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Future Perfect

272 pages, 2012

economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books
technology

technology

392 books
business & management

business & management

1082 books
science & nature

science & nature

1064 books
Takeaways
Description

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 contemporary culture's most brilliant and inspiring visionaries.

The author draws from his own experiences to present qualitative evidence suggesting a new political change model is on the rise. This model appeals to both liberals and conservatives through its innovative, optimistic approach to governance.

In this book, he explores this innovative vision 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.

Peer Networks Over Hierarchies

Steven Johnson explores the idea that peer networks are more effective than traditional hierarchies. He suggests that these networks, where everyone has an equal say, can lead to more innovative and efficient solutions. It's a fresh perspective that might make you rethink how you approach teamwork and collaboration.

The Power of Decentralization

In Future Perfect, Johnson digs into the concept of decentralization. He argues that it can lead to more democratic and efficient systems. This could be a game-changer for businesses and governments alike. It's worth checking out if you're interested in new ways of organizing and decision-making.

The Importance of Diversity

Johnson highlights the importance of diversity in peer networks. He believes that a variety of perspectives can lead to better problem-solving and innovation. This is a powerful reminder to seek out and value different viewpoints in your own life and work.

The Role of Technology

Future Perfect isn't just about social structures. Johnson also looks at how technology can support peer networks and decentralization. From the internet to blockchain, he explores how tech can empower individuals and disrupt traditional power structures. If you're into tech, you'll find this part of the book particularly fascinating.

The Potential of Peer Progressivism

Johnson introduces the concept of 'peer progressivism'. This is the belief that peer networks can drive social progress. He sees a future where these networks tackle everything from climate change to healthcare. If you're interested in social change, you'll want to see what Johnson has to say about this.

Quotes 5

Steven Johnson's Future Perfect is a compelling case for a new way of thinking about the world, and how we can shape it for the better.

Bill GatesBill Gates - Microsoft Co-founder

Future Perfect is a fascinating exploration of the power of networks, and how they shape our lives. It's a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the future.

Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell - Bestselling Author

Steven Johnson's Future Perfect is a visionary look at the future of society. It's a book that will make you think, and might just change the way you see the world.

Tim O'ReillyTim O'Reilly - O'Reilly Media Founder

Future Perfect is a thought-provoking book that challenges us to rethink our assumptions about how the world works. It's a must-read for anyone interested in the future of society.

Clay ShirkyClay Shirky - Internet & Technology Writer

Steven Johnson's Future Perfect is a fascinating exploration of the potential of networks to shape our future. It's a compelling read that will challenge your assumptions and make you think.

Esther DysonEsther Dyson - Technology Investor
Bill GatesMalcolm GladwellTim O'ReillyClay ShirkyEsther Dyson

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Ev Williams

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