The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? [NOOK Book]


“Where I saw a thrilling and historic transformation in the world’s oldest idea—the future—other people saw only Target, Facebook, Google, and the government using their data to surveil, track, and trick them . . . But in fact, your data is your best defense against coercive marketing and intrusive government practices. Your data is nothing less than a superpower waiting to be harnessed.” —FROM THE INTRODUCTION

In the past, the future was ...
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The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?

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“Where I saw a thrilling and historic transformation in the world’s oldest idea—the future—other people saw only Target, Facebook, Google, and the government using their data to surveil, track, and trick them . . . But in fact, your data is your best defense against coercive marketing and intrusive government practices. Your data is nothing less than a superpower waiting to be harnessed.” —FROM THE INTRODUCTION

In the past, the future was opaque—the territory of fortune-tellers, gurus, and dubious local TV weathermen. But thanks to recent advances in computing and the reams of data we create through smartphone and Internet use, prediction models for individual behavior grow smarter and more sophisticated by the day. Whom you should marry, whether you’ll commit a crime or fall victim to one, if you’ll contract a specific strain of flu—even your precise location at any given moment years into the future—are becoming easily accessible facts. The naked future is upon us, and the implications are staggering.

Patrick Tucker draws on stories from health care to urban planning to online dating to reveal the shape of a future that’s ever more certain. In these pages you’ll meet scientists and inventors who can predict your behavior based on your friends’ Twitter updates. They are also hacking the New York City sewer system to predict environmental conditions, anticipating how much the weather a year from now will cost an individual farmer, figuring out the time of day you’re most likely to slip back into a bad habit, and guessing how well you’ll do on a test before you take it. You’ll learn how social networks like Facebook are using your data to turn you into an advertisement and why the winning formula for a blockbuster movie is more predictable than ever.

The rise of big data and predictive analytics means that governments and corporations are becoming much more effective at accomplishing their goals and at much less cost. Tucker knows that’s not always a good thing. But he also shows how we’ve gained tremendous benefits that we have yet to fully realize.

Thanks to the increased power of predictive science, we’ll be better able to stay healthy, invest our savings more wisely, learn faster and more efficiently, buy a house in the right neighborhood at the right time, avoid crime, thwart terrorists, and mitigate the consequences of natural disasters. What happens in a future that anticipates your every move? The surprising answer: we’ll live better as a result.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Big Data is watching you. While you were tweeting, texting, or lazily browsing news sites or online shoe stores, computer bots were busy scrutinizing your every word or click, amassing information that can predict your actions with ever-increasing precision. Patrick Tucker has a vested interest in watching these watchers: As deputy editor of Futurist magazine, he has contributed mightily to the growing literature on these digital snoopers. In The Naked Future, he answers his subtitle question with mind-boggling stories and facts about what will happen next in all our lives.

Publishers Weekly
Every time we swipe a debit card or a subway card, activate our GPS, or post on Facebook from our phones, we leave an electronic trail for others to follow. According to the Futurist magazine’s deputy editor Tucker, each of us now creates 1.8 megabytes of data a year using our devices in such ways. Thanks to the wonders of telemetry—the transmission of measurements of data—we are now on the edge of a world in which individuals and collective agencies will be able to use our data to predict many aspects of our lives. In this fascinating and gripping book, Tucker illustrates how such predictive powers will tell us about our personal health before we know it and how that health will affect others, where and when a crime might happen and who might become a victim of a crime, and when you might fall in love. As much as we wish to retain our privacy, even when using these devices, the future in which we stand naked to the world is closer than we imagine, according to Tucker. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
An upbeat view of big data as an empowering means for predicting the future. Futurist magazine deputy editor Tucker provides an anecdote-filled account of the many ways in which massive sets of data—the same digital information often used by governments and large corporations for privacy-invading tracking and surveillance—can be used by individuals to "live much more healthily, realize more of your own goals in less time [and] avoid inconvenience and danger." Based on interviews with hackers, entrepreneurs, scientists and others, the author argues that a "thrilling and historic transformation" lies ahead in our ability to predict the future using continuously sourced streams of information accessed via smartphones. Such information, distributed from the site of a fire or disaster as a live-stream video by anyone with a cellphone, can prepare emergency workers. In the same way, individuals bent on improving their personal health can track signals, physical states and other data to assess upcoming issues. Acting in groups, individuals can share highly personal health data and make it possible to predict strokes based on correlations among thousands of patients. Also, with better and faster reporting on new flu strains, it becomes possible to predict more accurately where a flu outbreak will go next. Tucker's exploration of computer-aided forecasting shows the growing role of big data in aspects of American life, including education, online dating, predictive policing and customer loyalty programs. He urges readers to become familiar with existing technologies that make it possible to collect big data (systems, networks and communities) and put it to work (apps, programs and platforms) and to understand how the data can be used, or abused, as many fear, by consumers, activists and regular people. A well-written consideration of how, "in the next two decades, we will be able to predict huge areas of the future with far greater accuracy than ever before in human history, including events long thought to be beyond the realm of human interference."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101599464
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/6/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 229,536
  • File size: 1,008 KB

Meet the Author

PATRICK TUCKER is the deputy editor of The Futurist magazine, as well as director of communications for the World Future Society. His writing has appeared in the Sun, Slate, MIT Technology Review, The Wilson Quarterly, Johns Hopkins Magazine, Encyclopedia Britannica online, and The Utne Reader, among other outlets. Tucker won the 2006 Barry Hannah Prize in short fiction and the 2006 Eugene Walter Award for the Novel. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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