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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

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  697 ratings  ·  94 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-
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Crown Business (first published 2010)
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Dec 27, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jeff - ISB Utecht
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-tech
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
Nisha D
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was written in 2010, and holds up moderately well.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology, adult
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
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, skimmed
This book would have been a decent read ten years ago. Nothing dates faster than tech books.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Kevin Connery
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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 abou ...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."
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: icebox
Mar 05, 2011 is currently reading it
In the middle of reading this now on my Kindle app, so far it's excellent. ...more
Jun 23, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2011-12
In many of my adult computer classes I often find myself having to explain why technology is so important in our daily lives and why it is going to continue to be important as time goes on. I have many students who argue against this, saying that the computer is only a tool for Facebook and they want to have real human interactions with real people. Basically, they say that the computer is bad news, and don’t want or need to use it.

In his book, ‘I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works’, Nic
Ms. Warren
Sep 17, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5: This was an assigned reading for my MLIS program but I didn't mind it. It's a bit dated (2010) so some of the tech references and various details are not connected to present reality. However, there were several times the author speculated on the future of things in the information world and he was spot on. His identification of influencers and their sway over trends was especially impressive! ...more
Kristin Emmons
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
The ideas -while a little dated at this point - are definitely worthy of consideration and thought. An enjoyable read.
Paul Young
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I like the way the author laid out the history, present, and possible futures of our changing tech/info world. It had me thinking about it instead of simply living in it.
Andy Smith
Feb 13, 2022 rated it really liked it
From the title, I thought this was gonna be one of those "big bad Internet" books. Not so. But, I knew most of the material here. ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 13, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jun 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Tim Mcdougall
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Vratislav Šlajer
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Karen Mardahl
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2010
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 Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair, where he writes about technology, politics, business and culture. He is also a contributor to CNBC, and a former columnist and reporter for The New York Times.

He has written three books, including The New York Times bestseller, “Hatching Twitter,” which chronicled the turmoil and chaos inside Twitter as it grew from a fledgling startup to a m

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  Mateo Askaripour is a Brooklyn-based writer whose first novel, Black Buck—which Colson Whitehead calls a “mesmerizing novel, executing a...
33 likes · 5 comments
“There’s an all too human tendency to believe that what we know and experience now is the way it will and always should be.” 0 likes
“This new way of consuming information and storytelling online doesn’t bode well for individuals or companies that create mediocre content and cookie-cutter storytelling. The new mentality says that if it’s not good or important, the group won’t share it. Furthermore, it no longer matters who created the content; if it doesn’t satisfy us, we’re not going to share or filter something up the food chain.” 0 likes
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