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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The answer to Deep Thought is not 42 but it does take time
Very perceptive, quite worrying but some great tips to make changes.

I guess we all recognise the decreased attention span of our kids. Probably also recognised the ineffectiveness of multi-tasking - whether male or female. This book gives some great analysis of what's going on and some useful practical tips. Easy to read and well-divided into sections so there...
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
While I appreciate this book covers a topic worth discussing (otherwise why would I buy it?), I find the author's style very overbearing and overly personal. Often, something is presented as a truism "just because I say so", without significant facts to back it up and honestly, a lot of it seems to be written from a mish-mash of spoken presentations he has done, without...
Published on 6 Aug 2011 by Phileas Fogg


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, 6 Aug 2011
This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
While I appreciate this book covers a topic worth discussing (otherwise why would I buy it?), I find the author's style very overbearing and overly personal. Often, something is presented as a truism "just because I say so", without significant facts to back it up and honestly, a lot of it seems to be written from a mish-mash of spoken presentations he has done, without any significant threads pulling it all together. I really struggled to get to the finish and I think you will too. I was almost glad the book ended early, as there are pages and pages of wasted references to other texts at the end, making the book twice the size it really is! Not good.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Was hoping for much more, 12 July 2011
I was hoping that this would be an in-depth study into the effects of the rise and rise of computers on human cognition and attention span but in reality it's just a grumpy old geezer's attack on all things technological. There's a scattergun approach to quoting studies without context and lazy generalizations from extreme cases made all over the place (apparently we need all scientists to be untidy or they'll never discover anything). I suppose the author thinks if only we all dropped out of college like Bill Gates we'd all be billionaires! He seems to really lack rigor and his arguments appear to be a set of anecdotes masquerading as evidence. Overall its disappointing but probably enjoyable for old curmudgeons who want their predjudices about modern kids reinforced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Borrow a copy but don't actually buy it., 13 Sep 2012
This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
As other reviewers report this book is a scattergun approach to ideas & issues, with poor evidence. I don't often write in books but I found myself scribbling challenges to his assertions on almost every page. Having done that I found that it got me so riled up that other ideas, alternative conclusions, things to be followed up etc. kept on occurring to me. So it's turned out useful, but more by luck than the author's design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The answer to Deep Thought is not 42 but it does take time, 28 Jan 2013
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Very perceptive, quite worrying but some great tips to make changes.

I guess we all recognise the decreased attention span of our kids. Probably also recognised the ineffectiveness of multi-tasking - whether male or female. This book gives some great analysis of what's going on and some useful practical tips. Easy to read and well-divided into sections so there is time to think through the topics and not rush the book.

This should be required reading for all screenagers. The only reason I give it 4 stars not 5 is because it is perhaps a little repetitive and could be a little more concise.

The slow movement's take on thinking.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful guide to digital culture's impact on the brain and human society, 31 May 2011
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
Author and scenario planning consultant Richard Watson is clearly torn. One minute, he issues warnings about the negative effects of digital technologies on the brain and human society and discusses his fears that people pay insufficient attention to the possible consequences of these effects. The next minute, Watson is positively giddy and excited by the future potential of that same technology. The possibility of controlling machines with your mind, or improving your mental function by popping a pill, sounds like life in a science fiction utopia. But every utopia carries the possibility that it might turn into a dystopia that traps the human spirit: That's Watson primary concern and the insight he offers his readers. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone interested in futurism, cyberculture, digital technology or the ethics of human society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading, 16 April 2014
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This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
Very good for parents to have this knowledge, so that they understand the DOWNSIDE of the digital age. This gives backup to telling your kids not to have so much time on the computer.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pointing to the elephant in the room (sorry geeks)!, 7 Dec 2011
This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
Ian Buckingham, author of Brand Engagement and Brand Champions,

Brand Champions: How Superheroes bring Brands to Life
Brand Engagement

says it all in this review taken from the HR Zone website:

"Given the cover and sub-title "How the digital age is changing our minds...", I have to confess that I approached futurist Watson's second book with the same trepidation a twelve year old feels when faced with a Winter cross country run. I expected it to "do me good". But I didn't expect it to be so enjoyably engaging.

This isn't a geek's treatise. I'm pleased to report that Richard is a humanist rather than a techie and a pragmatist rather than a dogmatic zealot perpetuating the marketing myth that life begins and ends with so-called social media; mobile phone functionality and the whims of Microsoft and Apple.

Some time ago I published a piece titled "Facebook will never replace Facetime". It was targeted at the non-sensical hysteria surrounding so-called social media and reminded people of the importance of deep thinking; relationship management and development and the necessity of contact and connections flesh to flesh rather than via an ISP. My treatise is primarily based on experience of facilitating change within organisations. Watson's thesis is based on extremely well researched fact.

Here are some of his challenging observations:

- Gen Y "screenagers" have become better at IQ tests than their predecessors, yet the No1 gripe from employers is a lack of basic reading, writing and arithmetic tests
- The effectiveness of multi-tasking is largely a myth
- Online crowds are drowning out individual wisdom
- The culture of pace for the sake of it and rapid response (reaction rather than reflection) is perpetuating mistakes and half truths
- The anonymity of the web is eroding core relationship skills like empathy and promotes virtual courage over real emotion and accountability
- As so-called social media grows at the expense of true social interactions there are increasingly fewer opportunities for serendipitous encounters (a great phrase)
- The next working generation will be less resilient as they have a "re-boot" mentality
- The increase in on-screen reading at the expense of books and paper may improve the pace and volume of apparent reading but it is already having a detrimental effect on problem-solving & deep thinking
- Handwritten correspondence is staggeringly more successful at engaging recipients than electronic messages
- We have to try harder to allow children to be child-like for longer
- Workplaces are very seldom conducive to generating ideas
- Humour is hugely important to forge relationships and break conventional patterns of thought
- Personalised, intrusive advertising is imminent
- Mental privacy will become one of the hottest issues in the next 30 years
- Expect to see a return to the real and the growth in localism and crafts

These are just a few of the well thought through and provocative arguments which run through this book. Interestingly, many of his points echo similar phases in social evolution like the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement as a reaction to industrialisation and mass production, for example
But before the tech heads start to cry Tolpuddle martyr, it's important to stress that the ultimate thesis of Future Minds is a plea for balance and a blended approach to technology.

It's clear that Watson believes in the power of so-called new media. But what he does very well in this book is re-visit the biology of thinking as well as the sociology of relationships to appeal for individual and collective responsibility for re-framing how man uses machines "Technology should sometimes be forced to adapt to us" and not the other way round. And he makes a compelling case with the help of a great deal of hard, factual evidence, expert testimonial and provocative, sometimes disturbing case study. Perhaps the most shocking is the couple who let their real baby starve because they were obsessed with caring for a virtual infant online!

Ultimately, this book is a timely reminder that our technology should be an enabler not an end in itself. Actual experiences will always take precedence over virtual ones and we need to determine the technology agenda and set and remain in control of the rules "It seems to me that what people seem to want more than ever these days is the opportunity to be touched emotionally by the thinking and experiences of other people ....What should we do if we are concerned about the invasion of screen culture into our everyday lives? Bluntly, we should think."

Far from being a geek-fest, Future Minds is controversial; thought-provoking; easy to read (I finished it in 1 sitting) and most importantly, entertaining. I never expected to be confronted by a chapter concerned with the Sex Life of Ideas, for example, and the wisdom that "For new ideas to be born you need two or more old ideas to jump into bed and get frisky".

In the ever-evolving debate about existing and emerging technology, it's refreshing to see someone straddle the old school (no pun intended) and the new so very comfortably yet is grounded by an admirable value set and a gift for appreciative critique. I highly recommend you pick up a copy as I've little doubt you'll find yourself nodding in agreement as you turn the pages, at least most of the time, even if it may feel a little heretical to point at the elephant in the room or acknowledge what I'm sure most of us are thinking."
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
The product was adjusted to my spectations.
I rated 4 stairs because the containt is good but very dynanic and should be improved, and there is no information of future maintenances.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 28 Aug 2011
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good read, liked reading about techniques to come up with new ideas. Although there was quite a bit of repetition.
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future Minds- Richard Watson, 5 Jan 2011
This review is from: Future Minds: How The Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)
This book raises some fascinating and vital issues about the impact of digital technology on our ability to think creatively. Since reading it I have bought copies for the parents of my three granddaughters so that they can be protected. I have also recommended it to many friends.
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