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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and thoughtful musings on our digital lives, 7 Nov 2012
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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Futurology Book, If You Have The Means Pick One Up, 5 July 2012
Mr. K. James - See all my reviews
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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. And as with all books there are slight problems. but nothing too serious. Am sure glad i picked it up

Physical Quality:
The book is published by Hodder & Stoughton. I bought the hardcover version, The hardback is strong but the quality of the jacket could be imrpoved. The text is of decent standard.

Hoped my review was of some help, email me if you'd like a chat ""
Ken James
Lodnon Based Capitalist
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 things you need to read now for now, 9 July 2012
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Ben Hammersley's 64 Things You Need to Know Now For Then is the closest thing to a biography of the Internet written yet. With more insight than Facebook's social graph, and more depth than Facebook's stock price. Buy it, read it, share it, smile. Now will be a lovely then.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 64, 6 Sep 2012
Just finished reading "64 Things You Need To Know Now For Then" by Ben Hammersley, a book which considers the many ways that technology underpins and infuses daily life.
64 of those ways, in fact.
Short, snappy chapters contrast the lengthy title, each one pondering a facet of the digital age - with topics ranging from hacktivism to information overload. Crucially, the writing is accessible enough for normal people to engage with, but it's never dumb - I'm far from being a digital novice, yet there was plenty in there to surprise and intrigue me.
I love it when books make me think - when they fire my imagination - and when a non-fiction book does so, it's doubly satisfying. Ben Hammersley has created an engrossing look at our evolving digital world...
...and he's done it all from behind a truly magnificent moustache.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad and broad-brush but informative and balanced, 23 Sep 2012
R. Darlington "Roger Darlington" (London, England) - See all my reviews
The luxuriantly-mustachioed Hammersley is Editor-at-Large of "Wired" mazagine and mostly writes about the digital society with special emphasis on the Internet. As the title suggests, the structure of the book is 64 mini essays - typically just four pages - and this format, plus Hammersely's clear and lively style, make this a very easy read. On the other hand, the inclusion of two blank pages between each chapter makes the book a third thicker than it needs to be and there is no overarching analysis or theme. But Hammersley knows the Internet and quotes lots of actual instances or developments.

Since the focus is on the Net, most of the chapters are about being online with contributions on such themes as social networks, the online disinhibition effect, crowd sourcing, algorithmic trading, group buying, shanzhai (fake) goods, online copyright, digital rights management, digital currencies, collaborative learning, open government data, real-time mapping, gamification, anonymity, cryptography, hacktivism, personalisation of web experience (the echo chamber), online surveillance, the Cloud, Net Neutrality, the Semantic Web, the Internet of Things, cyber warfare, and the Dark Net.

Other chapters address different technological developments including Moore's Law (computers double in power every two years), Kryder's Law (the amount of data that can be fitted onto a disk of a given size doubles every year), cognitive improvement drugs, personal genetic testing, biohacking, space travel, 3D printing, fractional artificial intelligence, war robots, nanotechnolgy and geoengineering. And a few chapters are not really about technology as such but wider social and political issues such as the return to craft, the notion of charter cities, the nature of contemporary diplomacy, and what he calls Multiple Axis Politics.

Hammersley introduces the reader to such concepts as memes (the most basic form of idea), spimes (objects that gather information on their usage), doxing (matching of an individual's pseudonymous online identity with their real world one), and The Singularity the creation of an artificial intelligence that is smart enough to design its smarter descendent) as well as what he calls Technomadism (remote working), The Impossibity of Forgetting (the permanence of personal data online), The Quantified Self (the ability to generate and share personal behaviour online), and The Long Now (the need for incremental and sustainable businesses and projects).

If all this seems a very broad range of subjects, it is - and inevitably the treatment is broad-brush, but Hammersley is informed, thoughtful and balanced while being unfailingly optimistic. In so far as such a discursive set of short essays can have major themes, they are: the tendency of our digitised lives to generate vast amounts of data, the conflicting pressures for anonymity and identity online, and the the impact of iterative design with nothing ever perfect or finished. He argues: "If I were pushed to name the single most significant thing that the Internet allows us to do, I would probably say the forming of groups".
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Now for Then: How to Face the Digital Future without Fear
Now for Then: How to Face the Digital Future without Fear by Ben Hammersley (Paperback - 23 May 2013)
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