Science writer in America's heartland
The concepts were easy to follow; I would say that McGonigal's sentence structure is a little complex, and suited to someone of an academic background.
This book is incredibly well researched, and ties together complex themes in psychology, sociology, and computer science. Part 1, the background of McGonigal's thesis, was fascinating, and Part 2, which related more of her own personal story, was also interesting. But the list of games and web sites in Part 3 seemed unnecessarily long. That's why I marked down the rating. For such a strong start, the book didn't finish in a very interesting way.
That said, I did find myself bookmarking important concepts and jotting down names of web sites and games to check out later. McGonigal motivated me to explore games to improve my health and the planet.
If you laid out the books "The Tipping Point," "We Are Anonymous" and "Freakonomics," this book would neatly fill the empty space among them. While "Reinventing Discovery" details specific examples of how the Internet is enabling new forms of scientific collaboration today, it draws attention to the cultural aspects of our networked existence, and this is where I found the book most interesting. With so many people willing to participate in large, networked endeavors, maybe we really are on the cusp of finding new ways to fund and perform scientific research. I wish I could read the sequel that's going to come out decades from now, explaining how all these trends played out.
Brian Christian has wed computer science and philosophy in “The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us about What it Means to be Alive.” From this book I have received new insights from Artificial Intelligence, interpersonal communication, and simple conversation. This book links computers and computer science to group and individual identity which will shift the reader’s thinking certainly. Parenthetically, if you are planning to read Stephen Baker’s “Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything” you might want to read this book first. If you have completed that book, put Christian’s book on your reading list immediately. Well written, informative, and entertaining. Read expertly by the author.