The Seventh Sense

The Seventh Sense

Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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The Digital Age is as transformative as the Industrial Revolution and Joshua Cooper Ramo explains how to survive. He is a policy expert who has advised the most powerful nations and corporations, says yes; if people are ready to ride the disruption. Drawing on examples from business, science, and politics, Ramo illuminates people's transformative world. Start by imagining a near future when America's greatest power is not its military or its economy, but its control of the Internet.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316395052
0316395056
9780316285063
0316285064
Characteristics: viii, 343 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: 7th sense
Call Number: 303.483309 RAM

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kpelish
May 14, 2017

The author provides too much history and philosophical asides before finally arriving at his central thesis: that we all need to develop a "Seventh Sense" in choosing and enriching the right networks by our presence. Second half of the book is better than the first. He's right that technology can be a barrier or a blessing, depending on who's in control. However, there is still much to be decided (Joshua is connected with the worldview of Kissinger/Foreign Affairs folks) before we choose a gatekeeper approach.

pb001 Nov 30, 2016

very good read.

b
bcstout
Nov 30, 2016

This book started with such potential. Ramo is certainly a gifted storyteller, drawing the reader in with a compelling blend of anecdote, aphorism, and history. But he never actually advanced his core thesis, even though like a fool I continued through to the bitter end. This is a 308 page book that should be a 2,500 word article.

Thesis: we live in a networked era, where "connection changes the nature of a thing". This era is characterized by a relentless increase in speed (which collapses time and distance) and will ultimately lead to a world where machines increasingly handle tasks beyond the realm of human comprehension. Artificial intelligence thus brings a host of practical and ethical challenges, and only a handful of people (the architects of the internet in Silicon Valley) are presently equipped to address them. How to face this new world? The "Seventh sense" applies to those who grasp the realities of this new world and are able to navigate it fluently, breaking free of the bonds of conventional thinking to take advantage of new possibilities (the Napoleons of our time).

I read with interest, but he never actually says how to get this seventh sense, or even makes a normative case for how a democratic society should attempt to wrestle with its implications (not-so-stirring conclusion: it rests with the education of its citizenry).

Too bad. Neat theory, not well developed. Should have been an essay, not a book.

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