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The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives Paperback – March 4, 2014
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If prominence correlates with the attention paid to a prognosticator, there will be great interest in the outlook for the Internet, according to Google executive Schmidt. With Cohen, Schmidt addresses incipient trends in an individual’s engagement with the Internet to introduce his main subject, how nation-states and businesses will capitalize or cope with the velocity, connectivity, and mutation of the Internet. In the authors’ analysis, governments and companies face in the virtual world, as they have in the physical world, an intelligence challenge. Referencing Internet incidents galore, they warn of a perpetual “code war” between attackers and defenders and expand upon this type of conflict within authoritarian and democratic states. Citing the Arab Spring as an example, Schmidt and Cohen predict that its online propagation presages an easier initiation of future revolutions, which nevertheless face uncertain outcomes when they encounter, as they eventually must, the material powers of a state. Peering forward to the Internet’s influence on international affairs, this work of futurology combines optimism and pessimism in an informed and levelheaded presentation. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Praise for The New Digital Age
“Prescient and provocative.”
—The New York Times
“In this fascinating book, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen draw upon their unique experiences to show us a future of rising incomes, growing participation, and a genuine sense of community—if we make the right choices today.”
“This is the most important—and fascinating—book yet written about how the digital age will affect our world.”
“Shifts the debate about technology, elevating it . . . to the wider issues of how technology interacts with power.”
“Ambitious [and] fascinating . . . [this] book is filled with tantalizing examples of futuristic goods and services.”
“Schmidt and Cohen make a formidable intellectual duo, combining Schmidt’s encyclopedic knowledge of digital technology with Cohen’s equally impressive grasp of international diplomacy and politics. . . . The New Digital Age reads with surprising clarity, verve, and even occasional wit. . . . Sophisticated analysis. . . . Balanced and interesting.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
“Full of fresh thinking, tightly researched examples and creative twists…. . If you care about the future . . . read this book. Bound to get the digerati buzzing and cause regular people to reflect deeply about our future. . . It will give you resolve to take action and perhaps even help you figure out what is to be done.”
—The Huffington Post
“Together [Schmidt and Cohen] forecast a raft of new innovations and corresponding threats that will arise for dictatorships, techno revolutionaries, terrorists and you.”
“As tech-industry VIPs, Schmidt and Cohen deserve credit for probing the dark side of progress. In the wake of the Boston bombings, their warnings about the Net's dangers have gained chilling salience.”
—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have produced a searching meditation on technology and world order. Even those who disagree with some of their conclusions will learn much from this thought-provoking volume.”
—Henry A. Kissinger
“A guide to the future written by two experts who possess a profound understanding of humanity’s altered prospects in a wireless world. There are insights on every page and surprising conclusions (and questions) in every chapter. For experts and casual readers alike, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have produced an indispensable book.”
—Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright
“A brilliant book that should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the huge ramifications of the Age of Google not only for our lifestyles but, more importantly, for our privacy, our democracy and our security. . . . The ‘technoptimistic’ case will never be more smartly argued.”
—Niall Ferguson, author of Civilization: The West and the Rest
“The New Digital Age is must-reading for anyone who wants to truly understand the depths of the digital revolution. . . . Schmidt and Cohen blend the technical and the human, the scientific and the political, in ways I rarely saw while in government. They challenge the reader’s imagination on almost every page.”
—General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA
“This is a book that describes a technological revolution in the making. How we navigate it is a challenge for countries, communities and citizens. There are no two people better equipped to explain what it means than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.”
“Few people in the world are doing more to imagine—and build—the new digital age than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. With this book, they are looking into their crystal ball and inviting the world to peek in.”
—Michael R. Bloomberg
“Thoughtful, well-researched. . . . Readers might be left with more questions than answers, but that’s the idea—we are at our best when we ask ‘What’s next?’”
—Elon Musk, cofounder of Tesla Motors and PayPal
“The New Digital Age offers an intriguing fusion of ideas and insights about how the virtual world is intersecting with the ‘Westphalian order.’. . . This book should launch a valuable debate about the practical implications of this new connectivity for citizens and policy makers, societies and governments.”
—Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group
“Schmidt and Cohen offer a rigorous approach to decoding what the future holds in a story that is as well written and entertaining as it is important.”
—General Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor
“At last, a brilliant guide book for the next century—what the future holds for entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, politicians, and ordinary citizens alike. Schmidt and Cohen offer a dazzling glimpse into how the new digital revolution is changing our lives. This book is the most insightful exploration of our future world I’ve ever read, and once I started reading I was simply unable to put it down.”
—Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman, Virgin Group
“This brilliant book will make you re-examine your concepts of the digital age, the way the world works, what lies ahead, and what all this means for you, your family and your community. A must read.”
—Mohamed El-Erian, chair, President Obama’s Global Development Council
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Top customer reviews
Of course, security came up. Again nothing particularly new or insightful. And there was much discussion about who Schmidt visited on his trip to China and other countries. I found that somewhat interesting but again, it wasn't particularly insightful.
I admit that I am a true Geek and spend a great deal of time reading, listening to and watching podcasts of all things that have to do with digital technology. So I'm perhaps being a bit too hard on this book in that respect. Also, I admit to being very "Google centric." I "love Google" at least for the time being. So I was perhaps setting a very high standard for this read from the much admired chairman of Google.
If you are not one who follows technology as a major part of your life then you will perhaps find this book useful and entertaining. If, like me, technology is part of your life and you live with it and the news it generates every day, you will likely find nothing new here.
The table of contents tells it all:
Chapter 1: Our future selves
Chapter 2: The future of Identify, Citizenship and Reporting
Chapter 3: The future of states
Chapter 4: The future of revolution
Chapter 5: The future of terrorism
Chapter 6: The future of conflict, combat and intervention
Chapter 7: The future of reconstruction
The future in each of these chapters is simple, we are all connected, we all have information, we are all independent yet we face off against powerful and interventionist forces in nation states creating a struggle with no specific outcome or end.
Really, this could have been a book that defined the digital age -- as indicated in the title -- instead it rehashes things most people already know about without getting behind the drivers, consequences and potential futures. No case studies, few examples, ample assertions and statements that seek to create FUD rather than solve problems.
Not worth your time, regrettably, as the authors pedigree leads you to expect more.
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