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The Seventh Sense

Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks

By Joshua Cooper Ramo
12-minute read
Audio available
The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

The Seventh Sense (2016) unpacks the positive and negative aspects of today’s interconnected world. Terrorism is on the rise and the global economy is in a questionable state. The Seventh Sense explains how these issues are interrelated, and how society can still prosper in this network-dominated age.

  • Anyone addicted to social media
  • Managers of a business or corporation
  • Anyone curious about the impacts of technology on today’s society

Joshua Cooper Ramo is the author of international bestseller The Age of the Unthinkable (2009). He is fluent in Mandarin, and the World Economic Forum named him one of China’s pioneering scholars born overseas. He has written for many renowned publications including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

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The Seventh Sense

Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks

By Joshua Cooper Ramo
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo
Synopsis

The Seventh Sense (2016) unpacks the positive and negative aspects of today’s interconnected world. Terrorism is on the rise and the global economy is in a questionable state. The Seventh Sense explains how these issues are interrelated, and how society can still prosper in this network-dominated age.

Key idea 1 of 7

Technological changes mean that old systems are being replaced by more advanced versions.

Back in the nineteenth century when the industrial revolution was in full swing, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche shrewdly said that people needed a “sixth sense.” In other words, he meant that, as a society, humans would need to develop another instinct in order to keep up with the pace of technological change.

Today, it’s necessary for people to develop a Seventh Sense to comprehend the complex connections of networks which have formed between people, mobile devices, computers and financial markets as a result of technological advancement.

To develop a Seventh Sense, you first have to understand that everything is interconnected. Take the unveiling of the first iPod in 2001. The device not only fundamentally changed the way people listen to music; it altered the music industry itself. After the product was launched, people stopped using Discmans, and CD shops began to close while MP3 sales flourished. Eventually, this led to the rise of streaming services such as Spotify. In essence, the old analog network was replaced by a new digital network.

As technology moves rapidly, old network systems are frequently replaced by new ones – the author refers to this process as network power.

To understand network power, look at the way that English is presently used as a global lingua franca. The language enables information to be shared in a simple manner among people from different countries across the world, making it a powerful network of exchange.

Currently, switching languages seems inconceivable. However, eventually, lingua francas like English will be replaced with real-time machine translation between many languages because that is the nature of network power.

Advanced connectivity has allowed this technology to develop. One day, you’ll be able to jump into a taxi in Madrid and say “good morning,” and your taxi driver will instantly hear “buenos días.” There will come a time when a translation algorithm will be more vital than having the ability to speak and comprehend English.

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