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The Signals Are Talking

Why Today's Fringe Is Tomorrow's Mainstream

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Amy Webb is a noted futurist who combines curiosity, skepticism, colorful storytelling, and deeply reported, real-world analysis in this essential book for understanding the future. The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas bubbling up on the horizon—distinguishing what is a real trend from the merely trendy. This book helps us hear which signals are talking sense, and which are simply nonsense, so that we might know today what developments—especially those seemingly random ideas at the fringe as they converge and begin to move toward the mainstream—that have long-term consequence for tomorrow.

With the methodology developed in The Signals Are Talking, we learn how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology—like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things—affect us personally? How will it impact our businesses and workplaces? How will it eventually change the way we live, work, play, and think—and how should we prepare for it now?

Most importantly, Webb persuasively shows that the future isn’t something that happens to us passively. Instead, she allows us to see ahead so that we may forecast what’s to come—challenging us to create our own preferred futures.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 17, 2016 – Trends can be profitably predicted, according to this windy treatise on business futurism. Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute consultancy, insists that prognosticating is a “learnable skill” and lays out a labyrinthine, acronym-heavy conceptual framework for pondering the future, featuring three rules, six instructions, 10 “sources of change,” a six-part “CIPHER model,”and a six-part “F.U.T.U.R.E test” to “pressure-test any strategy created to address a technology trend.” It all amounts to a tangle of vague truisms—rule one says, “The future is not predetermined, but rather woven together from numerous threads that are themselves being woven in the present”—that leave the impression that futurology is still a dark art navigable only by hiring experts such as the author. Webb’s own predictions are sometimes bizarre—she asserts that drones will make America dependent on imported food and that “pods” hooked to maglev trains will replace airplanes—but when she’s predicting trends in digital technology, which is most of the time, the future sounds both grandiose and boring. (Google, she reports, is “creating a ubiquitous exo-brain... that could anticipate my every need” and will eventually become “some kind of digital life assistant.”) Webb’s futurism is not compelling, but her insightful retrospectives on why some innovations succeeded and others failed make for an engaging study of technical trends of the past.
The Signals Are Talking
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  • $18.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Dec 06, 2016
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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