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Being Digital (1995)
by Nicholas Negroponte
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An enthusiastic but naive forecast that misses the social, political and economic choices in technological development; this is a forgettable book very much limited by its time and place of origin. ( )
I was a volunteer for OLPC (one of his projects that came out of the MIT Media lab in 2007) and saw some of vision in that project and people like Walter Bender (who is mentioned in the book). He is a visionary person for things he worked on and saw. The book is from the 90s, when the internet was just starting to be popular. It shows vision in so many areas and is plain spoken as to make it accessible to average people. Even now you can see things he imagined unfolding like the Amazon Alexa, which enables people to 'do something' rather than work on a computer, keyboard and mouse, by using a hands-free technological agents.
Would have been a good read 10 years ago. The author got some things right, but a lot of the predictions -- or at least a lot of the focus -- is wrong. This was written at the dawn of the Internet. CD-ROM's were still a big thing, and dvd's hadn't appeared yet.
As a study into what we thought the future would hold, it was interesting. But I kept wanting to tell the author to shut up about things like digital, connected toasters. It was a dumb idea, and no one ever wanted such a thing anyway.
Back in 1995 this book opened a lot of eyes has to what to digital revolution could for and to society.
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Wikipedia in English (4)
In lively, mordantly witty prose, Negroponte decodes the mysteries--and debunks the hype--surrounding bandwidth, multimedia, virtual reality, and the Internet, and explains why such touted innovations as the fax and the CD-ROM are likely to go the way of the BetaMax. "Succinct and readable. . . . If you suffer from digital anxiety . . . here is a book that lays it all out for you."--Newsday.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)303.4833Social sciences Social Sciences Social Processes Social change Causes of change Development of science and technology Communication, information technology
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