A brilliant examination into how the internet is profoundly changing the way we think. In this groundbreaking book, 'Wired' writer Clive Thompson argues that the internet is boosting our brainpower, encouraging new ways of thinking, and making us more not less intelligent as is so often claimed. Our lives have been changed utterly and irrevocably by the rise of the internet and it is only now that we can begin to analyse this extraordinary phenomenon. The author argues that as we rely more and more for machines to help us think, our thinking itself is becoming richer and more complex. We're able to learn more, retain it longer, to write in curious new forms, and even to think entirely new types of thoughts. Outsmart is filled with stories of people who are living through these profound technological changes. In a series of postcards from the near future, we meet characters such as Gordon Bell, an ageing millionaire who is saving a digital copy of everything that happens to him, and Eric Hovitz, one of the world's leading artificial-intelligence researchers, who is creating software that is designed to let your computer sense your mood and then predict when you're going to be most productive at work. Lucidly written and argued, 'Smarter Than You Think' is a breathtaking original look at our Brave New World.
About the Author
Clive Thompson is a longtime contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired.
As a child growing up in Toronto of the 1970s and 80s, Clive Thompson became fascinated with the first “home computers”—the ones you plugged into your TV, like the Commodore 64, and programmed using BASIC. He was hooked, spending hours writing video games, music programs, and simple forms of artificial intelligence. The obsession stuck with him, even as he went to the University of Toronto to study poetry and political science. When he became a magazine writer in the 1990s, the Internet erupted into the mainstream, and he began reporting on how digital tools—everything from email to digital photography to instant messaging—was changing society.
Clive started out pessimistic about the impact of the Internet on life. He worried, like many social critics before him, that society and civility would fall off a cliff. But over the next twenty years he realized that when everyday people were given remarkable powers of self-expression on a global scale, amazing things happened more often than not: Wikipedia, YouTube “response” conversations, collaborative art, crazy news forms of writing like TV recaps, collaborative problem-solving, and the ESP-like awareness that comes from the status-update universe.
Today, Thompson is one of the most prominent technology writers—respected for keeping his distance from Silicon Valley hype and doing deeply-reported, long-form magazine stories that get beyond headlines and harness the insights of science, literature, history and philosophy. He specializes in writing not merely on the inventors of technologies, but how everyday people use these them—often quite unpredictably. In addition to the New York Times Magazine and Wired, he writes for Mother Jones and Smithsonian. He is of the longest-running bloggers, having launched his science-and-tech blog Collision Detection since 2002. In his spare time he’s also a musician, performing in The Delorean Sisters and writing original music as part of the duo Cove. He is married and lives in Brooklyn with his two children.
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (August 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007427794
- ISBN-13: 978-0007427796
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces