Media release

RELEASE

Contact: Nicola Woods

nicola.woods@harpercollins.com.au

ABC BOOKS

An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

 

Prepare to be completely captivated by this compelling, informative and entertaining look at the world around us and where we’re headed — new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking.

         

The Future and #Related Nonsense

Antony Funnell

 

How much do you know about the world around you? Technology now infuses every aspect of our lives, it will help shape our future, but many of us are clueless about the digital and technological environment in which we live.

 Do you, for instance, understand how the science of terraforming could plunge whole countries into drought and start World War Three?

 Have you ever heard of crowdsourcing and the way it’s being used to fund everything from t-shirt design to investigative journalism?

 Do you know about the Jevon’s Paradox and why the quest for energy efficiency is actually leading to greater energy consumption not less?

 And what about a ‘Twitter revolution’ – fact or fiction?

This book covers it all – the good, the bad and the bizarre!

 Antony Funnell challenges us to cast aside our digital rosary beads and look more closely at the world around us. It’s time to be curious. It’s time to be positive. But above all else, it’s time for a healthy dose of good old fashioned scepticism.

‘It’s a cynical, distrustful world – well, not quite. In fact, where scepticism is concerned we’ve been living in a period of elongated drought. Very few people question the direction in which our digital world is heading or the motivations of the commercial technology companies that increasingly govern our lives. In a few short years we’ve given over vast amounts of personal information to profit-driven technology organisations, asking little by way of assurance in return. A big part of the problem is that we’ve confused technological change (upgrading and digital gadgets as fashion accessories) with technological advancement. We eulogise Steve Jobs as an agent of global change, rather than as a businessman with an incredible skill for marketing. And to top it all off, we’ve made Facebook the ‘town-square’ of the 21st century, despite the fact that the social media site is a marketing platform run by a man who Privacy International’s head, Simon Davies, declares ‘still doesn’t get privacy’.

In a world of spin and marketing we’ve been sold on the idea that technology represents the future and that to question the value of our new digital platforms represents a heresy. We’re all to blame, of course: many of us are fearful of asking questions about the accepted wisdom surrounding our digital world for fear of being branded a Luddite. Make no mistake, modern technology can be great, but we as individuals and societies need to be far more questioning of its usage and more sceptical of the technology companies that make money out of feeding our digital addiction.’ — Antony Funnell

 Come with guide and host of Radio National’s Future Tense, Antony Funnell, as he unravels the mysteries of the world we’ve created, cuts through the mumbo jumbo, warns of the dangers and laughs at the hype. Smart, articulate and refreshingly humorous, The Future and Related Nonsense delivers the answers to things you should know — but were too busy or too confused to ask.

Antony Funnell is a Walkley award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He is the presenter of the Future Tense series on ABC Radio National and is a former host of The Media Report. Over the past two decades he has worked for many of Australia’s leading news and current affairs programs, including AM, PM and 7.30 Report.

Further information on the book’s major themes can be found at www.thefutureandrelatednonsense.wordpress.com

For further information, please contact:

Nicola Woods, Senior Publicity Manager

Tel: 02 9952 5004

E: nicola.woods@harpercollins.com.au

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