The beloved author of The Revenge of Analog lays out a case for a human future–not the false technological utopia we've been living.
For years, consumers have been promised a simple, carefree digital future. We could live, work, learn, and play from the comforts of our homes, and have whatever we desire brought to our door with the flick of a finger. Instant communication would bring us together. Technological convenience would give us more time to focus on what really mattered.
When the pandemic hit, that future transformed into the present, almost overnight. And the reviews aren't great. It turns out that leaving the house is underrated, instant communication spreads anger better than joy, and convenience takes away time rather than giving it to us. Oops.
But as David Sax argues in this insightful book, we've also had our eyes opened. There is nothing about the future that has to be digital, and embracing the reality of human experience doesn't mean resisting change. In chapters exploring work, school, leisure, and more, Sax asks perceptive and pointed questions: what happens to struggling students when they're not in a classroom? If our software is built for productivity, who tends to the social and cultural aspects of our jobs? Can you have religion without community?
For many people, the best parts of quarantine have been the least digital ones: baking bread, playing board games, going hiking. We used our hands and hugged our children and breathed fresh air. This book suggests that if we want a healthy future, we need to choose not convenience but community, not technology but humanity.
David Sax is a writer, reporter, and speaker who specializes in business and culture. His book The Revenge of Analog was a #1 Washington Post bestseller, was selected as one of Michiko Kakutani's Top Ten books of 2016 for the New York Times, and has been translated into six languages. He is also the author of three other books: Save the Deli, which won a James Beard award, The Soul of an Entrepreneur, and The Tastemakers. He lives in Toronto.