While the rating tells you how good a book is according to our two core criteria, it says nothing about its particular defining features. Therefore, we use a set of 20 qualities to characterize each book by its strengths:
Applicable – You’ll get advice that can be directly applied in the workplace or in everyday situations.
Analytical – You’ll understand the inner workings of the subject matter.
Background – You’ll get contextual knowledge as a frame for informed action or analysis.
Bold – You’ll find arguments that may break with predominant views.
Comprehensive – You’ll find every aspect of the subject matter covered.
Concrete Examples – You’ll get practical advice illustrated with examples of real-world applications or anecdotes.
Controversial – You’ll be confronted with strongly debated opinions.
Eloquent – You’ll enjoy a masterfully written or presented text.
Engaging – You’ll read or watch this all the way through the end.
Eye opening – You’ll be offered highly surprising insights.
For beginners – You’ll find this to be a good primer if you’re a learner with little or no prior experience/knowledge.
For experts – You’ll get the higher-level knowledge/instructions you need as an expert.
Hot Topic – You’ll find yourself in the middle of a highly debated issue.
Innovative – You can expect some truly fresh ideas and insights on brand-new products or trends.
Insider’s take – You’ll have the privilege of learning from someone who knows her or his topic inside-out.
Inspiring – You’ll want to put into practice what you’ve read immediately.
Overview – You’ll get a broad treatment of the subject matter, mentioning all its major aspects.
Scientific – You’ll get facts and figures grounded in scientific research.
Visionary – You’ll get a glimpse of the future and what it might mean for you.
Well structured – You’ll find this to be particularly well organized to support its reception or application.
Author Jaron Lanier touches on self-driving cars, financial algorithms, climate change, a fair economic system and dozens of other complex topics. The overarching theme that unites these disparate ideas is how information technology is transforming each of them, though people generally underestimate how fundamentally this transformation will disrupt the economy. Lanier helped pioneer virtual reality and has been involved in or been a close observer of many digital advances. His observations possess particular weight and vividness. Lanier points out how information technology has made society less fair and less humane. This is not an easy read, due to its idiosyncratic organization, its vast ambitions and Lanier’s iconoclastic approach. The author’s prescription for a new, more equitable, more functional economy is fascinating but sometimes hard to parse. Still, getAbstract recommends this manifesto as required reading for anyone intrigued by cyberculture, ethics or shaping the future – if you can read with patience.
About the Author
A pioneer of the virtual world, computer scientist and musician Jaron Lanier also wrote You Are Not a Gadget.