Future Minds Map (final version)

Here it is at last. The story here is that my UK publisher wanted a map for my new book (Future Minds). I said he couldn’t have one. I had exhausted the subway map genre and couldn’t think how else you’d do it.

I did about 4-5 maps over the next 12-months (just to show it didn’t really work) but then stumbled upon old maps. I like that very old maps have bits missing. The territory is not fully explored. Moreover, people are often looking for something of value. I also remembered making treasure maps by hand as a kid, especially the ones where you’d burn the edges with a candle or stain them with cold tea to make them look old.

This one took a week I’d guess. The first hand-drawn versions weren’t quite right. Then I tried doing it on a computer but that seemed to go against the grain of my main argument, which is that digital technology is eroding deep thinking and human relationships. We are in a constant rush and distracted the whole time. I should take my time.

The map also looked rather cool hand-drawn. Of course, I kept making silly mistakes, which meant starting over each time. This final version also contains a mistake, but the mistake makes a point.

I’d gone into the garage to get some peace and quiet and had done 90% of the map when I started to write Skype. Then my mobile rang (I think it was Ian Jedlin from KPMG – I’d forgotten to switch it off). I said I couldn’t talk right now because I was doing something that needed concentration (too embarrassing to admit what someone on the wrong side of forty was actually doing) so I said I’d call him back later and I went back to writing Skype (bottom right of frame) but proceeded to write “Sype” Instead. Oh bugger.

This map is largely for fun (and makes a nice counter-point to the digital style book cover) but there are some ideas (or at least conversation starters) buried in it. Here are a few of them…

Mountains of interruptions
Peak of attention
Plains of boredom
Sea of infinite content
Constant partial stupidity (i.e. “sype”)
Sleep debt
Locational privacy
Marshland of ideas
Social media shoals
Islands of group think
Digital isolation
Digital nomads
Digital diets

The question, of course, is where are we on the map right now and where are we heading or where do we want to go? BTW, the map is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License, which means anyone can do more or less whatever they like with it.

URL for map here:


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