From time to time, I take one or two hours per week just go wander in the social media world. I “escape” on Facebook and watch what others are doing, what movies do they watch, what are their description. I do the same thing on Twitter and, more recently, on Google+. Many people have in their profile description “tech lover”, “tech enthusiast” or “tech evangelist”, so I have to wonder – being obsessed about iPhone, iPad, Android, computers and all other things is really what a “tech lover” should be? After all, we’re talking mainly about consumer electronics here, not necessarily about technological breakthroughs.
That’s why I thought about a list of books that every geek should read so that he could proudly call himself a tech lover, not only because he loves gadgets and recent technology but because he believes in science, he believes in the power of technology and its philosophy.
7. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, by Ray Kurzweil
Thought provoking book, written by the well-known futuristic author Ray Kurzweil where he speaks about technological singularity as being the blind point in human evolution, the moment when on Earth could appear entities smarter than humans. So, what will happen during that “clash”? Nobody knows.
6. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
I remember having read this book when I was 12. At that point, robots seemed like such a far point in human evolution. But, look around, we already have robots that can think and take autonomous decisions. Will they be our friends, will they be our enemies?
5. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by D. Tapscott and A.D. Williams
This book is utterly important for business owners and it highlights the huge effect of the social media on the financial factor of many companies in the world. A basic line from this book is this one “the more your company lets outsiders in, or even turns the company over to the masses, the more new ideas are generated, the more new products are developed, and the more problems are solved.”
4. The Future of the Internet And How to Stop It, by Jonathan Zittrain
“The most compelling book ever written on why a transformative technology”s trajectory threatens to stifle that technology”s greatest promise for society. Zittrain offers convincing road maps for redeeming that promise.” The books speaks about the Internet having a “bad” ending if we’re not going to influence it for the good of society.
A good example that I can think of is how Twitter helped people report from Egyptian riots. The books comprises in 352 pages information from the start of the Internet and the author tries to predict what could the Internet transform into if we will not be able to control it.
3. Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, by Lawrence Lessig
Seems like a heavy tech book at first, but as you read the first pages you realize the genius of the author and how did he make it readable for everybody. One could view this book as a sci-fi one, as the author suggests that governments could change the “code” of the Internet and make it controllable. It’s another book about the Internet, but, this author tries to prove that the Internet could be the key for us to restart the democratic process that seems lost. A wonderful book that combines Internet – the juice of technology with a futuristic view of the political aspect of the World.
2. The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society, by James Beniger
It’s all about information, James Beniger suggests. From the very first wheel that humans made until 3D processors, it’s all about information. Beniger argues that information has been used by society to control production, that’s what made possible the big transition from the feudal society into the industrialized one, when people, using information shaped into machines and factories, could control production, thus feeding the needs of the entire society. It’s a must-read in your library.
1. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
My personal no.1 is this awesome written book by the genius of sci-fi, Herbert Wells. Why The Time Machine? Because traveling in time has been the biggest dream for humanity, a possibility that we were talking about since childhood. It will remain a wonderfully written book, ready to make you dream and get lost in webs of desire. It will make you wanna go back and see how big the dinos were and see how will humanity look like one hundred years from now.