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Extended Audio Sample Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For the Better Audiobook, by Clive Thompson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Clive Thompson Narrator: Jeff Cummings Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2013 ISBN: 9781480535305
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How technology boosts our cognitive abilities—making us smarter, more productive, and more creative than ever before

It’s undeniable: technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson votes yes. The Internet age has produced a radical new style of human intelligence, worthy of both celebration and investigation. We learn more and retain information longer, write and think with global audiences in mind, and even gain an ESP-like awareness of the world around us. Modern technology is making us smarter and better connected, both as individuals and as a society.

In Smarter Than You Think, Thompson documents how every technological innovation—from the printing press to the telegraph—has provoked the very same anxieties that plague us today. We panic that life will never be the same, that our attentions are eroding, that culture is being trivialized. But as in the past, we adapt, learning to use the new and retaining what’s good of the old.

Thompson introduces us to a cast of extraordinary characters who augment their minds in inventive ways. There’s the seventy-six-year-old millionaire who digitally records his every waking moment, giving him instant recall of the events and ideas of his life going back decades. There are the courageous Chinese students who mounted an online movement that shut down a $1.6 billion toxic copper plant. There are experts and there are amateurs, including a global set of gamers who took a puzzle that had baffled HIV scientists for a decade and solved it collaboratively—in only one month.

But Smarter Than You Think isn’t just about pioneers, nor is it simply concerned with the world we inhabit today. It’s about our future. How are computers improving our memory? How will our social “sixth sense” change the way we learn? Which tools are boosting our intelligence—and which ones are hindering our progress? Smarter Than You Think embraces and interrogates this transformation, offering a provocative vision of our shifting cognitive landscape.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “We should be grateful to have such a clear-eyed and lucid interpreter of our changing technological culture as Clive Thompson. Smarter Than You Think is an important, insightful book about who we are, and who we are becoming.”

    Joshua Foer, New York Times bestselling author of Moonwalking with Einstein

  • “Almost without noticing it, the Internet has become our intellectual exoskeleton. Rather than just observing this evolution, Clive Thompson takes us to the people, places, and technologies driving it, bringing deep reporting, storytelling, and analysis to one of the most profound shifts in human history.”

    Chris Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of MakersFree, and The Long Tail

  • “[An] optimistic, fast-paced tale about the advent of technology and its influence on humans.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A well-framed celebration of how the digital world will make us bigger, rather than diminish us.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “There’s good news in this dazzling book: Technology is not the enemy. Smarter Than You Think reports on how the digital world has helped individuals harness a powerful, collaborative intelligence—becoming better problem-solvers and more creative human beings.”

    Jane McGonigal, PhD, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

  • “Thompson declares a winner in the cognitive fight between human and computers: both together. Smarter Than You Think is an eye-opening exploration of the ways computers think better with humans attached, and vice-versa.”

    Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author
Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and is a columnist for Wired. He also writes for Fast Company and Mother Jones, and appears frequently on NPR. He can be found at www.smarterthanyouthink.net and @pomeranian99 on Twitter.
About the Narrator

Jeff Cummings, as an audiobook narrator, has won both an Earphones Award and the prestigious Audie Award in 2015 for Best Narration in Science and Technology. He is also a twenty-year veteran of the stage, having worked at many regional theaters across the country, from A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City and the International Mystery Writers’ Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky. He also spent seven seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.