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Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future
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Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,205 ratings  ·  127 reviews
This "brilliant and provocative" (Walter Isaacson) guide shares nine principles to adapt and survive the technological changes shaping our future from the director of the MIT Media Lab and a veteran Wired journalist.

The world is more complex and volatile today than at any other time in our history. The tools of our modern existence are getting faster, cheaper, and smaller
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Grand Central Publishing
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
> Too much water.
>> Not enough dense material.
>>> Not illuminating enough.
>>>> Too many truisms and generalities.
All of which is especially irritating coming from an author onboarding a topic about our 'faster future'. Why couldn't this book have been halved? Or quartered? Or condensed into a digest?
Hector Puigcerver
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was reading Alice in Wonderland at the same time as Whiplash. I always read one book of fiction and one of non-fiction at the same time. The combination of reading these two books together was perfect to shake my subconscious and bring it to embrace the uncertainty of the world we live in by giving me the tools to navigate it with my imagination.

If fact, Lewis Carroll is cited on the chapter that explains Compasses over maps (Serendipity in action?). Alice did not have an exact map to know whe
Paul C. Stalder
Philosophy, sociology, psychology, biology, physics, history; this book mirrors the timetable of a freshman in general studies. But it does so in a way that captures your imagination and forces you to ask the big questions about the future of our race. What will come next? How do we go forward? This guidebook to the future is easy to read, but hard to fully comprehend. Countless times I found myself putting it down to mull over the point that had been made. Perhaps the most surprising feature of ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Learning, we argue, is something you do for yourself. Education is something done to you."

Joi Ito was appointed the director of the MIT Media Lab in 2011. His appointment was considered "radical but brilliant" because he wasn't a college graduate. His accomplishments are wide and varied outside of academia and listed as activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, chairman of creative commons.

Whiplash distills Joi Ito's nine principles of the Media Lab in book form:

1. Disobedience over complian
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, one of several “things are changing fast and in multiple directions all at the same time!” books recently published, another being Thomas Friedman’s "Thank You For Being Late: an Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration," which I’m in the middle of reading.

Rather than breaking new ground, Ito and Howe’s book usefully collects and organizes a group of common themes, or maybe memes, that have bubbled up over the last decade or so of books, TED talks and the like
Travis Scher
Jan 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this one because co-author Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, is a fascinating guy and a true thought leader in technology. Unfortunately, after a solid introduction, it rapidly devolved into a typical fluffy business book full of buzzwords and skewed anecdotes. Save your time and money.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Five stars for concepts, 2 stars for writing. Feels like it was initially a series of essays, and as a compiled text there's a lot of repetition.

Joi Ito is the current head of the MIT Media Lab, and this book talks both about their approach and their understanding of our increasingly technological future.

April Johnson
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On some level, this book is really just about MIT. But it's a really great book about MIT.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Key Highlights
The communications (the Internet) and technological revolution (Moore's law) are not just changing the world, they're changing change itself. Change is now exponential.

Three conditions that define the Network Age:
1. Asymmetry: Costs and benefits are no longer proportional in size (cost of innovation has never been lower)
2. Complexity: The intensity of complexity depends on heterogeneity, network, interdependency, adaptation.
3. Uncertainty: We live in an age where admission of ignor
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
Multiple waves of technological advancements, chief among them the internet and manifestations of Moore's law, have rendered the world a complex place. Asymmetry, complexity and uncertainty are the defining ethos of this era, and not necessarily by choice. How can one navigate these times, that's the theme of the book.
Joi Ito and Jeff Howe have divided their approach into nine themes. Less prescription, more direction and food for thought. Many of them share an undercurrent of thought, or are e
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am generally skeptical about books by futurists although one could make a case that the head of the MIT Media Lab is uniquely qualified to do this kind of speculation. Ito makes the case that the world has changed and that nine principles will force companies and organizations to think differently. He then goes through the principles - Emergence over authority; Pull over push; Compasses over maps; Risk over safety; Disobedience over compliance; Practice over theory; Diversity over expertise/ab ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most exciting books about innovation that I've read recently. From cybersecurity to blockchain, from AI to Scratch. Everything explained clearly, a great introduction to the brave new world.
Of course, the authors are in MIT Media lab and Scratch fanclubs, so some promotion was inevitable. Other than that - great read.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very thought-provoking book on the future of innovation, and on the future affected by acceleration of technological innovation. Also, how we can be prepared for it.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
GOOD ISH. I just finished it today so I need some time to process, but I've definitely written some life notes from this engaging book.
Bobby Jones
Oct 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was somewhat astoundingly vapid and forgettable, even among the business and future studies genres. The typography was nice, I guess.
A detailed account of Ito's Nine Principles of MIT's Media Lab, which, though I do not completely agree with, certainly hold quite some values and insights into an ever-changing future. I find the early chapters of the book more convincing and memorable, with appropriate examples and reasonable explanations; as I dived deeper into the contents it became less satisfying in that facts and anecdotes piled up without adequate elaborations attached. Out of all 9 principles (or rather I'd say 9 popula ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Joi Ito’s Whiplash described a diverse array of axioms for innovative creation. Iconoclasm pervaded throughout Joi’s work. The operational status quo established an almost predictable formula for prosperity after World War 2. Large companies dominated the landscape of business: McDonald’s, Walmart, GM, and GE. IBM, in particular, and similar companies such as Motorola followed suit, and the ramifications of these innovators transcended classical big business models because they opened the door f ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this book due to Joi Ito's reputation as the director of Media Lab, founder of Creative Commons and all around interesting person. Unfortunately, it turned out to be an engaging and well-written stream of New Economy boosterism of the kind that would make Clay Shirky blush. While Shirky could have been forgiven for Internet naiveté ten years ago, in 2017 there is simply no excuse for it.

There were a couple of interesting Media Lab related anecdotes (the account of the trip t
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book tries to be two things at the same time and it suffers on both ends, because of that. It tries to be a step-by-step how-to guide as well as a philosophical text, which dilutes the structure, for me.

That being said, I enjoyed the stories which are eye-opening, amazing and inspiring but it reads a bit like an autobiography, an insider's view. Which is great, but I was expecting something a little less personal and more universal.

Anywho. Not a bad read.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alvin Toffler, who recently passed on, wrote about the rapid rate of change that society was experiencing and suggested that outposts be built where new technologies be tested on communes of humans, in order to ensure that the populace at large wouldn't be shocked by the rapid changes.

Joi Ito and Jeff Howe in Whiplash suggest another way. Retreating into a village is not an option, as they note that "Change doesn’t care if you’re ready. Change outpaced humans sometime late in the last century.
Bert van der Vaart
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you can ignore the sometimes unbelievable self-satisfaction which is all too often associated with top academics--here associated with MIT's Media Lab-- Whiplash is a useful summary of some of the major trends in technology that are affecting business, economies and therefore the world. The tendency of large bureaucratic and previously successful companies to stop looking at creative destruction and seek to prevent cannibalizing past successful business models seems set to create a record num ...more
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: get-from-library
The examples and ideas in this book are thought-provoking. It is a few years old and it seems that hardly anyone has read it. I hesitate to recommend it for two reasons: 1) It's less of a fully formed narrative and more of a collection of loose concepts with some examples from the authors' professional experiences. 2) Since publication, Ito has resigned under a shadow at MIT, given his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.

However, I will say the book's loose concepts (principles) are helpful in shaping my t
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to survive our faster future? Can futures get faster, or is it only human beings who can? Do human beings even get faster, or do they merely lose track of time?

All those questions aside, Whiplash is an excellent exploration of strategies for interacting with a world whose technology has outstripped its understanding and wisdom. In its neatly organized chapters, it compares and contrasts competing responses to particular stimuli or systems, focusing on more human-centered solutions. But the
C. Hollis Crossman
Joi Ito heads the MIT Media Lab and Jeff Howe is the journalist who coined the term "crowdsourcing" back in 2006. Their book is pretty cool, but for businesspeople, entrepeneurs, Internet gurus, and organizations, it's invaluable. They describe the Internet-dominated world we currently live in, and warn us that no one can predict the future of that world, but that based on the current beyond-rapid rate of change and innovation we can expect only the unexpected. To adapt, therefore, requires a ro ...more
William Schram
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Whiplash Joichi Ito and Jeff Howe combine forces to bring us this book. Two basic ideas have developed far enough to dethrone the old idea of centralized management. With the Internet allowing for instant communication across the globe and devices getting smaller and faster, eventually, we will reach limits to what we can do. The main idea is that old centralized methods of command are far too slow to respond to threats. The book uses the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster as an example; old centrali ...more
Shannon Clark
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books in the past year.

A quick but deep read. Anyone grappling with the rapid pace of change (in all sectors and across the planet) should read this fantastic book by Joichi Ito and Jeff Howe.

[full disclosure - Joi is a friend and fellow not quite a graduate of the University of Chicago - I am far from unbiased]

Whiplash is a relatively quick read (though in good academic form full of footnotes for further reading) but one that will likely shape how you approach dealin
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
We are entering an era of exponential growth in technology with increasing interconnected networks to a point where the technology is outstripping our ability to understand it. We are seeing characteristics of asymmetry, uncertainty and complexity appearing everywhere and the changes are happening very rapidly.

In order to be prepared for this era, the authors - Joi Ito, Director of MIT's Media Lab and Jeff Howe, a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab and Assistant Professor at Northeastern Uni
Nicholas Zhu
There's nothing new in the Sun. The book is not quite what I expected, most of the time it was telling stories that not even quite fit in the ideas(principles) that the authors were advocating, sometimes seemed to be advertising too much. Among the 9 principles covered in the book, a few of them are old-school, if you ever read Kevin Kelly's 'Out of control'.

The principles I would take away would be 'Compass over Map' and 'Resilience over Strength' which did match the main theme on how to survi
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito's book is about the technological changes that are shaping our future and his 9 basic principles for coping with that change as an individual or organization. IMHO it mentions MIT Media Lab too much. It's also very much focused on the academic world. Both are quite easy to overcome, luckily, and the book shares a great number of interesting stories.

The book really shines in making me think. At a couple of points in this book the principles supported by the stories
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I liked it. I found it to be very interesting. As an older person who matured under the "old management" system the book was a little technical at times but it was necessary. The book made it clear that mankind needs to operate it's businesses and most aspects of life in a new way that is in tune with current technology and related advances. I was surprised a little about the need for diversity not just in training but in people (personality, background, culture) as well. It makes sense. I don't ...more
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