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Silicon States

The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future

List Price: $26.00

ON SALE: August 21, 2018 | Hardcover | 6.0 x 9.0, 288 pages | ISBN 9781640090712
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A bracing look at how Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley power players are using their influence across the globe to encroach upon our civil landscape

In an era when faith in government and its institutions is quickly eroding, the businesses of Silicon Valley are stepping in to fill the gap. With outsize supplies of cash, talent, and ambition, a small group of corporations have been gradually seizing leadership—and consumer confidence—around the world.

In Silicon States, renowned futurist and celebrated international think-tank leader Lucie Greene offers an unparalleled look at the players, promises, and potential problems of Big Tech. Through interviews with corporate leaders, influential venture capitalists, scholars, journalists, activists, and more, Greene explores the tension inherent in Silicon Valley’s global influence. If these companies can invent a social network, how might they soon transform our political and health-care systems? If they can revolutionize the cell phone, what might they do for space travel, education, or the housing market? As Silicon Valley faces increased scrutiny over its mistreatment of women, cultural shortcomings, and its role in widespread Russian election interference, we are learning where its interests truly lie, and about the great power these companies wield over an unsuspecting citizenry.

While the promise of technology is seductive, it is important to understand these corporations’ possible impacts on our political and socioeconomic institutions. Greene emphasizes that before we hand our future over to a rarefied group of companies, we should examine the world they might build and confront its benefits, prejudices, and inherent flaws. Silicon States pushes us to ask if, ultimately, this is the future we really want.

LUCIE GREENE is the worldwide director of the Innovation Group, J. Walter Thompson’s in-house futures and innovation think tank. The Innovation Group’s work is frequently cited in publications including The New York TimesBloomberg BusinessweekThe GuardianWWDUSA Today, and The Times (London). She’s a thought leadership columnist for Campaign, writes for the Financial Times on futures, and has spoken at conferences including CES, SXSW, Web Summit, Cosmoprof, and Ad Week, discussing future trends across multiple lifestyle sectors. She has appeared on BBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV as an expert on the future.

Praise

1 of the Best Books of 2018 (So Far) (Esquire)
1 of 5 Books You Need to Read Next
(Women.com)

“Via candid interviews with corporate leaders, influential venture capitalists, scholars, journalists, activists, [Greene] explores exactly what’s at stake if we continue to let the largely unregulated Big Tech determine our futures.” —Esquire, One of the Best Books of 2018 (So Far)

Silicon States couldn’t come at a better time. Author Lucie Greene shines lights on the issues in the tech world, how the government has gotten involved, and what that means for us.” —Women.com, One of Five Books You Need to Read Next

“Greene looks at the ways in which multinational tech giants, including Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others have resisted government regulation while pushing to take over functions traditionally provided by the state . . . An open-eyed analysis of influential technology companies’ ambitions of interest to investors, tech users, and media consumers.” —Library Journal

“In Silicon States, futurist Lucie Greene delivers a whip-smart and ultimately scary read about the growing reach and power of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies. Companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon leap ahead so swiftly that regulators can’t keep up with them. Left to their own devices, tech titans are transforming every industry and shaping the future. What will that mean for the rest of us? Highly recommended.” —Dan Lyons, author of the New York Times bestselling Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble and contributing writer of the HBO series Silicon Valley

“Timely and important. If you’re not scared by Big Tech yet, you will be after reading this.” —Rowland Manthorpe, technology correspondent for Sky News and former senior editor of Wired UK

“An excoriating look at the new masters of our universe. For anyone who has ever cursed Facebook, spent too long on Instagram, been trolled on Twitter, or bought too many Apple products, this book is for you. Read it, and join the resistance.” —Tiffanie Darke, editor in chief, A+E Networks

“Lucie Greene’s lively, engaging narrative delivers essential, thought-provoking truths about Big Tech’s influence and impact that will make you look at the world—and our emerging future—in a whole new way.” —Robert Safian, founder of The Flux Group and former editor of Fast Company

“Can Silicon Valley fix the world? Can it even fix itself? With wild ambition and limitless hubris, America’s tech titans are rethinking and reinventing everything in sight. But they can’t always be bothered to think it through, so Lucie Greene has taken on the task—and the future she sees is not exactly Utopia. Silicon States can hardly be more timely.” —Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion

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