Attention Span (2023) examines the connection between the digital age and our capacity for attention. As digital devices have become inextricable from our lives, our attention spans have shortened and our stress levels have risen. Drawing on scientific research, it debunks modern myths about attention and explains how we can reclaim it for better well-being.
Stolen Focus (2022) begins with author Johann Hari experiencing a common problem: his attention span is diminishing. He can’t seem to focus on much outside of Twitter and online news. Over three years, Hari tries to identify the root causes of this problem. He uncovers a collective attention crisis that’s affecting the entire globe. From social media to the culture of productivity, Hari identifies the culprits behind our stolen focus – and wonders if, and how, we can claim it back.
The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is (2022) offers startlingly new ways of understanding the world wide web, and strongly challenges us to examine our long-held beliefs about the supremacy of human cognition. It confronts our most closely-held (and least examined) ideas about the internet and social media, and weaves together observations from centuries of philosophy, mathematics, science and history.
Your Brain on Porn (2014) examines the explosion of internet pornography addiction. In the age of high-speed internet, porn is more widespread than ever. And although excessive porn consumption can negatively affect mental health and sexual function, the damage can be reversed.
The Data Detective (2021) is a smart, practical guide to understanding the ways in which statistics – and our reactions to them – distort and obscure reality. Using psychological research and illuminating examples, it reveals some of the ways our brains influence how we see data and statistics and how we draw incorrect conclusions as a result. By picking apart our cognitive biases and misconceptions, we gain the ability to see data, and in turn, the world, for what it really is.
SuperFreakonomics (2009) explains why thinking like an economist can help us understand our modern world. These blinks illustrate key economic principles and the importance of collecting data with colorful stories from human history, and offers surprising solutions for the global problems that we face today.
Everybody Lies (2017) is about the data collected in vast quantities by computers and over the internet. This data can help reveal fascinating information about the human psyche, behavior and quirks, because, as it turns out, people aren’t always so willing to communicate their true hopes and desires to others.
Blockchain Chicken Farm (2020) is an examination of the way technology is entangled with everyday life. This sweeping survey of life in rural China unpacks the social, political, and economic changes we can expect in the twenty-first century.
This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends (2021) takes a deep dive into the ongoing global cyberweapons arms race. It explains how the unregulated market for destructive weapons began, how nations are buying and using these weapons, and why they represent a threat to our immediate future.
The Future of the Professions (2015) examines how modern technology and the internet have revolutionized our society. These blinks in particular address how technology has changed the way society views the work of experts, the so-called professionals. The role of such experts is evolving quickly; here you’ll discover just what the future of professions will look like.
Privacy is Power (2020) is a shocking exposé of the inner workings of surveillance capitalism. It reveals how, every day, hundreds of interested parties are violating your privacy and capitalizing on your personal data. Corporations, governments, and criminals alike are all busy collecting and exploiting your data in an effort to influence the way you think and behave. In these blinks, you’ll learn why your privacy is so important and what you can do to protect it.
The Dark Net (2014) is a window into the internet’s nefarious underbelly. These blinks detail a trove of hidden online activity, from drug deals to illegal pornography to troubling discussions among suicidal teenagers.
Deepfakes and the Infocalypse (2020) is an urgent warning about the dangers posed by fake – but extremely realistic – audiovisual material called deepfakes. They are powered by artificial intelligence, and scammers and hackers are already using them to defraud businesses and harass individuals. Governments are joining in, as well; the use of deepfakes for propaganda is growing. We need to actively prepare for a time when deepfakes become commonplace. If we don’t, we’ll barrel headfirst into an information apocalypse.
It’s common knowledge that the internet has profoundly changed society, and Because Internet (2019) looks at one specific and significant change: how online culture has transformed the English language. These blinks show how the web has created new linguistic rules, remixed old ones and democratized writing itself. Along with these shifts, prepare to explore the memes, emoji and demographic makeup of the internet.
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.
Google Leaks (2021) is the no-holds-barred story of one former Google employee, who claims that the search giant has been corrupted by political bias and is pursuing a course of deliberate online censorship. It details the author’s journey after Donald Trump’s election from satisfied employee to unflinching corporate whistleblower .
Free Speech (2022) traces the history of this world-defining idea. It provides a soapbox for some of free speech’s greatest proponents and highlights key events that pushed the idea forward from ancient times to the present. Offering an evenhanded treatment of the costs and benefits of free speech throughout history, it’s a powerful retort to all those forces that threaten to erode free speech today.
An Ugly Truth (2021) is a critical look behind the scenes of Facebook. This in-depth investigation reveals the politics and personalities animating the rise and subsequent missteps of this controversial social media behemoth.
Broad Band (2018) tells the story of the women who played significant roles in the evolution of computers and the internet. It examines how these women became trailblazers in fields of work that were initially considered boring – but later proved to be of great importance.
Reading the Comments (2015) delves into the social phenomenon of online commentary. These blinks explore how online commenting became the force it is and examine commenting’s positive and negative influence on communication at large. Importantly, these blinks encourage you to think about the implications of online comments for the modern internet user.
Dragnet Nation details the ways in which governments and corporations can gather vast amounts of your personal data and how this affects you. The book explains how easily such sensitive data can be abused, and that ultimately, such practices lead to a loss of freedom for all of us.