Our future selves (Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen) – Summary

Book Title: The New Digital Age

Written by: Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen

Chapter Title: Our future selves

Our future selves - Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen - Quotations

Order Information:

The New Digital Age (Amazon.com)
The New Digital Age (Barnes & Noble)

A short comment from blog’s author about the first chapter

Reading the chapter title, you might expect a philosophical analysis of the human identity (or self-perception) affected by technology. However, the first chapter is nothing more than an appetizer.

What Schmidt and Cohen call “our future selves” is nothing more than a summary of recent technological achievements and, an optimistic account of the technology landscape in the next few decades.

Although it has some valuable clues inside, still it was more satisfying if the chapter had a more humble title (e.g. technology and our everyday life).

Chapter 1: Our future selves

Being connected will mean very different things to different people, largely because the problems they have to solve differ so dramatically.

Connectivity will not solve income inequality, though it will alleviate some of its more intractable causes, like lack of available education and economic opportunity.

Centralizing the many moving parts of one’s life into an easy-to-use, almost intuitive system of information management and decision making will give our interaction with technology an effortless feel.

There have been a series of exciting breakthroughs in thought-controlled motion technology – directing motion by thinking alone – in the past few years.

Fewer jobs require a physical presence; talented individuals will have more options available to them.

Skilled young adults in Uruguay will find themselves competing for certain types of jobs against their counterparts in Orange County.

Of course, just as not all jobs can or will be automated in the future, not every job can be conducted from a distance – but more can than you might think.

The open-source movement around the world continues to gain speed.

For governments and companies it is low cost, and for contributors, the benefits are in recognition and economic opportunities to improve and enlarge the support ecosystems.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will become the focus in many school systems as ubiquitous digital-knowledge tools, like the more accurate sections of Wikipedia, reduce the importance of rote memorization.

Excerpts from the other chapters of the book:

Chapter Four: The future of revolutions

Kissinger and politics of the Facebook era

The story of the Stuxnet (as Schmidt explains)

The future of states

The future of identity and citizenship

Note: To comply with the requirements of the fair use, the excerpts here are not necessarily the most important or the core concepts or even summary of the book. They are just a few sentences and statements I have highlighted in the book for later reference, hoping that reading them encourage you to buy the book and read it.