Being Digital
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Being Digital

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  872 ratings  ·  49 reviews
As the founder of MIT's Media Lab and a popular columnist for Wired, Nicholas Negroponte has amassed a following of dedicated readers. Negroponte's fans will want to get a copy of Being Digital, which is an edited version of the 18 articles he wrote for Wired about "being digital."

Negroponte's text is mostly a history of media technology rather than a set of predictions

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Paperback, 249 pages
Published January 4th 1996 by Hodder and Stoughton (first published 1995)
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Luke Peterson
Feb 20, 2007 Luke Peterson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people trying to find a reference point in the technology revolution
Shelves: favorites
I read this ten years ago and remember it as one of the most prescient books ever. Negroponte spends a and elot of time filling in the gaps between what you were supposed to know in the late 90's about the rise of the digital era, and what you actually absorbed from everyone else who were also just pretending to know what the difference between digital and analog meant.

He's got a lot of really interesting predictions for the near future, many of which have proven correct.

Do you know why CDs and...more
Inggita
Aug 06, 2007 Inggita rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: media/internet junkie
this is a seminal book on media - now we have the luxury of looking back and see if most of Negroponte's predictions have come true - and how it affect our lives. If you read this first, you will find Friedman's "The World is Flat" as merely a follower - since most of the things he found as an amazing way the world works nowadays were already in Negroponte's list 10 years earlier.
Damar Harsanto
This book is like my Bible in digital journey. I keep rereading it to find inspiration. My fave part is when Negroponte writes that he has seen a prototyp
e of touchscreen computer in early 1970s. Wow. Now people feel they are holding tech if they carry new tab, something which arent new at all
Pablo
No es lo que sucede, sino por qué sucede. De esa manera entendemos algo mejor la digitalización del mundo actual. El libro tiene años, y asusta bastante ver cómo la mayoría de sus predicciones se han ido cumpliendo, pero aún así merece la pena, porque las ideas básicas, los por qués, siguen siendo los mismos y sigue mereciendo la pena entenderlos.
bitchrepublic
fantastic overview - this guy has amazing insight. a good textbook for any students doing a communication degree
Jesse Stay
Prophetic. Although very ironic that the only way to read it is in atom form, instead of bit form.
Codfather
I really wished I had read this book 10 years ago. There is no doubt this man has a vivid view of the future digital world, and it would be extremely interesting to know what he thinks about the next 20 years.


Although Negropont's conclusions can be seen as incredible negative, unfortunately I think yet again he has nailed it, and if you read this book thinking you are the right side of the digital divide, I would think again.


I completely agree that the digital revolution has indeed changed the w...more
Natali
This is like reading a 15 year-old almanac. It is Nicholas Negroponte's vision for the challenges and privileges technology would bring about in our daily lives. He wrote it in 1995 and it is impressively predictive. It is as if he anticipated things like Digg, Google Reader, Hulu, DVRs, and Roku.

I was especially interested in his predictions for broadcast news. He says: "the economic models of media today are based almost exclusively on 'pushing' the information and entertainment out into the...more
MikeFromQueens
It was a long time ago, and now that I remember reading this book, I can say that it was not very memorable. The concept was rather pedestrian, from what I remember, that the digital wave of internet will replace the current media outlets. We can see that was as true and can compare that with the automobile replacing the horse... though we still have horses with us, and even the bicycle has morphed from a utility to a recreation. In fact, I am still reading actual books and paper periodicals, th...more
Brian
(2.5) Only interesting as a historical document (but he is of course accurate)

I had to rate this according to its readability and relevance now. It's not much when you measure it on those terms, but it was certainly impressive how he could sense the trends in our digital lives. Things like DVRs, ubiquitous computing (with handheld or wearable computing devices), GPS and voice navigation in our cars, video-on-demand etc.

He did rail against fax and the US approach to HDTV which may have been parti...more
Saša Tomislav
LANG=HR
Fenomenalna knjiga Wired kolumnista. Zanimljivo je da je autor disleksičan. Osnovao je "Media Lab" pri MIT-u gdje se bave sučeljima informacijskih sustava, komunikacijom ljudi i računala (HCI). Vizionar digitalne budućnosti, svijeta u kojem će se trgovati bitovima a ne atomima. O svedostupnosti interneta i o načinima filtriranja informacija za korisnike. Sviđa mi se ideja o porsonaliziranim izdanjima novina. O budućnosti TV govori kako većina industrijalaca budućnost televizije vidi u pob...more
Murray
At the time I read it I thought it was stellar. Almost everything predicted has come through. I have n doubt that his current predictions (circa 2014) will do the same
José Herrera
Increíble que en ese año el autor haya tenido tan claro el futuro de la tecnología por los próximos 20 años.
Kaethe
It's always entertaining to read predictions of the future, but I don't put a lot of stock in it.
Everton
Incredible vision of the future (now present).

His assertion rate looking for what cames true on the next 20 years after the book publication demonstrate clearly how deep is the author attached with "the digital" and how responsible him and the Media Lab are about the introduction of computers on our day by day life.
Ed Selkow
This was a book that opened up ideas that I am still working on.
Finn Nielsen
As if I am reading about the present.
Swankivy
I understand that I'm probably not the intended audience for this book, and I was assigned to read it when I was in college, so perhaps my one-star rating is biased. But putting that possibility aside, normally I'm pretty easy to please with nonfiction books even if I'm not knowledgeable about or interested in the subject . . . that is, if the author is good at drawing the audience in. I just really had to struggle to get through the book, and don't remember it well, so I don't think the author'...more
Peter
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.
mahatma
sudah ada edisi indonesianya ya?
wah,
keren nih buku. bukan hanya isinya yang merupakan ajakan utk menyadari datangnya medium baru [yang akan mengubah cara-cara kita berhubungan], namun juga rasanya buku ini pernah diedarkan di web dengan gratis. siapa saja boleh mengunduh buku ini di web. itu adalah sikap baru terhadap pengetahuan, yang di tempat kita [dan di tempat-tempat lain juga] masih diperlakukan sebgai barang langka yang harus disekap.
Michael
After 16 years, this is still a cutting-edge analysis of the impact that digital technology has had and is having on society. I bought a copy when it first came out and devoured in one day (it's more like a long essay). I go back and reread it every 5 years and it's still an exciting read.

Ironically, a book that celebrates the digital world is not available as an e-book. Shame on the publisher.
Mark
This book was a great read - technology is a bit out of date since it's now 15 years old, but Negroponte's vision of the future has largely actualized. His insight into where media needs to go from here I think is a vision that will be multiple decades in coming yet; content creators and interface architects could learn a lot from this book.
Timothy
Maybe I'm being unfair to this book. It is easy to read, and Negroponte is clearly brilliant. But it has little to offer the contemporary reader, except to show what people were thinking about in 1995. A lot of his predictions have come true in the interim, which is impressive but not really helpful.
Lindsay
Pretty old for being a book about the coming age of electronics and technology, but if you read it as an artifact rather than a predictor of things to come--you will realize just how far we have come in our technological advances, and that we are not too far from becoming cyborgs ourselves.
Daniel
Nov 01, 2010 Daniel marked it as not-read
Negroponte's text is mostly a history of media technology rather than a set of predictions for future technologies. In the beginning, he describes the evolution of CD-ROMs, multimedia, hypermedia, HDTV (high-definition television), and more.
Peder Bjerge
A must read for people seeking an insight of the visions of the digital sage of MIT. Though much of the content today might seems a little bit like "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt" it still puts a lot of the web 2.0 hype in perspective.
Sandeep
Having read this a bit late, I have to say a lot of things which Nicholas forecasted as the way forward for technology has come to pass. A very astute mind and a person one should absolutely follow if they are interested in technology.
Steve
I'm re-reading this and finding that what Nicholas Negroponte wrote years ago about the digital revolution has largely come to pass. What's most interesting is the way he can articulate the way digital changes our lives in concrete ways.
Lee
Even though it is now 15 years old it still is very useful, the theory of the change from atoms to bits is revolutionary. Negroponte named what has been going on: the move to a more and more digital world, like it or not.
Eric Bell
Feb 06, 2013 Eric Bell rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eric by: Chandler May
This book is a bit older, but you'll find that many of the predictions in the book have either come true or are well on their way to reality. There are some interesting technologies discussed that haven't yet come to fruition.
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