Wonderland

How Play Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184503

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7741

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“A house of wonders itself. . . . Wonderland inspires grins and well-what-d'ya-knows” —The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times–bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From, a look at the world-changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained. This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-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. Johnson’s storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows. In Wonderland, Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You’ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

Wonderland

How Play Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184481

Category: HISTORY

Page: 322

View: 5203

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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"--

Wonderland

How Play Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1760551260

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 7749

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"Everyone knows the old saying "necessity is the mother of invention," but if you do a paternity test on many of the modern world's most important ideas or institutions, you will find, invariably, that leisure and play were involved in the conception as well." Most history books don't concern themselves with delight. History is the serious business of war, treaties, governments and monarchs. This is a different kind of history book. Steven Johnson argues that if you want to understand how we got to now, you have to understand pleasure and play. A staggering amount of the landscape of modern life is populated by environments and technology designed to entertain and delight us. Here history of popular entertainment, arguing that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Throughout history, he locates the cutting edge of innovation wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows.

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: 6136

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From the New York Times–bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Farsighted, 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.

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: 5866

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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.

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: 1522

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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.

Farsighted

How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0525534709

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 2338

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The hardest choices are also the most consequential. So why do we know so little about how to get them right? Big, life-altering decisions matter so much more than the decisions we make every day, and they're also the most difficult: where to live, whom to marry, what to believe, whether to start a company, how to end a war. There's no one-size-fits-all approach for addressing these kinds of conundrums. Steven Johnson's classic Where Good Ideas Come From inspired creative people all over the world with new ways of thinking about innovation. In Farsighted, he uncovers powerful tools for honing the important skill of complex decision-making. While you can't model a once-in-a-lifetime choice, you can model the deliberative tactics of expert decision-makers. These experts aren't just the master strategists running major companies or negotiating high-level diplomacy. They're the novelists who draw out the complexity of their characters' inner lives, the city officials who secure long-term water supplies, and the scientists who reckon with future challenges most of us haven't even imagined. The smartest decision-makers don't go with their guts. Their success relies on having a future-oriented approach and the ability to consider all their options in a creative, productive way. Through compelling stories that reveal surprising insights, Johnson explains how we can most effectively approach the choices that can chart the course of a life, an organization, or a civilization. Farsighted will help you imagine your possible futures and appreciate the subtle intelligence of the choices that shaped our broader social history.

Emergence

The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743218264

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 1191

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In the tradition of Being Digital and The Tipping Point, Steven Johnson, acclaimed as a "cultural critic with a poet's heart" (The Village Voice), takes readers on an eye-opening journey through emergence theory and its applications. A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK A VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT TOP 25 FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR AN ESQUIRE MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Explaining why the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its parts, Johnson presents surprising examples of feedback, self-organization, and adaptive learning. How does a lively neighborhood evolve out of a disconnected group of shopkeepers, bartenders, and real estate developers? How does a media event take on a life of its own? How will new software programs create an intelligent World Wide Web? In the coming years, the power of self-organization -- coupled with the connective technology of the Internet -- will usher in a revolution every bit as significant as the introduction of electricity. Provocative and engaging, Emergence puts you on the front lines of this exciting upheaval in science and thought.

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: 3186

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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.

Future Perfect

The Case For Progress In A Networked Age

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110159697X

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 6943

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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.

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: 8372

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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.

Wonderland

A Year in the Life of an American High School

Author: Michael Bamberger

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 1555845983

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 8345

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Pennsbury High School would be like any other were it not for one thing: its prom. Its spring dance is considered to be one of this country's best legacies. Wonderland is the inspiring true story of a dance floor and the kids who fill it: a tale of hope, sex, love, and loss. For one year, the students, parents, and teachers of Pennsbury invited Michael Bamberger, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, into their classrooms, their homes, their parties, and their dreams. He discovered an extraordinary and disparate group of everyday teenagers whose stories were touching, odd, funny, and beautiful. In Wonderland, lives intersect in unpredictable ways and are never what they appear to be. The star quarterback hides the pain of not knowing where his father is. A student with cerebral palsy is desperate to learn to tie Eagle Scout knots, despite a useless left hand. And then there is Bob Costa, who dreams of bringing glory to the school by convincing John Mayer, whose song "Your Body Is a Wonderland" is an anthem for the students, to perform at the prom. Critically acclaimed in hardcover, Wonderland is published in paperback with a new afterword by the author.

The Innovator's Cookbook

Essentials for Inventing What Is Next

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101550384

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 7420

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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.

How the Scots Invented the Modern World

The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Ever ything in It

Author: Arthur Herman

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780307420954

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 9136

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An exciting account of the origins of the modern world Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. Herman has charted a fascinating journey across the centuries of Scottish history. Here is the untold story of how John Knox and the Church of Scotland laid the foundation for our modern idea of democracy; how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to inspire both the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; and how thousands of Scottish immigrants left their homes to create the American frontier, the Australian outback, and the British Empire in India and Hong Kong. How the Scots Invented the Modern World reveals how Scottish genius for creating the basic ideas and institutions of modern life stamped the lives of a series of remarkable historical figures, from James Watt and Adam Smith to Andrew Carnegie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and how Scottish heroes continue to inspire our contemporary culture, from William “Braveheart” Wallace to James Bond. And no one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.

The Phantom Tollbooth

Author: Norton Juster

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 0375985298

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 288

View: 1638

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With almost 4 million copies sold over 50 years after its original publication, generations of readers have now journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic that Philip Pullman says “comes up bright and new every time I read it . . . it will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet. And teach us some wisdom, too.” Enriched by Jules Feiffer’s splendid illustrations, the wit, wisdom, and wordplay of Norton Juster’s offbeat fantasy are as beguiling as ever. For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams!

The Rough Patch

Marriage and the Art of Living Together

Author: Daphne de Marneffe

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501118943

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 368

View: 2234

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From a leading clinical psychologist who has counseled couples and individuals for decades, a wise, radical, and optimistic approach to marriage that promises compatibility between an individual’s development and the often relentless demands of a relationship. People today are trying to make their marriages work over longer lives than ever before—for their children’s health and well-being, and for their own. Indeed, among the college-educated, divorce rates have declined. But staying married isn’t always easy. In the brilliant, transformative, and optimistic The Rough Patch, clinical psychologist Daphne de Marneffe explores the extraordinary pushes and pulls of midlife marriage, where our need to develop as individuals can crash headlong into the demands of our relationships. The Rough Patch is divided into chapters that address key problems that challenge marriages: money, alcohol and drugs, the stresses of parenthood, sex, extramarital affairs, lovesickness, health, aging, children leaving home, and dealing with elderly parents. De Marneffe offers readers seasoned wisdom on these difficulties, addressing the psychological, emotional, and relational capacities we must cultivate to overcome them as individuals and as couples. Blending research, interviews, and clinical experience, and writing with uncommon insight into the daily behaviors of men and women, de Marneffe dives deep into the workings of love and the structures of relationships. Every reader will find himself or herself in these pages. Intimate and sometimes gritty, The Rough Patch is an essential, compassionate resource for people trying to understand “where they are” on the continuum of marriage, giving them a chance to share in other people’s stories and struggles. With humor and deep seriousness, de Marneffe helps men and women understand themselves in order to move in the direction we’re all trying to go: a life lived with integrity, vitality, and love.

Wonderland

Author: Stacey D'Erasmo

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544074815

Category: Fiction

Page: 242

View: 8705

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Disappearing for years after a meteoric rise in the indie rock scene, powerhouse singer Anna sells the last of her resources to finance a comeback album and reclaim an ultimate transcendent moment on the stage. By the award-winning author of The Art of Intimacy. 40,000 first printing.

The Story of Alice

Author: Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674967798

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 496

View: 4247

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Drawing on numerous unpublished sources, the author examines the peculiar friendship between Oxford mathematician Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories, and analyzes how this relationship stirred Carroll's imagination and influenced the creation of Wonderland.

Men, Machines, and Modern Times

Author: Elting E. Morison,Leo Marx,Rosalind Williams

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529319

Category: Social Science

Page: 344

View: 3907

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An engaging look at how we have learned to live with innovation and new technologies through history.