We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
World Without Mind Audiobook

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

Regular Price:$24.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Franklin Foer reveals the existential threat posed by big tech and in his brilliant polemic gives us the toolkit to fight their pervasive influence.

Over the past few decades, there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperiled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection - a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being coopted by these gigantic companies and understand the ideas that underpin their success.

Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science - from Descartes and the Enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley - Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.

At stake is nothing less than who we are and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past, but today's corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They're monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision making. Until now, few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.

©2017 Franklin Foer (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (41 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.2 (37 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.5 (37 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ex 10-19-17
    Ex 10-19-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    26
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting but meandering"

    some of this is pretty well padded, but the core argument is fascinating and true. timely considering what's happening now with Facebook and Google data being questioned and how their platforms were used to influence the election.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Mortimer 09-25-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    24
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Filled with Liberal Bias"

    The book is replete with liberal bias innuendo. For example, when the author discusses the impact of social media on the election, be does so in a disparaging way when emoting on the election of President Trump. Another, was a reflection on corporations not paying for their fair share of taxes. There are many more such examples.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Reader New Jersey, USA 09-20-17
    A Reader New Jersey, USA 09-20-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "And the point is?"

    I get it – the Internet is run by monopolistic robber barons that control the things that we see and because they do so they control our thoughts. This is bad. We should do something about it but since that probably won't happen, go read a book. Perhaps my reading comprehension isn't what it used to be because of the amount of time I spend on the Internet, but that seems to be all this book had to say.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Larson 09-18-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    93
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5-Star Book with a 1-Star Title"

    5-Star Book with a 1-Star Title

    There's a recent trend where we take an amazing book that everyone needs to read and give it a crazy title (e.g., Chasing the Scream, Fantasy Land, etc.) virtually guaranteeing that nobody will become intrigued enough to pick up said book. To help overcome this deficit, I have written this review to point out how insanely good this dull-titled book really is.


    Pop quiz, during the last four years of the Obama administration, which American company sent the most lobbyists to the White House?

    Was it some bloated weapons-system maker who just signed a sweetheart, no-bid, multi-billion dollar deal to deliver a weapons system that will come in late, over-contract, and have multiple technical glitches requiring expensive ongoing maintenance and upgrades from said company? Nope not those guys.

    Was it lobbyists from some big pharma company trying to convince the president to let them make a handful of minor 5000% price increases on drugs invented 50 years ago and available for pennies on the dollar in every other country in the world? Nope, not those guys either.

    The company with the most lobbyists regularly visiting the White House over the last 4 years, was a little silicon valley startup called Google.

    Do I have your attention?

    Here's what to do now:

    Step 1: Read this book immediately. Step 2: Question everything.
    Okay, maybe not everything. The weak spots in this book are mostly in the first half where the author (a famed former editor of the New Republic) rails bitterly against falling standards in his profession amid piracy and abundance. The author balances precariously here as he imagines himself stumbling upon some ancient economic law stating that an increase in supply somehow leads to an inevitable decrease in quality. No such law exists, and usually the opposite happens (i.e., if you want to find the most diamonds in the rough, it helps to start with a lot more rough). If you want more successes, you need to take more attempts, and that means you will have more misses too.

    This book is really two books. The first half is a slow-burn oral history of the information age, and it completely undersells what’s about to hit you in the second half. The second half of the book is a rousing polemic that makes you realize suddenly that the pod people walk among us and you don’t even own a pair of katana blades to defend yourself. The second half of the book is a quadra-latte vascular injection into the orbicularis oculi muscles of your eyes. In other words, read it, and you shall be made to see the light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.