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Social Aspects

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  1. 9.6 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    You are a four-dimensional human. Each of us exists in three-dimensional physical space. But, as a constellation of everyday digital phenomena rewires our lives, we are increasingly coaxed from the containment of our predigital selves into a wonderful and eerie fourth dimension, a world of ceaseless communication, instant information, and global connection. Our portals to this new world have been wedged open, and the silhouette of a figure is slowly taking shape. But what does it feel like to be four-dimensional? How do digital technologies influence the rhythms of our thoughts, the style and tilt of our consciousness? What new sensitivities and sensibilities are emerging with our exposure to the delights, sorrows, and anxieties of a networked world? And how do we live in public with these recoded private lives? Laurence Scott―hailed as a “New Generation Thinker” by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC―shows how this four-dimensional life is dramatically changing us by redefining our social lives and extending the limits of our presence in the world. Blending tech philosophy with insights on everything from Seinfeld to the fall of Gaddafi, Scott stands with a rising generation of social critics hoping to understand our new reality. His virtuosic debut is a revelatory and original exploration of life in the digital age.

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    The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott

    The Four-Dimensional Human

    9.6 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
  2. 4.6 hrs • 8/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably against the will of their drivers? Why does the programming inside our airplanes occasionally surprise its creators? After a thorough analysis by the top experts, the answers still elude us. You don’t understand the software running your car or your iPhone. But here’s a secret: neither do the geniuses at Apple or the Ph.D.‘s at Toyota-not perfectly, anyway. No one, not lawyers, doctors, accountants, or policy makers, fully grasps the rules governing your tax return, your retirement account, or your hospital’s medical machinery. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives incomprehensible, unpredictable, and overcomplicated. In Overcomplicated, complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman offers a fresh, insightful field guide to living with complex technologies that defy human comprehension. As technology grows more complex, Arbesman argues, its behavior mimics the vagaries of the natural world more than it conforms to a mathematical model. If we are to survive and thrive in this new age, we must abandon our need for governing principles and rules and accept the chaos. By embracing and observing the freak accidents and flukes that disrupt our lives, we can gain valuable clues about how our algorithms really work. What’s more, we will become better thinkers, scientists, and innovators as a result. Lucid and energizing, this audiobook is a vital new analysis of the world heralded as “modern” for anyone who wants to live wisely.

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    Overcomplicated

    4.6 hrs • 8/1/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.1 hrs • 2/24/2015 • Unabridged

    Connectional intelligence unlocks the twenty-first-century secret to getting “big things done” regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you do. We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion, and luck. But in today’s hypercompetitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. Get Big Things Done argues that the game changer is a thoroughly modern skill called connectional intelligence. Virtually anyone can maximize his or her potential and achieve breakthrough performance by developing this crucial ability. So what is it? Put simply, connectional intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition, and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning. As radical a concept as emotional intelligence was in the nineties, connectional intelligence is changing everything from business and sports to academics, health, and politics by quickly, efficiently, and creatively helping people enlist supporters, drive innovation, develop strategies, and implement solutions to big problems. Can a small-town pumpkin grower affect the global food crisis? Can a Fortune 500 executive change her company’s outdated culture through video storytelling? Can a hip-hop artist launch an international happiness movement? Or can a scientist use virtual reality games to lower pain for burn victims? The answer, you’ll hear, is a resounding yes. Each of these individuals is using connectional intelligence to become a power player to get big things done. Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni’s Get Big Things Done unlocks the secrets of how the world’s movers and shakers use connectional intelligence to achieve their personal and professional goals—no matter how ambitious.

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    Get Big Things Done

    7.1 hrs • 2/24/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.5 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    What is the secret to a stable marriage? How many gay people are still in the closet? Do we truly live in a post-racial society? Has Twitter made us dumber? These are just a few of the questions Christian Rudder answers in Dataclysm, a smart, funny, irreverent look at how we act when we think no one’s looking. For centuries we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers and without filters. Data scientists can quantify the formerly unquantifiable and show with unprecedented precision how we fight, how we age, how we love, and how we change. Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Rudder uses it to show us who we are as people. He reveals how Facebook “likes” can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more job interview requests; and why you have to have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publicly. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? Hint: They don’t think about Simon & Garfunkel. Rudder also tracks human migration in real time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible. Provocative and illuminating Dataclysm is a portrait of our essential selves—and a first look at a revolution in the making.

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    Dataclysm

    7.5 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.3 hrs • 8/1/2014 • Unabridged

    When people hear “the cloud,” they think of cloud computing, just a sliver of what the cloud is today. The cloud has grown: it represents the consummate disruptor to structure; a pervasive social and economic network that will soon connect and define more of the world than any other political, social, or economic organization. The cloud is the first megatrend of the twenty-first century, one that will shape the way we will address virtually every challenge we face for at least the next one hundred years. It is where we will all live, work, and play in the coming decades. The cloud is where your kids go to dive into online play. It’s where you meet and make friends in social networks. It’s where companies find the next big idea. It’s where political campaigns are won and lost. Cloud Surfing is the groundbreaking book that will explain how to access the full value of the cloud and how to embrace its possibilities.

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    Cloud Surfing

    7.3 hrs • 8/1/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.2 hrs • 7/1/2014 • Unabridged

    The Skeleton Crew provides an entree into the gritty and tumultuous world of Sherlock Holmes–wannabes who race to beat out law enforcement-and one another-at matching missing persons with unidentified remains.

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    The Skeleton Crew

    10.2 hrs • 7/1/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.2 hrs • 1/30/2014 • Unabridged

    From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour of the new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence If the big data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics. Humans have more in common with bees than we like to admit: We’re social creatures first and foremost. Our most important habits of action—and most basic notions of common sense—are wired into us through our coordination in social groups. Social physics is about idea flow, the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into behaviors. Thanks to the millions of digital bread crumbs people leave behind via smartphones, GPS devices, and the Internet, the amount of new information we have about human activity is truly profound. Until now, sociologists have depended on limited data sets and surveys that tell us how people say they think and behave, rather than what they actually do. As a result, we’ve been stuck with the same stale social structures—classes, markets—and a focus on individual actors, data snapshots, and steady states. Pentland shows that, in fact, humans respond much more powerfully to social incentives that involve rewarding others and strengthening the ties that bind than incentives that involve only their own economic self-interest. Pentland and his teams have found that they can study patterns of information exchange in a social network without any knowledge of the actual content of the information and predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is, whether it’s a business or an entire city. We can maximize a group’s collective intelligence to improve performance and use social incentives to create new organizations and guide them through disruptive change in a way that maximizes the good. At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow. Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Pentland leads readers to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself.

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    Social Physics

    6.2 hrs • 1/30/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 7.0 hrs • 8/17/2013 • Unabridged

    The question of our time: can we reclaim our lives in an age that feels busier and more distracting by the day? We’ve all found ourselves checking email at the dinner table, holding our breath while waiting for Outlook to load, or sitting hunched in front of a screen for an hour longer than we intended. Mobile devices and the web have invaded our lives, and this is a big idea book that addresses one of the biggest questions of our age: can we stay connected without diminishing our intelligence, attention spans, and ability to really live? Can we have it all? Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, a renowned Stanford technology guru, says yes. The Distraction Addiction is packed with fascinating studies, compelling research, and crucial takeaways. Whether it’s breathing while Facebook refreshes, or finding creative ways to take a few hours away from the digital crush, this book is about the ways to tune in without tuning out.

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    The Distraction Addiction

    7.0 hrs • 8/17/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 7.5 hrs • 1/29/2013 • Unabridged

    If online dating can blunt the emotional pain of separation, if adults can afford to be increasingly demanding about what they want from a relationship, the effect of online dating seems positive. But what if it’s also the case that the prospect of finding an ever more compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability, a paradox of choice that keeps us chasing the illusive bunny around the dating track? It’s the mother of all search problems: how to find a spouse, a mate, a date. The escalating marriage age and declining marriage rate mean we’re spending a greater portion of our lives unattached, searching for love well into our thirties and forties. So it’s no wonder that a third of America’s 90 million singles are turning to dating websites. Once considered the realm of the lonely and desperate, sites like eHarmony, Match, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish have been embraced by pretty much every demographic. Thanks to the increasingly efficient algorithms that power these sites, dating has been transformed from a daunting transaction based on scarcity to one in which the possibilities are almost endless. Now anyone—young, old, straight, gay, and even married—can search for exactly what they want, connect with more people, and get more information about those people than ever before. As journalist Dan Slater shows, online dating is changing society in more profound ways than we imagine. He explores how these new technologies, by altering our perception of what’s possible, are reconditioning our feelings about commitment and challenging the traditional paradigm of adult life. Blending history, psychology, and interviews with site creators and users, Slater takes readers behind the scenes of a fascinating business. Dating sites capitalize on our quest for love, but how do their creators’ ideas about profits, morality, and the nature of desire shape the virtual worlds they’ve created for us? Should we trust an industry whose revenue model benefits from our avoiding monogamy? Love in the Time of Algorithms offers a lively, entertaining, and thought provoking account of how we have, for better and worse, embraced technology in the most intimate aspect of our lives.

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    Love in the Time of Algorithms

    7.5 hrs • 1/29/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 7.8 hrs • 12/12/2012 • Unabridged

    The Total Recall revolution is inevitable. It will change what it means to be human It has already begun. What if you could remember everything? Soon, if you choose, you will be able to conveniently and affordably record your whole life in minute detail. You would have Total Recall. Authors Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell draw on experience from their MyLifeBits project at Microsoft Research to explain the benefits to come from an earth-shaking and inevitable increase in electronic memories. In 1998 they began using Bell, a luminary in the computer world, as a test case, attempting to digitally record as much of his life as possible. Photos, letters, and memorabilia were scanned. Everything he did on his computer was captured. He wore an automatic camera, an arm-strap that logged his bio-metrics, and began recording telephone calls. This experiment, and the system created to support it, put them at the center of a movement studying the creation and enjoyment of e-memories. Since then the three streams of technology feeding the Total Recall revolution—digital recording, digital storage, and digital search—have become gushing torrents. We are capturing so much of our lives now, be it on the date stamped photos we take with our smart phones or in the continuous records we have of our emails, instant messages, and tweets—not to mention the GPS tracking of our movements many cars and smart phones do automatically. We are storing what we capture either out there in the “cloud” of services such as Facebook or on our very own increasingly massive and cheap hard drives. But the critical technology, and perhaps least understood, is our magical new ability to find the information we want in the mountain of data that is our past. And not just Google it, but data mine it so that, say, we can chart how much exercise we have been doing in the last four weeks in comparison with what we did four years ago. In health, education, work life, and our personal lives, the Total Recall revolution is going to change everything. As Bell and Gemmell show, it has already begun. Total Recall provides a glimpse of the near future. Imagine heart monitors woven into your clothes and tiny wearable audio and visual recorders automatically capturing what you see and hear. Imagine being able to summon up the e-memories of your great grandfather and his avatar giving you advice about whether or not to go to college, accept that job offer, or get married. The range of potential insights is truly awesome. But Bell and Gemmell also show how you can begin to take better advantage of this new technology right now. From how to navigate the serious questions of privacy and serious problem of application compatibility to what kind of startups Bell is willing to invest in and which scanner he prefers, this is a book about a turning point in human knowledge as well as an immediate and practical guide. Total Recall is a technological revolution that will accomplish nothing less than a transformation in the way humans think about the meaning of their lives.

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    Total Recall

    Foreword by Bill Gates
    Read by John Haag
    7.8 hrs • 12/12/12 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.5 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    How do The Matrix, Avatar, and Tron reveal the future of existence? can our brains recognize where “reality” ends and “virtual” begins? What would it mean to live eternally in a digital universe? Where will technology lead us in five, fifty, and five hundred years? Two innovative scientists explore the mystery and reality of the virtual and examine the profound potential of emerging digital technologies. Welcome to the future. The coming explosion of immersive digital technology, combined with recent progress in unlocking how the mind works, will soon revolutionize our lives in ways only science fiction has imagined. In Infinite Reality, Jeremy Bailenson (Stanford University) and Jim Blascovich (University of California–Santa Barbara)—two of virtual reality’s pioneering authorities whose pathbreaking research has mapped how our brain behaves in digital worlds—take us on a mind-bending journey through the virtual universe. Infinite Reality explores what emerging computer technologies and their radical applications will mean for the future of human life and society. Along the way, Bailenson and Blascovich examine the timeless philosophical questions of the self and “reality” that arise through the digital experience; explain how virtual reality’s latest and future forms—including immersive video games and social-networking sites—will soon be seamlessly integrated into our lives; show the many surprising practical applications of virtual reality, from education and medicine to sex and warfare; and probe further-off possibilities like “total personality downloads” that would allow your great-great-grandchildren to have a conversation with “you” a century or more after your death. Equally fascinating, farsighted, and profound, Infinite Reality is an essential guide to our virtual future, where the experience of being human will be deeply transformed.

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    Infinite Reality

    7.5 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.3 hrs • 9/27/2011 • Unabridged

    A visionary and optimistic thinker examines the tension between privacy and publicness that is transforming how we form communities, create identities, do business, and live our lives.Thanks to the internet, we now live—more and more—in public. More than 750 million people (and half of all Americans) use Facebook, where we share a billion times a day. The collective voice of Twitter echoes instantly 100 million times daily, from Tahrir Square to the Mall of America, on subjects that range from democratic reform to unfolding natural disasters to celebrity gossip. New tools let us share our photos, videos, purchases, knowledge, friendships, locations, and lives. Yet change brings fear, and many people—nostalgic for a more homogeneous mass culture and provoked by well-meaning advocates for privacy—despair that the internet and how we share there is making us dumber, crasser, distracted, and vulnerable to threats of all kinds. But not Jeff Jarvis. In this shibboleth-destroying book, Public Parts argues persuasively and personally that the internet and our new sense of publicness are, in fact, doing the opposite. Jarvis travels back in time to show the amazing parallels of fear and resistance that met the advent of other innovations such as the camera and the printing press. The internet, he argues, will change business, society, and life as profoundly as Gutenberg’s invention, shifting power from old institutions to us all. Based on extensive interviews, Public Parts introduces us to the men and women building a new industry based on sharing. Some of them have become household names—Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Twitter’s Evan Williams. Others may soon be recognized as the industrialists, philosophers, and designers of our future.  Jarvis explores the promising ways in which the internet and publicness allow us to collaborate, think, ways—how we manufacture and market, buy and sell, organize and govern, teach and learn. He also examines the necessity as well as the limits of privacy in an effort to understand and thus protect it.  This new and open era has already profoundly disrupted economies, industries, laws, ethics, childhood, and many other facets of our daily lives. But the change has just begun. The shape of the future is not assured. The amazing new tools of publicness can be used to good ends and bad. The choices—and the responsibilities—lie with us. Jarvis makes an urgent case that the future of the internet—what one technologist calls “the eighth continent”—requires as much protection as the physical space we share, the air we breathe, and the rights we afford one another. It is a space of the public, for the public, and by the public. It needs protection and respect from all of us. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in the wake of the uprisings in the Middle East, “If people around the world are going to come together every day online and have a safe and productive experience, we need a shared vision to guide us.” Jeff Jarvis has that vision and will be that guide.

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    Public Parts

    8.3 hrs • 9/27/11 • Unabridged
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  13. 10.5 hrs • 9/20/2011 • Unabridged

    Twitter, Facebook, e-publishing, blogs, distance-learning, and other social media raise some of the most divisive cultural questions of our time. Some see the technological breakthroughs we live with as hopeful and democratic new steps in education, information gathering, and human progress. But others are deeply concerned by the eroding of civility online, declining reading habits, withering attention spans, and the treacherous effects of 24/7 peer pressure on our young. With The Dumbest Generation, Mark Bauerlein emerged as the foremost voice against the development of an overwhelming digital social culture. But The Digital Divide doesn’t take sides. Framing the discussion so that leading voices from across the spectrum—supporters and detractors alike—have the opportunity to weigh in on the profound issues raised by the new media—from questions of reading skills and attention span, to cyber-bullying and the digital playground—Bauerlein’s new book takes the debate to a higher ground. This audiobook includes essays by Steven Johnson, Nicholas Carr, Don Tapscott, Douglas Rushkoff, Maggie Jackson, Clay Shirky, Todd Gitlin, and many more. Though these pieces have been previously published, the organization of The Digital Divide gives them freshness and new relevancy, making them part of a single document listeners can use to truly get a handle on online privacy, the perils of a plugged-in childhood, and other technology-related hot topics. Rather than dividing the book into “pro” and “con” sections, the essays are arranged by subject—“The Brain, the Senses,” “Learning in and out of the Classroom,” “Social and Personal Life,” “The Millennials,” “The Fate of Culture,” and “The Human (and Political) Impact.” Bauerlein incorporates a short headnote and a capsule bio about each contributor, as well as relevant contextual information about the source of the selection. Bauerlein also provides a new introduction that traces the development of the debate, from the initial Digital Age zeal, to a wave of skepticism, and to a third stage of reflection that wavers between criticism and endorsement. Enthusiasm for the Digital Age has cooled with the passage of time and the piling up of real-life examples that prove the risks of an online-focused culture. However, there is still much debate, comprising thousands of commentaries and hundreds of books, about how these technologies are rewriting our futures. Now, with this timely and definitive volume, listeners can finally cut through the clamor, hear the very best writings from each side of The Digital Divide, and make more informed decisions about the presence and place of technology in their lives.

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    The Digital Divide

    Edited and with an introduction by Mark Bauerlein
    10.5 hrs • 9/20/11 • Unabridged
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  14. 7.5 hrs • 5/12/2011 • Unabridged

    In December, 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, Google’s change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years—the rise of personalization. In this groundbreaking investigation of the new hidden Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society—and reveals what we can do about it. Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook—the primary news source for an increasing number of Americans—prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even an old-media bastion like the Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. Behind the scenes, a burgeoning industry of data companies is tracking your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the color you painted your living room to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos. In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs—and because these filters are invisible, we won’t know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas. While we all worry that the Internet is eroding privacy or shrinking our attention spans, Pariser uncovers a more pernicious and far-reaching trend and shows how we can—and must—change course. With vivid detail and remarkable scope, The Filter Bubble reveals how personalization undermines the Internet’s original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated, echoing world.

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    The Filter Bubble

    7.5 hrs • 5/12/11 • Unabridged
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  15. 14.8 hrs • 5/10/2011 • Unabridged

    Consider Facebook—it’s human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them. In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It’s a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for—and sacrificing—in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today’s self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity

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    Alone Together

    14.8 hrs • 5/10/11 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.6 hrs • 2/15/2011 • Unabridged

    Former WikiLeaks insider and spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg authors an exposé of the “World’s Most Dangerous Website.” In an eye-opening account, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman of WikiLeaks, reveals never-disclosed details about the inner workings of the increasingly controversial organization that has struck fear into governments and business organizations worldwide and prompted the Pentagon to convene a 120-man task force. Under the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt, Domscheit-Berg was the effective No. 2 at WikiLeaks and the organization’s most public face, after Julian Assange. In this book, he reveals the evolution, finances, and inner tensions of the whistleblower organization, beginning with his first meeting with Assange in December 2007. He also describes what led to his September 2010 withdrawal from WikiLeaks, including his disenchantment with the organization’s lack of transparency, its abandonment of political neutrality, and Assange’s increasing concentration of power. What has been made public so far about WikiLeaks is only a small fraction of the truth. With Domscheit-Berg’s insider knowledge, he is uniquely able to tell the full story. A computer scientist who worked in IT security prior to devoting himself full-time to WikiLeaks, he remains committed to freedom of information on the Internet. He is now working on a more transparent secret-sharing website called OpenLeaks, developed with other former WikiLeaks people.

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    Inside WikiLeaks

    9.6 hrs • 2/15/11 • Unabridged
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