Jetpacks and mind machines! Think Smarter looks into the future! This week’s reading list is designed to equip you for all the technological and ecological advances of the next few years. For a chance to win the whole set, sign up to the Think Smarter newsletter by midnight on Saturday 31 January.

 

cryptocurrencyWe may not be ditching the dollar any time soon, but the way we use and store our money may well be about to change thanks to the invention of virtual money. In Cryptocurrency, Paul Vigna and Michael J Casey look at the technological, political and economic impact of this fiscal evolution, tackling the issues of regulation, accountability and where this new system leaves our traditional economic infrastructure.

Discover the five stages of cryptocurrency recognition in this exclusive blog post for Think Smarter.

 

glasscageThe debate continues over whether all our devices and technological aids are actually any good for us. Nicholas Carr, author of several books on technology, takes on our digital crutches in The Glass Cage, from the autopilot to Google Maps, and examines the knowledge gap we develop when we rely on our apps.

Read more from Nicholas Carr on how modern maps might end up getting us lost.

 

flyahorseThe originator of the concept of ‘The Internet of Things’, Kevin Ashton knows more than most about what it takes to create truly life-changing technology. In How To Fly A Horse, Ashton lucidly and engagingly talks us through the endeavour and creativity that gave us many of the innovations we can’t live without today, from air travel to cyclone vacuum cleaners.

Read more from Kevin Ashton on why we don’t need to fear the unpredictability of the future.

 

sapiensIn Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari speculates on where our species is going by looking at the great milestones of human development; what Harari defines as the cognitive, agricultural and technological revolutions. As the rate of technological advances accelerates, Harari questions whether we are in danger of outgrowing our own species.

 

feralIn Feral, George Monbiot proposes that our best hope for the future is in the return to a truly wild past. Reminding us that excavations under sites in London have revealed the skeletons of woolly mammoths and rhinoceros, this is a lyrical expression of the author’s desire to reverse the taming of nature and the resignation of the wilderness to weekend camping trips. It’s also a fascinating meditation on what we may have lost and gained as we have moved from the woods to J G Ballard’s ‘drowsy villas, sheltered by benevolent shopping malls’.

 

To help you make the most of 2015, we’re devoting this January to sharing exclusive writing from some of our biggest smart thinking authors. Sign up to the Think Smarter mailing list and you’ll get a weekly digest straight to your inbox every Saturday this month, as well as monthly newsletters throughout the rest of the year.

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