Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age Hardcover – September 18, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Praise for Where Good Ideas Come From
[Where Good Ideas Come From is a] rich, integrated, and often sparkling book. Mr. Johnson, who knows a thing or two about the history of science, is a first-rate storyteller." -- New York Times
"A vision of innovation and ideas that is resolutely social, dynamic, and material.... Fluidly written, entertaining, and smart without being arcane." -- Los Angeles Times
"Brilliant... Johnson is an exemplar of the post-categorical age.... The 'long zoom' approach gives Johnson's book power, makes it a tool for understanding where we stand today, and makes it satisfying." -- New York Times Book Review
"Stimulating, iconoclastic, and strikingly original." -- The Atlantic Monthly
"Essential reading for anyone trying to understand this culture." -- New York Times
"Johnson is a polymath... [It's] exhilarating to follow his unpredictable trains of thought. To explain why some ideas upend the world, he draws upon many disciplines: chemistry, social history, geography, even ecosystem science." -- Los Angeles Times
"Steven Johnson is the Darwin of technology. Through fascinating observations and insights, he enlightens us about the origin of ideas. How do you create environments and networks that promote innovation? Johnson discovers patterns that help clarify that critical question." -- Walter Isaacson, author of the bestselling Steve Jobs
About the Author
Steven Johnson is the author of seven bestsellers, including Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator’s Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites—most recently, outside.in—and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The first of the book's two sections lays out its central premise: that distributed "peer networks" allowing the free flow of information between diverse individuals are a powerful force for social progress. decentralized networks are a powerful tool for facilitating interaction between individuals, and thus for social progress. It concludes: "We have a theory of peer networks. We have the practice of building them. And we have results. We know that peer networks can work in the real world. The task now is to discover how far they can take us." The second, longer section - a series of thematic chapters on subjects like journalism, technology, and government - makes good on that promise. It presents case studies that show what peer networks have already accomplished, and contemplates what they might accomplish in the future.
Johnson's goal, in Future Perfect is not to write a primer on the theory of networks, an analysis of how distributed networks function, or a history of distributed networks (though he touches, expertly but wearing his expertise lightly, on all those subjects). Nor is his goal to predict the future: The potential applications he describes for peer networks are presented as possibilities, not certainties. His evident goal is, rather, to encourage readers raised in a world (largely) defined by centralized networks to think seriously about one (more) defined by peer networks. It is a manifesto, but an intellectual rather than a political one. In the spirit of Apple Computer (the subject of one of Johnson's case studies), it urges: "Think different."
Future Perfect is, in this sense, a spiritual sequel to Johnson's Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter. Like the earlier work, it takes a proposition that, at first glance, seems completely absurd -- the height of fuzzy headed wishful thinking -- and patiently shows that the "absurd" idea is a more useful tool than the received wisdom that "everybody knows." Future Perfect improves on Everything Bad, however, by its carefully delineated internal structure and its layering of case study on case study, thematic chapter on thematic chapter. Johnson's central idea is breathtakingly simple. His development of it, at length and in detail, is what gives the book its power.
Steven Johnson is both an insightful thinker and an exceptionally graceful writer. If you haven't encountered his work before, this is an excellent place to begin.
However, despite his appeals that this "peer" revolution is not simply net-utopianism, the majority of Johnson's examples of peer-networked success were drawn from web related projects. If, however, we are learning from the Internet as a model as he says, maybe the dearth of non-web examples in Future Perfect suggests they are still emerging and evolving.
Additionally I really wished he had included a chapter on energy. There was almost no mention of climate change in this brief book. While tackling some "pressing" problems such as election finance reform, democracy, business, and education, Johnson overlooks one of the most centralized (non-distributed) platforms in our country: our energy grid. Energy seems like hanging fruit for this book, and its a disappointment to read 20 pages about KickStarter instead...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is excellent and I rate it a 4.99 out of 5.0.
I would rate it higher if Mr.Read more