This is a fascinating book with an interesting premise. The one takeaway from this book, for me, was that we are living through a massive economic shift, akin to the Industrial Revolution, only a lot faster. It’s nice to be a participant in the revolution, but my heart really goes out to those in the “service industry” who will be left behind. The WSJ reported not to long ago that wealth is concentrating at the top while the disparity between them and the bottom grows wider. Activists feel it’s time to do something, but exactly what remains to be determined. It would seem to me that if the Industrial Revolution and rural electrification is any clue, the “do something” that needs to be done is bring more people into the new economy and let them innovate their way to success. Mark Zuckerberg is exceptional, but only with regard to the degree of his success. There are hundreds of innovators who have made merely millions instead of billions. I don’t think the shift will be quick or easy, but I think I can see where it is going.
Brynjolfsson and McAfee recommend a trivium that improves the skills of:
– large-frame pattern recognition
– complex communication
In a word – the Arts. I am a strong STEM proponent, but I also feel just as strongly that one is not fully educated as a STEM practitioner if they cannot also read music and understand it when it’s played (complex communication), identify musical themes across genres (large-frame pattern recognition) or suggest ways to create new mash-ups or copositions (ideation). The same is true for prose, poetry, theater, painting, sculpture, and all the rest.
View all my reviews” title=”The Second Machine Age”>The Second Machine Age
My Good Reads review as I’m about 2/3 the way through the book. I will update as I read more.