commentaries stitched together. I would be surprised if there are companies out there who would take this seriously as a guide to future trends; it's just so surface-level and I can't see any real reason to see this as profound.

Problems are often in a complete misunderstanding of the arguments in the area (interpreting 3 hours of action video gaming as "long form" media), and more especially in a lack of ownership of ideas ("according to ...."). This would like to be a Malcolm Gladwell book, but while Gladwell brings simplicity to a complex topic, it's not just by dumbing things down, but by articulating real ideas -- whether you agree with him or not -- and bringing some substance to the debate while keeping things readable. What this book needs is a reason to exist besides being a career-promoting vehicle for a blogger.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Start at the end. September 30, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Bilton's book is the latest in a line of prognostication about how technology will impact the future. When you read, start with the manifesto-like epilogue that strangely should have started the book. I don't wonder if that change would have given the book a more impassioned start. Bilton starts to gain steam about halfway through, his chapter on suggestion and swarms being my favorite and ends with both commentary on various segments of media and reporting on some of the protoyping he did while working in the New York Times R&D lab. Technophiles will be similarly frustrated by the early going but rewarded for sticking with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caused me to think of written word as technology January 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Overall I enjoyed Nick Bilton's book. It was thought provoking. As the title suggests Nick uses himself as a protagonist who lives in the future. One quote in the book explains this concept: "The future is already here - it is just evenly distributed" - William Gibson. Being a technology researcher and blogger for the New York Times, the author is an extreme early adopter who's job is to have a running commentary as he goes. He's experiencing technologies today that your average user only experiences much later (and only if it takes off). Much of the book presents arguments in favour of technology to counter negative claims against it.

In a nod to the subject, I tweeted my thoughts while reading the book on the train to work in the mornings. You can see the tweets by typing the following search string in Google: "site:twitter.com #ILiveInFuture".

The single most interesting point I found in the book I summarized in the following tweet:
"@nickbilton #ILiveInFuture New technology overwhelming our brains? Like written words did? Letters and words were also invented by man."

Almost everyone references Gutenberg when discussing disruptive technologies, but before reading #ILiveInFuture it has never occurred to me that the written word is a man-made invention. How would the technology naysayers cope if "technology" included their beloved written word? (a means to many of their livelihoods).

This isn't a book of answers; reading this book is a good way to get caught up the latest technologies, and stimulate your own thinking about their impact.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poorly titled apologia October 25, 2012
Format:Paperback
This book claims to be about how the future will work but it's more about what's going on now. If that's all you're looking for, just read TechCrunch or some other blog. If you're looking for predictions or evaluations of the effect increasing impact of tech is on people's lives, you'll have to keep looking.
A lot of I Live in the Future is just apologia for the disruptive effects of tech. There is no serious analysis of, say, the effects of the internet on our brains. Much of what Bilton tries to pass off as that is just cheerleading for his increasingly networked lifestyle and increasing time spent online. Yeah, OK, so laproscopic surgeons who played more video games are better at this surgery than those who didn't but what about the other 99.99% of the population? Bilton blandly dismisses claims that increasing use of the internet may harm our intelligence and breezily compares it to similar concerns about TV watching from the 70s, as though those worries have no validity. Similar weight is given to other subjects, and there is no time spent on concerns like how increasing virtual social interaction and decreasing in-person interaction may be affecting mood and social skills.
If you want serious discussion, don't waste your time here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good books
Published 1 month ago by Lu
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not a great literary work by any means
Published 1 month ago by M. Tautges
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look
I'm always attracted to books about technology, how it's impacting us now and where it's all going. Most disappoint. This one does too, but to a much lesser degree. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dw2hite
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting But Get It From The Library
This review was originally written for the hard cover edition and published on November 25, 2011

A counter balance to "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr. Read more
Published 22 months ago by John T. OFarrell
1.0 out of 5 stars If You Want to Know Why the Media is Going Bankrupt, Read this Book
Bilton offers a title to a book for which he does not address. This is a typical tactic used by the media. This book is nothing more than rambling about meaningless topics. Read more
Published on September 23, 2012 by BMP
1.0 out of 5 stars Spare me
OK, I am biased in that I think the vast majority of reporters make lousy book authors since the two communication styles are very different. Read more
Published on February 14, 2012 by Jagman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Internet Gospel According to Nick Bilton
All fanatics are unpleasantly fanatical in the same way, and this holds true for Internet evangelicals, who believe that the Internet is a democratizing force that is empowering... Read more
Published on January 24, 2012 by Jiang Xueqin
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative
This book has many interesting descriptions of current technological developments especially in the area of digital communications. Read more
Published on December 3, 2011 by Shalom Freedman
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the book
Bilton's book has an interesting social dynamic blending his commentary with opions for other readers. Read more
Published on October 18, 2011 by Mr Jonathan Barouch
4.0 out of 5 stars James Policky's Review of Nick Bilton's "I Live in the Future & Here's...
Customer Video Review
Length: 8:12 Mins
Published on May 8, 2011 by Arthur M. Diamond, Jr.
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More About the Author

Nick Bilton is a New York Times technology and business columnist and lead blogger for The New York Times Bits Blog. His background spans design, journalism, hardware hacking, data visualization and photojournalism.

Bilton is the author of the upcoming book, Hatching Twitter, which will chronicle the story of Twitter, from its inception to today, along with the business, societal and human implications of the company.

Bilton's columns and articles for The New York Times have led to investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice and Congress. In late-2011, Bilton began questioning the Federal Aviation Administration's arcane rules banning Kindles and iPads during takeoff and landing. His reporting helped push the F.A.A. to initiate a committee reviewing its rules. Bilton writes regularly about Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Silicon Valley; his columns have covered gun control, privacy, voting, free speech online and digital culture.

In addition to The Times, Bilton's work has appeared in Wired, Engadget, Scientific America, ABC, CNet, O'Reilly Radar and AlleyInsider. He is also an adjunct professor at New York University in the Interactive Telecommunications Program.

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