How We Got to Now

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698154509

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 304

View: 4657

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. From the New York Times–bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Everything Bad Is Good for You, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas. In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life. In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.

How We Got to Now

Six Innovations that Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846148561

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 256

View: 911

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From Steven Johnson, the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, comes How We Got to Now, the companion book to his six-part BBC One television series exploring the power and the legacy of great ideas. How did photography bring about social reform? What connects refrigeration to Hollywood? And how did our battle against dirt help create smartphones? In this story of ingenious breakthroughs and unsung heroes, Steven Johnson explores the essential innovations that changed the world and how we live in it. 'A new Steven Johnson book is something not to be missed. The author has become the leading writer on how inventions happen' Daniel Finkelstein, The Times, Books of the Year 'Graceful and compelling ... you'll find yourself exhilarated' The New York Times Book Review 'Readable, entertaining, and a challenge to any jaded sensibility that has become inured to the everyday miracles all around us' Peter Forbes, Guardian'This nimble history of invention . . .is a many-layered delight' Nature Steven Johnson is the US bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - most recently, outside.in - and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Wonderland

How Play Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184481

Category: HISTORY

Page: 322

View: 775

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This illustrated "history of popular entertainment takes along-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused"--

The Invention of Air

A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1440685312

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 793

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. From the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Ghost Map and Everything Bad Is Good for You, a new national bestseller: the “exhilarating”( Los Angeles Times) story of Joseph Priestley, “a founding father long forgotten”(Newsweek) and a brilliant man who embodied the relationship between science, religion, and politics for America's Founding Fathers. In The Invention of Air, national bestselling author Steven Johnson tells the fascinating story of Joseph Priestley—scientist and theologian, protégé of Benjamin Franklin, friend of Thomas Jefferson—an eighteenth-century radical thinker who played pivotal roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the discovery of oxygen, the uses of oxygen, scientific experimentation, the founding of the Unitarian Church, and the intellectual development of the United States. As he did so masterfully in The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson uses a dramatic historical story to explore themes that have long engaged him: innovative strategies, intellectual models, and the way new ideas emerge and spread, and the environments that foster these breakthroughs.

How We Got to Now

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0425287807

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 176

View: 5811

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Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not--but you should, and New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson has. This adaptation of his adult book and popular PBS series explores the fascinating and interconnected stories of innovations--like clean drinking water and electricity--that changed the way people live. Innovation starts with a problem whose solution sets in motion all kinds of unexpected discoveries. That's why you can draw a line from pendulums to punching the clock at a factory, from ice blocks to summer movie blockbusters, from clean water to computer chips. In the lively storytelling style that has made him a popular, bestselling author, Steven Johnson looks at how accidental genius, brilliant mistakes, and unintended consequences shape the way we live in the modern world. Johnson's "long zoom" approach connects history, geography, politics, and scientific advances with the deep curiousity of inventors or quirky interests of tinkerers to show how innovation truly comes about. His fascinating account is organized into six topics: glass, cold, sound, clean, time, light. Johnson's fresh exploration of these simple, single-syllable word concepts creates an endlessly absorbing story that moves from lightning strikes in the prehistoric desert to the herculean effort to literally raise up the city of Chicago to laser labs straight out of a sci-fi movie. In other words, it's the story of how we got to now!

Where Good Ideas Come From

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101444207

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 6610

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery--these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson's answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out the approaches and commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality.

The Innovator's Cookbook

Essentials for Inventing What Is Next

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101550384

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 8679

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, Emergence, Everything Bad is Good for You, Mind Wide Open and Ghost Map, and an acknowledged bestselling leader on the subject of innovation, gathers - for a foundational text on the subject of innovation - essays, interviews, and cutting-edge insights by such exciting field leaders as Peter Drucker, Richard Florida, Eric Von Hippel, Dean Keith Simonton, Arthur Koestler, John Seely Brown, and Marshall Berman. Johnson also provides new material from Marisa Mayer of Google, Twitter's Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's former Chief Software Architect. With additional commentary by Johnson himself, this book reveals the innovation found in a wide range of fields, including science, technology, energy, transportation, education, art, and sociology, making it vital, fresh, and fascinating reading for our time, and for the future.

Future Perfect

The Case For Progress In A Networked Age

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110159697X

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 691

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Combining the deft social analysis of Where Good Ideas Come From with the optimistic arguments of Everything Bad Is Good For You, New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson’s Future Perfect makes the case that a new model of political change is on the rise, transforming everything from local governments to classrooms, from protest movements to health care. Johnson paints a compelling portrait of this new political worldview -- influenced by the success and interconnectedness of the Internet, by peer networks, but not dependent on high-tech solutions -- that breaks with the conventional categories of liberal or conservative, public vs. private thinking. With his acclaimed gift for multi-disciplinary storytelling and big idea books, Johnson explores this new vision of progress through a series of fascinating narratives: from the “miracle on the Hudson” to the planning of the French railway system; from the battle against malnutrition in Vietnam to a mysterious outbreak of strange smells in downtown Manhattan; from underground music video artists to the invention of the Internet itself. At a time when the conventional wisdom holds that the political system is hopelessly gridlocked with old ideas, Future Perfect makes the timely and inspiring case that progress is still possible, and that innovative strategies are on the rise. This is a hopeful, affirmative outlook for the future, from one of the most brilliant and inspiring visionaries of contemporary culture.

Mind Wide Open

Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743258791

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9648

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BRILLIANTLY EXPLORING TODAY'S CUTTING-EDGE BRAIN RESEARCH, MIND WIDE OPEN IS AN UNPRECEDENTED JOURNEY INTO THE ESSENCE OF HUMAN PERSONALITY, ALLOWING READERS TO UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES AND THE PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES AS NEVER BEFORE. Using a mix of experiential reportage, personal storytelling, and fresh scientific discovery, Steven Johnson describes how the brain works -- its chemicals, structures, and subroutines -- and how these systems connect to the day-to-day realities of individual lives. For a hundred years, he says, many of us have assumed that the most powerful route to self-knowledge took the form of lying on a couch, talking about our childhoods. The possibility entertained in this book is that you can follow another path, in which learning about the brain's mechanics can widen one's self-awareness as powerfully as any therapy or meditation or drug. In Mind Wide Open, Johnson embarks on this path as his own test subject, participating in a battery of attention tests, learning to control video games by altering his brain waves, scanning his own brain with a $2 million fMRI machine, all in search of a modern answer to the oldest of questions: who am I? Along the way, Johnson explores how we "read" other people, how the brain processes frightening events (and how we might rid ourselves of the scars those memories leave), what the neurochemistry is behind love and sex, what it means that our brains are teeming with powerful chemicals closely related to recreational drugs, why music moves us to tears, and where our breakthrough ideas come from. Johnson's clear, engaging explanation of the physical functions of the brain reveals not only the broad strokes of our aptitudes and fears, our skills and weaknesses and desires, but also the momentary brain phenomena that a whole human life comprises. Why, when hearing a tale of woe, do we sometimes smile inappropriately, even if we don't want to? Why are some of us so bad at remembering phone numbers but brilliant at recognizing faces? Why does depression make us feel stupid? To read Mind Wide Open is to rethink family histories, individual fates, and the very nature of the self, and to see that brain science is now personally transformative -- a valuable tool for better relationships and better living.

Everything Bad is Good for You

How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101158012

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 562

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing big idea book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day—from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons—has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. After reading Everything Bad is Good for You, you will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again. With a new afterword by the author. Steven Johnson's newest book, How We Got to Now, is now available from Riverhead Books.

Great Inventions that Changed the World

Author: James Wei

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118342739

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 360

View: 4194

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Discover the inventions that have made our world what it is today A great invention opens the door to a new era in human history. The stone axe, for example, invented some 2 million years ago in East Africa, enabled us to enter the human path of endless improvements through inventions. The taming of fire enabled us to cook food as well as leave the warmth of Africa and move to the frigid lands of the North. From the stone axe to the computer and the Internet, this book provides a fascinating tour of the most important inventions and inventors throughout history. You'll discover the landmark achievements and the men and women that made the world what it is today. Great Inventions That Changed the World is written by Professor James Wei, a renowned educator and engineer who holds several patents for his own inventions. Following an introductory chapter examining the role of inventors and inventions in fueling innovation and global advancement, the book is organized to show how inventions are spurred by human needs and desires, including: Work Food, clothing, and housing Health and reproduction Security As you progress through the book, you'll not only learn about inventions and inventors, but also the impact they have had on our lives and the society and environment in which we live today. Inventions solve problems, but as this book so expertly demonstrates, they can also directly or indirectly create new problems as well, from pollution to global warming to bioterrorism. By enabling us to understand the impact of inventions throughout history, this book can help guide the next generation of citizens, decision makers, and inventors.

The Ghost Map

The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101158531

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 824

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A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.

Emergence

The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780713994001

Category: Self-organizing systems

Page: 288

View: 3512

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We have only recently begun to recognize it, yet it exists at every level of our lived experience. It is fast becoming clear that our lives revolve around the powers of emergence.

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

Author: Fred Vogelstein

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

ISBN: 0374711003

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 3281

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Behind the bitter rivalry between Apple and Google—and how it's reshaping the way we think about technology The rise of smartphones and tablets has altered the industry of making computers. At the center of this change are Apple and Google, two companies whose philosophies, leaders, and commercial acumen have steamrolled the competition. In the age of Android and the iPad, these corporations are locked in a feud that will play out not just in the mobile marketplace but in the courts and on screens around the world. Fred Vogelstein has reported on this rivalry for more than a decade and has rare access to its major players. In Dogfight, he takes us into the offices and board rooms where company dogma translates into ruthless business; behind outsize personalities like Steve Jobs, Apple's now-lionized CEO, and Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman; and inside the deals, lawsuits, and allegations that mold the way we communicate. Apple and Google are poaching each other's employees. They bid up the price of each other's acquisitions for spite, and they forge alliances with major players like Facebook and Microsoft in pursuit of market dominance. Dogfight reads like a novel: vivid nonfiction with never-before-heard details. This is more than a story about what devices will replace our cell phones and laptops. It's about who will control the content on those devices and where that content will come from—about the future of media and the Internet in Silicon Valley, New York, and Hollywood.

Interface Culture

Author: Steven A. Johnson

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780465036806

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 272

View: 5230

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Drawing on his own expertise in the humanities and on the Web, Steven Johnson not only demonstrates how interfaces - those buttons, graphics, and words on the computer screen through which we control information - influence our daily lives, but also tracks their roots back to Victorian novels, early cinema, and even medieval urban planning. The result is a lush cultural and historical tableau in which today's interfaces take their rightful place in the lineage of artistic innovation. With a distinctively accessible style, Interface Culture brings new intellectual depth to the vital discussion of how technology has transformed society, and is sure to provoke wide debate in both literary and technological circles.

The Idea Factory

Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

Author: Jon Gertner

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143122797

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 422

View: 5627

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Highlights achievements of Bell Labs as a leading innovator, exploring the role of its highly educated employees in developing new technologies while considering the qualities of companies where innovation and development are most successful.

The Virgin Way

Everything I Know About Leadership

Author: Richard Branson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698168577

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 6559

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This is a book on leadership from someone who has never read a book on leadership in his life. While building the Virgin Group over the course of forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from tackling seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on many occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost. Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different, swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world has always dubbed (with a wink) "the Virgin Way." This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at sixteen, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box—an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that "you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you." From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Janissary Tree

Author: Jason Goodwin

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571267491

Category: Fiction

Page: 332

View: 9639

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Yashim is no ordinary detective. It's not that he's particularly brave. Or that he cooks so well, or reads French novels. Not even that his best friend is the Ambassador from Poland, whose country has vanished from the map. Yashim is a eunuch. As the Sultan plans a series of radical reforms to his empire, a concubine is strangled in the palace harem. And a young cadet is found butchered in the streets of Istanbul. Delving deep into the city's crooked alleyways, and deeper still into its tumultuous past, Yashim discovers that some people will go to any lengths to preserve the traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Brilliantly evoking Istanbul in the 1830s, The Ottoman Detective is a fast-paced literary thriller with a spectacular cast, from mystic orders and lissom archivists to soup-makers and a seductive ambassador's wife. Darker than any of these is the mysterious figure who controls the Sultan's harem.

Bourbon Empire

The Past and Future of America's Whiskey

Author: Reid Mitenbuler

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698145402

Category: Cooking

Page: 320

View: 623

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How bourbon came to be, and why it’s experiencing such a revival today Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America’s most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America’s political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself. Taking readers behind the curtain of an enchanting—and sometimes exasperating—industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon. A tale of innovation, success, downfall, and resurrection, Bourbon Empire is an exploration of the spirit in all its unique forms, creating an indelible portrait of both bourbon and the people who make it.