Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future

Today, not only is everything digital getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate, w.......

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Title:Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future
Author:Joichi Ito
Rating:
ISBN:1455544590
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:288 pages

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future Reviews

  • Paul C. Stalder
    Nov 24, 2016

    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

    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 this book was the inclusion of practical, simple steps on how to adjust your own life/business to the ever-changing world. If you don't feel like reading through the entire book, although I recommend that you do if only for the bits of trivia contained within, a skim of the final pages of each chapter will give you the tangible course that Ito and Howe are pushing for. While it may not change your daily life, the way you approach business will not come out of this book unscathed.

  • Karen
    Dec 04, 2016

    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

    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 know if society can operate in the new system until the people in charge come from those who understand and aren't afraid to leave the old behind. A very thought provoking book.

  • Darius
    Dec 11, 2016

    Review coming soon.

  • Hector Puigcerver
    Jan 11, 2017

    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

    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 where she was going, but she followed the rabbit who was her compass. With a map to go back home safely from the riverbed she would not have had an adventure of imagination and discovery.

    In the chapter about Practice over theory, Joi and Jeff go over why traditional directed research is broken and why undirected trial and error is bringing us more innovation than ever. Quoting the book: "Putting practice over theory means recognizing that in a faster future, in which change has become a new constant, there is o en a higher cost to waiting and planning than there is to doing and then improvising. "

    I also loved all the stories and examples based on how each of the principles drive real innovation. I loved the ones about biotechnology. I learned about how synthetic biology started from the serendipitous discovery Knight experimenting with bioluminescent squids and how from there we got the technology to make iGem posible.

    The book applies its principles to itself. It does not force the reader to "be educated about facts", it is a framework to help the reader think better, not only in a personal level but also to help groups of people, organizations, scientists, artists, engineers, designers, companies and governments to apply the 9 principles to better navigate the fast and unpredictable world we live in by being more resilient and I would say, even antifragile.

    Whiplash taught me how to think better.

    And now, I feel it is the perfect moment to start reading William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition", because "once we learn to see a certain pattern you begin to recognize it everywhere you look".

  • Lauren
    Dec 26, 2016

    Excitement for the future doesn't happen very often for me, but reading this book was a reminder of network concepts and complexity are ripe for a much happier time to those willing to listen, understand and implement in all facets of life.

    A must read for anyone feeling helpless or directionless and be energized for a more complicated future that's already here. Simple explanation and recent case studies make it approachable to anyone.

  • Mohamed
    Jan 14, 2017

    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.

    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. These are exponential times. And they have given rise to three conditions that define our era... asymmetry, uncertainty, and complexity".

    This is not a book predicting the future. While it's true that if you ever wanted to get a sense of what technology meant for society the first person you turn to is Joi. And that was true even before he immersed himself in the MIT Media Lab, the place you'd go to see the possibilities that technology held. Yet the premise of the book is around thinking about uncertainty.

    So how to face this future? Joi provides nine guiding principles:

    1. Emergence over Authority

    2. Pull over Push

    3. Compasses over Maps

    4. Risk over Safety

    5. Disobedience over Compliance

    6. Practice over Theory

    7. Diversity over Ability

    8. Resilience over Strength

    9. Systems over Objects

    I won't expand on these (read the book!) but will say that they fundamentally challenge the existing way most organisations (and people) approach planning and decision making.

    And while the book is not about predicting the future, it does provide a stellar view into some of the fundamental innovations taking place today. In explaining the nine guiding principles, Joi and Jeff take us on a tour of Bitcoin and the Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Gene-editing, Bioengineering, how to think about investing in innovation, advances in Hardware hacking in Shenzen, whether one should learn to code, and how non-profits can be more effective. It's sweeping and brilliant.

  • Karyad
    Jan 31, 2017

    I like the first three sections, but I drifted and couldn't finish the book. (I skimmed, trying to get back into it, because I could tell there was some cool stuff being talked about...but it just didn't click. Sorry! I tried!) The first three sections discuss "emergence over authority" (crowdsourcing), "push over pull" (crowdsourcing and bitcoin), and "compasses over maps" (teaching that uses fun as a learning tool). I liked the example of an app called Scratch, a video game which gets kids flu

    I like the first three sections, but I drifted and couldn't finish the book. (I skimmed, trying to get back into it, because I could tell there was some cool stuff being talked about...but it just didn't click. Sorry! I tried!) The first three sections discuss "emergence over authority" (crowdsourcing), "push over pull" (crowdsourcing and bitcoin), and "compasses over maps" (teaching that uses fun as a learning tool). I liked the example of an app called Scratch, a video game which gets kids fluent in code-type thinking at an early age. There were parts that really worked and I liked, but there were also parts that weren't relevant to my interests, or at least failed to grab me as a general reader versus an industry specialist. Or maybe I was tired / in a funk / not in the mood to try and tackle these concepts and should've read some popcorn fiction instead? Anyways, that's my take.

  • Robert Miller
    Jan 20, 2017

    A major emphasis of this book is the importance of collective efforts by the masses to create systems that otherwise could not be completed by individuals working on their own. The authors use ant colonies, human cell structure, and neurons to illustrate the value of collective effort: The individual parts form together to form the desired result. Input by the many helps to fund startups through crowdsourcing and promotes inclusiveness.The authors examine some researchers and entities that are u

    A major emphasis of this book is the importance of collective efforts by the masses to create systems that otherwise could not be completed by individuals working on their own. The authors use ant colonies, human cell structure, and neurons to illustrate the value of collective effort: The individual parts form together to form the desired result. Input by the many helps to fund startups through crowdsourcing and promotes inclusiveness.The authors examine some researchers and entities that are using the latest technology and how innovation is sparked by creativity and individualism: “You don’t win a Nobel Peace Prize by doing what you are told to do.” By turning to the general public to help solve problems, new ideas not envisioned by the so-called greatest minds on the subject, often emerge, the authors contend. The authors wander through a variety of subjects, and the book lacks cohesiveness at times. One moment they are discussing innovative practices in a lab in Paris, and they turn to issues of gender and racial inequalities in the workplaces—especially companies currently profiting from the internet and digital revolution. Predictions about the advancement of artificial intelligence and how the judicial system and other aspects of our social life will be impacted. The book is ok, but it isn’t the most riveting.

  • Brad
    Jan 21, 2017

    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

    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, and the authors deploy these themes in binary opposites: emergence over authority, pull over push, compasses over maps and the like. Some of these memes are so well worn that it’s hard to muster enthusiasm for them: businesses have to learn to fail fast, try new things, decentralize from a command a control model and embrace complexity. Yawn.

    On the other hand, when the authors dig into actual stories some of the memes come alive, like in the "risk over safety chapter" when they describe how one company spent $3 million dollars on a feasibility study for an MIT Media Lab proposal that only would have cost $600,000. “Implementing risk over safety does not mean blinding yourself to risk. It simply means understanding that as the cost of innovation declines, the nature of risk changes” (page 117). Likewise, in “systems over objects” the authors talk about “shifting the emphasis [at the Media Lab] from creating objects to building relationships” (225), using Google’s self-driving car initiative as an example. “In describing its self-driving car, Google has emphasized that the car itself is merely an object—the artificial intelligence that drives it is the system, and it must mesh seamlessly into the other systems it touches.” Perhaps the strongest chapter is “diversity over ability,” which relates a series of illuminating anecdotes about how “distance from the field” empowers outsiders to solve problems to which experts are blind because “the less exposed a given solver is to the discipline in which the problem resides, the more likely he or she is to solve it” (182).

    The authors are genuinely optimistic about how we humans will prosper in an age of increasing technological change, which is refreshing. Sometimes that optimism blinds them to the dark sides of the trends they chart: for example, the authors celebrate crowdsourcing (Jeff Howe invented the term) and how EaaS (everything as a service) reduces startup costs for entrepreneurs, but they don’t recognize how this same trend leads to the “gig economy” where nobody has health benefits or a 401K.

    A few miscellaneous observations: the book is mercifully short (less than 240 pages) with lots of white space; as a physical artifact it has a sensuous quality that is engaging… I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much as an e-book; the authors end each chapter with a PS written by only one of them, usually with an interesting personal story.

  • Jordan Willing
    Jan 27, 2017

    Honestly recommend this to anyone interested in challenging their thought process and how they approach strategic or business decisions in the 21st century. Loved the combination of story, history and statistics to back their tenants. You may not agree with all of their positions but you will absolutely take something away from reading Whiplash. Great stuff.