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.
very good read.
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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