Summary of The Glass Cage

Automation and Us

W.W. Norton, more...

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The Glass Cage book summary
Today’s super-smart technology can make you dumber.


9 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


The provocative, best-selling technology writer Nicholas Carr argues that automation, for all its benefits, exacts hidden costs. He recalls airline crashes that resulted from pilots losing their edge as skilled fliers due to their excess dependency on autopilots. He sees other downsides, too, such as the way GPS navigation software engenders driver laziness and disconnection from the surrounding geography. Some reviewers describe Carr as a postmodern Luddite, but he comes across more as a selective contrarian than a full-fledged technology hater. Carr is an entertaining writer and his musings are a joy to read. getAbstract recommends his treatise to business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, futurists, techno-geeks, and anyone seeking an alternate look at the always-evolving technology landscape.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How automation changes workers’ relationship to their work;
  • Why “automation bias” and “automation complacency” are dangerous; and
  • How automation affects the performance of pilots, doctors, drivers, you and almost everyone you know.


Automation defines the technology age. You don’t need to remember driving directions since your GPS tells you where to go. Soon, you may not need to learn to drive at all. Google’s self-driving fleet of automated Toyota Priuses has already logged nearly a million miles without...
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About the Author

Nicholas Carr is author of The Shallows – a Pulitzer Prize finalist – The Big Switch and Does IT Matter? His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times and Wired.

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