Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better

by Clive Thompson

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Overview

A revelatory and timely look at how technology boosts our cognitive abilities—making us smarter, more productive, and more creative than ever

It’s undeniable—technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson delivers a resounding “yes.” In Smarter Than You Think, Thompson shows that every technological innovation—from the written word to the printing press to the telegraph—has provoked the very same anxieties that plague us today. We panic that life will never be the same, that our attentions are eroding, that culture is being trivialized. But, as in the past, we adapt—learning to use the new and retaining what is good of the old. Smarter Than You Think embraces and extols this transformation, presenting an exciting vision of the present and the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143125822
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 789,596
Product dimensions: 5.47(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Clive Thompson is a contributor for the New York Times Magazineand Wired. He also writes for Fast Company and appears regularly on many NPR programs, CNN, Fox News, and NY1, among other news outlets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read an Excerpt

The “extended mind” theory of cognition argues that the reason humans are so intellectually dominant is that we’ve always outsourced bits of cognition, using tools to scaffold our thinking into ever-more-rarefied realms. Printed books amplified our memory. Inexpensive paper and reliable pens made it possible to externalize our thoughts quickly. Studies show that our eyes zip around the page while performing long division on paper, using the handwritten digits as a form of prosthetic short-term memory. “These resources enable us to pursue manipulations and juxtapositions of ideas and data that would quickly baffle the unaugmented brain,” as Andy Clark, a philosopher of the extended mind, writes.
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Smarter Than You Think"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Clive Thompson.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Jane McGonigal

There's good news in this dazzling book: Technology is not the enemy. Smarter Than You Think reports on how the digital world has helped individuals harness a powerful, collaborative intelligence—becoming better problem-solvers and more creative human beings. - Jane McGonigal, PhD, Author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

From the Publisher

“Powerful and rigorously thought out … Smarter Than You Think is excellent and necessary in its entirety, covering everything from the promise of artificial intelligence to how technology is changing our ambient awareness.”
— Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
 
“[A] lucid and distinctly hopeful study of the ways in which modern tools are changing how we read, think, write, and act.” — The New Yorker
 
“A well-framed celebration of how the digital world will make us bigger, rather than diminish us.”
Kirkus
 
“[A] judicious and insightful book on machine intelligence.” — Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review
 
“[An] entertaining and well-researched celebration of modern communication.” —O Magazine

"We should be grateful to have such a clear-eyed and lucid interpreter of our changing technological culture as Clive Thompson. Smarter Than You Think is an important, insightful book about who we are, and who we are becoming."
—Joshua Foer, New York Times bestselling author of Moonwalking with Einstein
 
"Almost without noticing it, the Internet has become our intellectual exoskeleton. Rather than just observing this evolution, Clive Thompson takes us to the people, places and technologies driving it, bringing deep reporting, storytelling and analysis to one of the most profound shifts in human history."
Chris Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Makers, Free, and The Long Tail
 
"There's good news in this dazzling book: Technology is not the enemy.  Smarter Than You Think reports on how the digital world has helped individuals harness a powerful, collaborative intelligence—becoming better problem-solvers and more creative human beings."
—Jane McGonigal, PhD, Author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
 
"Thompson declares a winner in the cognitive fight between human and computers: both together. Smarter Than You Think is an eye-opening exploration of the ways computers think better with humans attached, and vice-versa."
—Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus
 

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