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Future Hype

Book Description

Everyone knows that today's rate of technological change is unprecedented. With technological breakthroughs from the Internet to cell phones to digital music and pictures, everyone knows that the social impact of technology has never been as profound.

But everyone is wrong. In fact, the pace of change isn't notably faster than in times past and most “revolutionary” technologies are just refinements of past breakthroughs. Using dozens of entertaining examples, high-tech industry veteran Bob Seidensticker debunks nine technology myths, proving that:

The rate of change is not exponential (myth #1),
Important new products don't arrive any faster than they ever have (myth #3),
The Internet doesn't really change everything (myth #8), and much more.

Future Hype exposes the hidden costs of technology and will help both consumers and businesses take a shrewder position when the next 'essential' innovation is trotted out.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Preface
  5. Introduction: Leveling the Exponential Curve
  6. Part I. The Ways We See Technology Incorrectly
    1. 1: The Birthday-Present Syndrome
      1. Technology Good and Bad
      2. Man Versus Machine Contests
      3. Acting Like a Human
      4. The Ever-Moving Goal
      5. Technological Myopia: Revisiting the Birthday-Present Syndrome
    2. 2: The Perils of Prediction
      1. Poor Predictions
      2. Don’t Get Stuck in the Present
      3. Avoid Technology Infatuation
      4. New Products Don’t Win On Every Point
      5. Finding the Next Big Thing
    3. 3: The Unintended Wager
      1. Unexpected Consequences in Health
      2. Unexpected Consequences of the Internet
      3. And Unexpected Consequences Everywhere Else
      4. Dealing With Systems
    4. 4: If It Ain’t Broke, Be Grateful
      1. Fragile Digital Storage
      2. Bugs
      3. Risks of Monoculture
      4. Technology Dependence
    5. 5: More Powerful Than a Locomotive
      1. High-Tech Myth #1: Change Is Exponential
      2. Attack On the Exponential Model
      3. Excusing Exponential Failures
      4. High-Tech Myth #2: Technology Is Inevitable
      5. The Greater Change Was Often In the Past
    6. 6: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet
      1. High-Tech Myth #3: Important New Products Arrive Ever Faster
      2. High-Tech Myth #4: The Rising Tide of Valuable Information
      3. High-Tech Myth #5: Today’s High-Tech Price Reductions Are Unprecedented
      4. High-Tech Myth #6: Products Are Adopted Faster
      5. High-Tech Myth #7: Invention Gestation Time Is Decreasing
      6. Press Overhype
    7. 7: Leap Tall Buildings In a Single Bound
      1. High-Tech Myth #8: The Internet Changes Everything
      2. Sense from Statistics
      3. The Internet—the Plastic of the Twenty-first Century?
      4. High-Tech Myth #9: Moore’s Law Really Matters
      5. Computers In Schools
      6. Computers In the Home and Office
    8. 8: Corrective Lenses
      1. Technology Hierarchy
      2. Technology’s Family Tree
      3. Technology Spotlight
  7. Part II. The More Things Change …
    1. 9: For Better Or for Worse
      1. Ages Through the Ages
      2. Technology Defines Society
      3. Technology and Popular Culture
      4. Technology Can Be a Tight Fit
      5. Social Stereotypes
      6. Social Conventions
    2. 10: Playing With Matches
      1. Environment
      2. Health
      3. Human Physiology
      4. Safety
      5. Risk
      6. Medical Ethics
    3. 11: Fear and Anxiety
      1. Incredulity and Naiveté
      2. Fears and Weird Beliefs
      3. The Adult Learning Curve
      4. Skill Loss and Encapsulation
    4. 12: Technologies That Touch Us
      1. Home Innovations
      2. Timekeeping
      3. Calendars
      4. Writing
      5. Technology Words
      6. Standardization of Language
      7. Units of Measurement
    5. 13: Innovation Stimulation
      1. Gold Rush
      2. Prizes
      3. Transportation and Exploration
      4. The Industrial Revolution
    6. 14: What’s Mine Is Mine
      1. Trade Secrets and Industrial Espionage
      2. Patent Battles
      3. Piracy
    7. Conclusion: Vaccinate Against the Hype
      1. Logical Fallacies
      2. Technology for the Rest of Us
  8. Notes
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. Index
  11. About the Author
  12. About Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  13. Be Connected