Digital vs Human (final fiddle)

Back page text

It’s hard to believe, but the book goes on. Days away from printing now, but still trying to get the cover right and also re-writing the back cover text at the last minute. The key thing here is obviously to convey what the book is about for people that haven’t read it (and one supposes don’t have more than about ten seconds to do so before they move on to another book). The current words are below, with the first pass below that. The key point, for me at least, is not that the book is about digital systems, robotics or artificial intelligence, but the looming battle between human and digital minds. More specifically, it’s about what a small group of people is arguably imposing on the rest of the human race. This has shades of the 1% (or the 99%), but also the banking crisis. This is an observation that’s been picked up by one of my favourite columnists at the Financial Times, Gillian Tett. Prior to 2007/8 banking was run by a tiny group of people and nobody else really understood what they were doing. IT at the cutting edge is much the same. It’s a small group of experts and almost nobody else has a clue about what they are doing or what the longer-term consequences might be.

Current re-write.
From the author of the international bestseller Future Files comes the one book you need to prepare for tomorrow.

Life has never been better. By most measures our physical lives have improved greatly in recent years. So why do we feel that all is not well? As technologies developed by a tiny handful of designers and developers are changing our lives, we are beginning to question whose interests are being served. Are they here for our benefit? Or are we here for theirs? Richard Watson hereby extends an exuberant invitation to look more closely at the world we’re creating and think more deeply about who it is that we want to be.

Original text including my edit comments (in bold)
The blurb may require cuts to fit into the back cover design. Our current proposal is the following: Surely there is room at the front or more likely the back to run or repeat all the quotes?

From the author of the international bestseller Future Files comes the one book to help you prepare for tomorrow.

On most measures that matter, we’ve never had it so good. Physically, life for humankind has improved immeasurably over the last fifty years. Yet, spreading across the world, there is a crisis of confidence in progress. Jumps….
(Do we even need most of the above? How about simply starting with the below and creating room for more testimonials? For example…

From the author of the international bestseller Future Files comes the one book you need to read to prepare for the world of tomorrow. (Still jumps?) To a large degree, the history of the next fifty years will be about the relationship between people and technologies created by a tiny handful of designers and developers. These (their?) inventions will undoubtedly change our lives, but just what are they capable of, and — as they transform the media, the economy, healthcare, education, work, and the home — what kind of lives do we want to lead?

Richard Watson, the author of the international bestseller Future Files, hereby extends an exuberant invitation for us to think deeply about the world of today and envision what kind of world we wish to create in the future. (for tomorrow?).

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