I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted
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I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Are we driving off a digital cliff and heading for disaster, unable to focus, maintain concentration, or form the human bonds that make life worth living? Are media and business doomed and about to be replaced by amateur hour?

The world, as Nick Bilton—with tongue-in-cheek—shows, has been going to hell for a long, long time, and what we are experiencing is the twenty-first-...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Crown Business (first published 2010)
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My initial review of this title in December 2010 was unkind and perhaps even unfair to the author. Since that time I have spent a great deal more time becoming involved with online media and social networking, and I'm not completely sure he isn't right in some major ways. Now, in April 2011, the below more closely reflects my current thinking.

Years ago I read a book by Jeff Gomez called Print is Dead. Gomez electrified me by writing something we know but may have never articulated: (to paraphra...more
The author, a technology reporter for the New York Times, shows the ways in which media have changed due to technology and how in turn this change shapes consumers’ expectations of how media are consumed. He argues against the Luddite claims that short-form, rapid-fire media “bytes” are destroying our brains (though he allows that our brains are changing due to how we use technology). He also argues that despite the radical nature of recent change, and the ability to acquire vast amounts of spec...more
Jeff - ISB Utecht
Just finished this book while traveling. Nick does a great job of outlining how our world has changed around us, and how we're struggling to take it all in. We know that society is changing we see it in the use of cell phones, the popularity of the Internet and around social-network sites.

What we're going to continue to see on the Web is more and more social-networking sites coming together to create communities. Whether it's a community at school, a community of students, or a community where y...more
Kevin Connery
Possibly better if read as a soapbox rant, or fiction rather than non-fiction. The author tries to make a case about some things and cites a lot of research, but, while he’s honest enough to list the counter-points, he hand-waves almost all of them as not applicable or wrong (without any support for that position), and touts the points from the studies that he does agree with--again, often without offering any more than his opinion that it’s correct.��Granted, he does collect a lot of studies ab...more
Maybe I read too many books like this, but this one didn't bring anything new to the table.

Ch. 1 - Porn has always adapted to new technologies.
Ch. 2 - The printing press, radio, and tv also changed the culture.
ch. 3, 4 - digital natives dont consume news and entertainment like we do.
ch. 5, 7 - is mulititasking bad or just different?
ch. 6 - social networking
Ch. 8 - yep. it's changed alright.

If any of this seems new, this one is probably for you. If not, you could have probably written this book y...more
Brian Mackey
Memo to corporate — if you read just one paragraph in this book, make it this one:

"It’s not enough to sit idly by, ignoring and quieting the employee inside your company who doesn’t buy CDs anymore, or canceled her cable television, or started playing video games instead of reading a book, or stopped buying the print edition of the newspaper. These people are trying to tell you about the future and how it works. It’s up to you to listen."
Mar 05, 2011 Christine is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
In the middle of reading this now on my Kindle app, so far it's excellent.
Nice read...I highly recommend for anyone thinking technology is ruining our society/culture...

Are we driving off a digital cliff and heading for disaster, unable to focus, maintain concentration, or form the human bonds that make life worth living? Are media and business doomed and about to be replaced by amateur hour?

The world, as Nick Bilton—with tongue-in-cheek—shows, has been going to hell for a long, long time, and what we are experiencing is the twenty-first-century version of the fear th...more
It's the apocalypse! No. Not really. As anyone with some knowledge of history knows, significant technological change leads to fear and loathing. So we aren't alone in trying to figure out how it works, or will work.

I like that Bilton doesn't take the subject matter too seriously. Social media gurus spend enough time doing that. Though he does fall prey to some business-speak now and again which detracts from his mostly accessible writing style.

He covers the porn industry as leading-edge innovat...more
I think I would have liked this book better if it offered me new information, but I am of his generation, already speaking his language. His book is persuasive to a generation older than me, with my iPhone streaming a personalized Reader feed full of news. But if I handed this book to someone who was a little older than me and prone to Luddite-ness, I think it would definitely have value.

I liked his letter to the media dinosaurs at the end. Because he's right, things will never look backward, o...more
I usually loathe books like these, but this one was pretty decent. As in all tales of changing paradigms, I’d rather that my superiors had read this than me. For all the back cover's smugness about incorporating new technologies, I thought the QR code implementation didn’t go far enough in enhancing the reading experience. On the other hand, Bilton speaks very clearly to the need for content providers to:

1. Make it easy-as-pie for customers to obtain content in whatever form they want it. (In ot...more
This was a great read on the topical subject of technology, social networks, and the way in which they increasingly coming a big part of our lives. For most of us, we can think back to just two years ago and how our relationships with our mobile devices has changed and get a glimpse of what's ahead, if not here already.

The author is very well-informed and involved as a digital native himself working for The New York Times. He keeps most everything on an upbeat note, mindfully taking into accoun...more
Tim Niland
Bilton is the lead blogger for the technology blog Bits at the New York Timesas well as a researcher in their media lab, so he has a unique position to look at the evolution of media and technology. What he tries to do over the course of this book is look at how emerging technologies whether on the Internet or mobile communications are changing the way in which people use information and interact with each other. To that end he interviews many different people from fellow journalists to technolo...more
Kevin O'Brien
I think this book would be a good one for your older relative who doesn't understand everything going on in the online world. It covers how old businesses are going over the cliff, and new business models will need to be created. If you are like me, and have been parked in front of a computer screen with an internet connection every day for the last 15 years, you probably won't find a whole lot here you didn't already know. So it is not a bad book, but nothing terribly revolutionary here. Yes, w...more
Tim Mcdougall
Nick brings some great examples and anecdotes to this book, and the idea of anchor communities -- that the news you consume is no longer determined so much by an editor as by your community of trusted friends and associates -- is a truly important concept that is really the key idea of the book.

I did find some of the other chapters, for example the section on texting abbreviations and language, to be somewhat remedial. I would have liked him to explore the concept of anchor communities more -- h...more
I liked this book. It offers a theory that we live in a time of transition, comparable to the industrial revolution and probably more accurately, the invention of the printing press. Bilton theorizes that the Internet and other "new media" are changing how we consume and process information.

Even though the book is over a year old, Bilton uses QR codes that link to online content. Here is where a good idea goes south. I think that it is wasted on the traditional paper bound copy of the book, bec...more
OK, I am trying really hard to embrace the ever-quickening pace of technological advances without feeling left behind. This book makes a good case in placing the internet age within the continuum of other historical world-changing shifts in communications (such as the printing press, television) with a message that our lives and brains will adapt to the new technologies. BUT, he also quotes the poet Yeats "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." and end...more
This book challenged me to rethink my rules about the use of cellphones and ipods during class. I am trying to be less legalistic. So far most students are fine. As in most of life, the few who are not able to handle the freedom will ruin it for the rest of us. I would say no more than a dozen students are unable to monitor their own use of the devices. That leaves 138 who are able to focus on classwork with only minimal electronic device usage.
Nick Bilton makes a nice case for the awesomeness...more
Vratislav Šlajer
It reads as long NY Times article and even though there is lots of interesting research mentioned it does not say anything really surprising. But what is great about the book is its optimism and openness to the new. Basically it says that our world is changing and even though this transition might be bumpy there is no need to worry. We have been there before and change is good. It turned me in to a techno-optimist, at least now in a days after reading it. I would definitely recommend it. And it...more
Dan Sussman
For those who follow and are engaged in the rapidly changing, computer-mediated world of information, much of Bilton's breezy, yet informative work will be old news. I picked up a few interesting nuggets to ponder here and there, but there was little new there for me. Nevertheless, for anyone suffering future shock/confusion/aggravation with the changes wrought through the web, smartphones, social networks, etc., Bilton's book is perfect. He takes the reader by the hand and gently guides him/her...more
Davis Graham
Great view of how technology has created a confluence of software and ideas into concrete tools.
Some of the book wasn't new, it was stuff that most people who have used the internet know.

Other bits were new and obviously well researched and worth reading.

Not a lot of predictions for the future, as hey nobody knows what that will bring but still it is a pretty good stake in the ground about what the online world is changing in society.

I was pleased to see that the New York Times has such a talented writer really up on technology and the bigger picture, who really knows his stuff. I was depr...more
A bit out of date, naturally, but otherwise this book was a solid look at the future of media technology. It made me excited for the kinds of storytelling we'll see in the next decade... lots of potential! Of course, the most interesting chapter was the one on the porn industry. Haha!
Karen Mardahl
Feb 09, 2013 Karen Mardahl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karen by: Alan Houser
I actually finished this book ages ago and forgot to take it off my list. I guessed at the completion date.

This book wasn't really for me, but it is for those who are insecure or unsure about the technology filling our lives. I won't say I knew everything he wrote about, but I could nod at all of it. It was all familiar. That is why there was nothing very revolutionary about it.

However, give it to your favourite Luddite. :) It's a must-read for them. Have Nick Bilton tell them what you've been t...more
Nick Bilton is a technology writer for the New York Times. In this book, he talks about how technology and the Internet are changing media and our entire world rapidly. He puts a positive spin on the demise of "traditional" ways of doing things, and opened my mind to a lot of possibilities I hadn't thought of for our future digital world. He also included some interesting stuff about how our news is becoming personalized and curated in new and individual ways. A fascinating read.
It is repetitive, and not as good as a book like it written by Malcolm Gladwell or Stephen Johnson would have written. (Bilton is clearly writing in the Gladwellian mode.) But what he's talking about is important. I'm using this book in an honors course about multi-modal writing, and how to learn in a world where technology is in flux. This constitutes my first book in the 52 in 52 project I am undertaking for the new year.
Mike Violano
This book is really about publishing, media and content. The title is a bit grand for the book's actual content. The greatest value is for the publishing and media industries and how their future is forever changed by technology and the "new" (social) media that people are embracing and consuming. Especially enjoyed Bilton's views on stories as "experiences" and how the media needs to cultivate relationships with audiences.
Heidi Paavilainen
Like some others commented, most of what Nick Bilton writes is not new but I'm quite actively following gadget developments and digitalisation. Book is easy reading and could be a nice introduction. Similarly as others, I also think that the title is misleading because it's not about future (but past rather than even present) and especially it is not about how it works because there is very little actual use scenarios.
I appreciate when books on current technology are not entirely laudatory, or entirely damning. Is the internet changing our brains yes, much like reading did. Does it have some downsides absolutely. Bilton has a good historical perspective of technological change. More could be said about privacy issues with most of the innovations he described, but at least we are not going to hell in a hand basket.

I did enjoy this book. It was comfortable, covering a bunch of concepts I'd been thinking about. That said, it wasn't necessarily earth-shattering for me. I felt like there was nothing absolutely new here, but rather an overview for members of the publishing industry, or elder people who weren't spending a ton of time online and maybe weren't aware of how people were getting news online these days.
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Nick Bilton is a columnist and reporter for The New York Times, covering technology, business, privacy, design and culture. He is the author the critically acclaimed book "Hatching Twitter," and currently lives in San Francisco with his dog, Pixel.
More about Nick Bilton...
Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

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