Whiplash How to survive our faster future

Jōichi Itō, 1966-

Book - 2016

The director of MIT's Media Lab and a contributor to "Wired" present a set of working principles for adapting and thriving in the face of the twenty-first century's rapidly changing and unpredictable digital environments.

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New York, NY : Grand Central Publishing [2016]
First edition
Physical Description
318 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-312).
Main Author
Jōichi Itō, 1966- (author)
Other Authors
Jeff Howe, 1970- (author)
  • Introduction
  • Emergence over authority
  • Pull over push
  • Compasses over maps
  • Risk over safety
  • Disobedience over compliance
  • Practice over theory
  • Diversity over ability
  • Resilience over strength
  • Systems over objects
  • Conclusion.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ito and Howe, affiliates of the MIT Media Lab, an interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describe nine core principles that are rapidly disrupting, shifting, and opening the world in a new direction of innovation. The principles, such as risks, diversity, and systems, derive from the collision of two important revolutions: communications and technology. Fittingly, each chapter moves quickly and offers compelling examples of how these trends challenge conventional approaches to facilitating and incubating creativity and productivity. From Bitcoin to Kickstarter, the book is filled with a variety of case studies, personal narratives, philosophical commentaries, and histories which make up Ito and Howe's core themes. With them, the authors explore where society is heading and how to make sense of these swift technological developments. Also cited are experiments and creative reflections from the MIT Media Lab which position how these principles can be applied in society. Readers interested in technology, science history, futurism, innovation, and entrepreneurship will find this book to be very fascinating, thought provoking, and focused. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

What comes next, and are we ready for it? Two bright minds from MIT's Media Lab, Ito, its director, and Howe (Crowdsourcing), a visiting scholar, attempt to put our fast-approaching future into a framework that readers can understand. With "everything digital getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate," Ito and Howe propose nine organizing principles to help "bring our brains into the modern era." Each chapter is devoted to one principle and concludes with "The DIY": how to translate the principle into an "actionable strategy." This helps the reader apply the concept to a variety of industries and situations and encourages unconventional and interdisciplinary thinking. Throughout, the authors explore wide-ranging topics including artificial intelligence, the flu virus, and social engineering in an effort to illustrate their nine principles in practice. Stressing the importance of flexibility, diversity, risk-taking, and relationship-building, the book can be used as inspiration for both individuals and institutions to weather the changes ahead successfully. VERDICT A deeply researched think piece recommended for readers curious about the relationship between culture and technology as well as those who plan never to stop learning.—Cori Wilhelm, SUNY Canton Coll. of Tech. Lib.. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Innovation and technology guru Howe (Crowdsourcing) teams up with his colleague Ito, an Internet privacy activist and the director of MIT's Media Lab, for a highly entertaining and thought-provoking look at the ongoing shifts in technology and communication affecting the business sector. The authors have come up with organizing principles to help the reader navigate a chaotic landscape, focusing particularly on embracing innovation and disruption as vehicles for success. They bring abstract principles such as "Emergence over Authority" or "Systems over Objects" to life by narrating historical turning points, such as the Lumière brothers' 1895 screening of the first motion picture; recent failures, such as Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster; and recent innovations in technology, such as the development of bitcoin. The writing style avoids the trap of being overly conceptual and is instead snappy and accessible, sprinkled with ideas such as how to form a new "cognitive toolset" geared to ongoing advances. This provocative gem is a must-read for anyone interested in the cutting-edge research and exploration happening at MIT's Media Lab, innovation at countless universities and companies worldwide, or futuristic thinking in general. Agent: Max Brockman, Brockman Inc. (Dec.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The director of MIT's Media Lab and a contributor to Wired present a set of working principles for adapting and thriving in the face of the 21st century's rapidly changing and unpredictable digital environments. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The director of MIT's Media Lab and a contributor to "Wired" present a set of working principles for adapting and thriving in the face of the twenty-first century's rapidly changing and unpredictable digital environments.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

This "brilliant and provocative" (Walter Isaacson) guide shares nine principles to adapt and survive the technological changes shaping our future from the director of the MIT Media Lab and a veteran Wired journalist. The world is more complex and volatile today than at any other time in our history. The tools of our modern existence are getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate, transforming every aspect of society, from business to culture and from the public sphere to our most private moments. The people who succeed will be the ones who learn to think differently. In Whiplash, Joi Ito and Jeff Howe distill that logic into nine organizing principles for navigating and surviving this tumultuous period: Emergence over Authority Pull over Push Compasses over Maps Risk over Safety Disobedience over Compliance Practice over Theory Diversity over Ability Resilience over Strength Systems over Objects Filled with incredible case studies and cutting-edge research and philosophies from the MIT Media Lab and beyond, Whiplash will help you adapt and succeed in this unpredictable world.