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64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then: How to Face the Digital Future without Fear [Hardcover]

Ben Hammersley
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 July 2012

In 64 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW FOR THEN, Editor-at-Large for Wired magazine and guru of the digital age Ben Hammersley gives us the essential guide to the things we need to know for life in the 21st century.

Explaining the effects of the changes in the modern world, and the latest ideas in technology, culture, business and politics, this book will demystify the Internet, decode cyberspace, and guide you through the innovations of the revolution we are all living through.

This is not a book for geeks. 64 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW FOR THEN is for everyone who wants to truly understand the modern world, to no longer be confused by the changes in society, business and culture, and to truly prosper in the coming decade.

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64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then: How to Face the Digital Future without Fear + Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444728601
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444728606
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Hammersley is a British writer and technologist, specializing in the effects of the internet and the ubiquitous digital network on the worldʼs political, cultural and social spheres. He now enjoys an international career as a speaker, explaining complex technological and sociological topics to lay audiences, and as a high-level advisor on these matters to governments and business.Previously a national broadsheet journalist, broadcaster and war correspondent, he is now the UK Prime Minister's Ambassador to Tech City, London's Internet Quarter; Innovator-in-Residence at Goldsmiths, University of London, a Fellow of the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, and an alumnus of the Trapeze School of New York's Santa Monica campus. His books are really good.

Product Description


'you can feel your mind expanding with each page'. (Financial Times)

'64 THINGS brings an interesting and different spin to the usual offerings in the futurology literature department... Ben Hammersley, guru of the digital age, touches on technology, politics and society in an easy-to-read analysis of some of the key cultural and technological changes of the 21st century... The topics are well-ordered and structured, which helps the book's linearity, while having the simultaneous effect of showing how much of the subject matter is interlinked. Chapter after chapter, readers will be reflecting on their own experiences in relation to Hammersley's astute observations.' 7/10 (Press Association)

Book Description

An accessible guide to the way the Internet is changing our lives and how to survive.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I think it is testament to the author's passion and ability to communicate that this 400 page exploration of current and future impacts of technology is so very readable and engaging. It helps that the book is broken down into 64 short chapters, but it is no mean feat that in taking this approach it still manages to maintain a coherent sense if whole read cover-to-cover. Key themes are developed and returned to throughout (e.g. Moore's Law, collaborative development, the constantly provisional nature of technology developments, etc.). This helps ensure the text does not run the risk of being 'bitty' and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable, if occasionally sobering, guide to our expanding digital world.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Trite, dated, but very easy to read 30 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not a digital native, nor am I an IT professional. Despite this, few of the technological developments noted in the book (and they are largely noted rather than discussed in much useful detail) were news to me.

Perhaps it's symptomatic of the subject matter that, less than two years after it was published, it already feels out of date. It's pre-Snowden so misses out on many of the uses and misuses the intelligence community has found for the internet. It's pre McAlpine vs Bercow so misses out on the extension of UK libel / defamation law onto the internet and what that means for user conduct. It's pre Criado-Perez / Creasy, but even so the chapter on internet disinhibition rather glosses over the severity of the issue. Its prediction for the outcome of Bitcoin was premature, at least.

Even as an artifact of its time it has some strange omissions, seemingly driven by a relentlessly happy view of the internet. Its treatment of Big Data is facile and blithely ignores a number of possible ethical considerations, asserting that unlimited sharing is good without wondering if e.g. pay-day lenders should be able to able to exploit and target people with rapidly declining credit profiles, or evangelical / cult movements should be able to target users with behavior patterns that exhibit signs of psychological distress (I don't have a view on either but they're possible things we might want to debate as a society). It largely ignores the internet as a vector for spreading extremist ideology, whether that be jihadism or pro-ana or whatever else. It ignores ID theft, misrepresentation, and a number of other criminal uses of the internet (there's a brief section on Silk Road).
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Now lets see here...I've read quite a few books in the futurology department, most of which are extremely similar, in fact you can find little difference in all of them, it's almost as if once you read one, you've read them all" Most of them speak either of Renewable energy or the earth's depleting water sources. But this book is allot different, I learnt a great deal of things from this. It covers multiple areas, such as technology, politics, society. I found myself taking time to digest the though provoking topics and thinking for at least 10 minutes after reading just 3 pages sometimes. I really got to say, this book was good times. Definitely an enjoyable Read!

While i have very few problems with this book, i'll take this paragraph to address them. For one this book is in the business section, but not all the topics seem to have a serious implication on businesses in the future. And I think it would've been allot more suiting if Ben made an effort to put a concluding paragraph on each topic stating what these things may mean for business across the world. But hey, I guess one has to think for themselves here. Secondly not all of these things seem to be definitely comming, some of them are in infant stages and chances for many of them devloping further may be slim. And thirdly some of these topics are to closely correlated, someitmes it felt like i was reading an extension of a previous chapter. But perhaps that was his intent. But overall please do not let that discourage you. I think this would make an excellent book for your night-stand, you may find that not all of these things are news to you, but still worth a read for the few little things you do learn

The Verdict:
Very good futurology, in terms of being different, this book was very refreshing.
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