The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us

The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us

At once a celebration of technology and a warning about its misuse, The Glass Cage will change the way you think about the tools you use every day. In The Glass Cage, best-selling author Nicholas Carr digs behind the headlines about factory robots and self-driving cars, wearable computers and digitized medicine, as he explores the hidden costs of granting software dominion over our work and our leisure. Even as they bring ease to our lives, these programs are stealing something essential from us. Drawing on psychological and neurological studies that underscore how tightly people’s happiness and satisfaction are tied to performing hard work in the real world, Carr reveals something we already suspect: shifting our attention to computer screens can leave us disengaged and discontented. From nineteenth-century textile mills to the cockpits of modern jets, from the frozen hunting grounds of Inuit tribes to the sterile landscapes of GPS maps, The Glass Cage explores the impact of automation from a deeply human perspective, examining the personal as well as the economic consequences of our growing dependence on computers. With a characteristic blend of history and philosophy, poetry and science, Carr takes us on a journey from the work and early theory of Adam Smith and Alfred North Whitehead to the latest research into human attention, memory, and happiness, culminating in a moving meditation on how we can use technology to expand the human experience.

Whole Motion

Training Your Brain and Body for Optimal Health

Whole Motion

Modern fitness is not just about how we move our bodies; it’s about how we move our brains as well. Whole Motion offers a complete picture of how to strengthen your resolve, gain laser-sharp focus, boost your ability to remember, calm your anxiety levels, master your emotional responses, and embody your body like never before. Author Derek Beres uncovers the latest research in how the brain is affected by a number of different exercise formats. The book offers sample workouts designed to give your brain the greatest stimulation and regeneration possible. Whole Motion is divided into two main sections. In the Movement section, Beres looks at the movement science and neuroscience behind Feldenkrais, strength training, HIIT, yoga, and meditation. He reveals the latest research behind each movement discipline and incorporates anecdotal examples from clients and students. He also includes information on when and why to perform each exercise. In the Mind section, Beres investigates the other side of fitness: nutrition, regeneration, flow, and disruption, as well as how to choose music for optimal workouts and the neurological cost of distraction. This section is the lifestyle component, focusing on how to create the best environment to achieve a sense of completeness in brain and body.

Jobs, Robots & Us

Why the Future of Work in New Zealand is in Our Hands

Jobs, Robots & Us

Could millions of jobs soon be eliminated by artificial intelligence and robots? From driverless cars to digital assistants, it seems the world of work is on the cusp of a technological revolution that is generating hopes and fears alike. But are the robots really knocking at the door? And what does all this mean for New Zealanders? In this far-sighted and lucid book, Kinley Salmon explores the future of work in New Zealand. He interrogates common predictions about a jobless future and explores what might happen to workers in New Zealand as automation becomes more widespread. This book also asks big questions about the power we have to shape technological progress and to influence how robots and artificial intelligence are adopted. It sketches out two bold alternative futures for New Zealand – and suggests what it might take, and what we might risk, to pursue each of them. It is time, Salmon argues, to start debating and choosing the future we want for New Zealand.

Why Reading Books Still Matters

The Power of Literature in Digital Times

Why Reading Books Still Matters

Bringing together strands of public discourse about valuing personal achievement at the expense of social values and the impacts of global capitalism, mass media, and digital culture on the lives of children, this book challenges the potential of science and business to solve the world’s problems without a complementary emphasis on social values. The selection of literary works discussed illustrates the power of literature and human arts to instill such values and foster change. The book offers a valuable foundation for the field of literacy education by providing knowledge about the importance of language and literature that educators can use in their own teaching and advocacy work.

Technology and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Technology and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

“The author, a physician, draws on his long and varied experiences… His selection of cases and detailed descriptions of the environments in which they unfold clearly convey his values and a humanistic approach to patient care. …provides an excellent critique of thoughtless adoption of technology in clinical medicine, and offers suggestions on how to incorporate humanism into the technology development and implementation process…recommended”—Choice Medicine is an ancient profession that advances as each generation of practitioners passes it down to the next. It remains a distinguished, flawed and rewarding vocation--but it may be coming to an end as we know it. Computer algorithms promise patients better access, safer therapies and more predictable outcomes. Technology reduces costs, designs more effective and personalized treatments and diminishes fraud and waste. Balanced against these miraculous developments is the risk that medical professionals will forget their primary responsibility is to their patients, not to a template of care. Written for anyone who has considered a career in health care--and for any patient who has had an office visit where a provider spent more time doing data-entry than examining them--this book weighs the benefits of emerging technologies against the limitations of traditional systems to envision a future where both doctors and patients are better-informed consumers of health care tools.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

The Big Switch

Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google

The Big Switch

An analysis of an evolving trend in computer-based business makes predictions about what will be its role in transforming economics and culture, in an account that evaluates how the shift from private computer systems to Internet-based networks has initiated a major revolution that will impact all components of society. 25,000 first printing.

The Word

A Novel

The Word


John Cage

Composed in America

John Cage

When the great avant-gardist John Cage died, just short of his eightieth birthday in 1992, he was already the subject of dozens of interviews, memoirs, and discussions of his contribution to music, music theory, and performance practice. But Cage never thought of himself as only (or even primarily) a composer; he was a poet, a visual artist, a philosophical thinker, and an important cultural critic. John Cage: Composed in America is the first book-length work to address the "other" John Cage, a revisionist treatment of the way Cage himself has composed and been "composed" in America. Cage, as these original essays testify, is a contradictory figure. A disciple of Duchamp and Schoenberg, Satie and Joyce, he created compositions that undercut some of these artists' central principles and then attributed his own compositional theories to their "tradition." An American in the Emerson-Thoreau mold, he paradoxically won his biggest audience in Europe. A freewheeling, Californian artist, Cage was committed to a severe work ethic and a firm discipline, especially the discipline of Zen Buddhism. Following the text of Cage's lecture-poem "Overpopulation and Art," delivered at Stanford shortly before his death and published here for the first time, ten critics respond to the challenge of the complexity and contradiction exhibited in his varied work. In keeping with Cage's own interdisciplinarity, the critics approach that work from a variety of disciplines: philosophy (Daniel Herwitz, Gerald L. Bruns), biography and cultural history (Thomas S. Hines), game and chaos theory (N. Katherine Hayles), music culture (Jann Pasler), opera history (Herbert Lindenberger), literary and art criticism (Marjorie Perloff), cultural poetics (Gordana P. Crnkovic, Charles Junkerman), and poetic practice (Joan Retallack). But such labels are themselves confining: each of the essays sets up boundaries only to cross them at key points. The book thus represents, to use Cage's own phrase, a much needed "beginning with ideas."