The Glass Cage: Who Needs Humans Anyway

Author(s): Nicholas Carr

Popular Science

In The Glass Cage, Pulitzer Prize nominee and bestselling author Nicholas Carr shows how the most important decisions of our lives are now being made by machines and the radical effect this is having on our ability to learn and solve problems. In May 2009 an Airbus A330 passenger jet equipped with the latest 'glass cockpit' controls plummeted 30,000 feet into the Atlantic. The reason for the crash: the autopilot had routinely switched itself off. In fact, automation is everywhere - from the thermostat in our homes and the GPS in our phones to the algorithms of High Frequency Trading and self-driving cars. We now use it to diagnose patients, educate children, evaluate criminal evidence and fight wars. But psychological studies show that we perform best when fully involved in a task, while the principle of automation - that humans are inefficient - is self-fulfilling. The glass cockpit is becoming a glass cage. In this utterly engrossing expose, bestselling writer Nicholas Carr reveals how automation is affecting our ability to solve problems, forge memories and acquire skills.
Rather than rejecting technology, Carr argues that we must urgently rethink its role in our lives, using it to enhance rather than diminish the extraordinary abilities that make us human.


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A panoramic expose of the decision-making software running our lives - and how it is changing us all.

"Nicholas Carr is among the most lucid, thoughtful and necessary thinkers alive. The Glass Cage should be required reading for everyone with a phone" -- Jonathan Safran Foer "Written with restrained objectivity, The Glass Cage is nevertheless as scary as any sci-fi thriller could be" -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience "Nicholas Carr is the rare thinker who understands that technological progress is both essential and worrying. The Glass Cage is a call for technology that complements our human capabilities, rather than replacing them" -- Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody "A very necessary book, that we ignore at our peril. I read it without putting it down" -- Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary "An important book ... deep and valuable" The Times

Nicholas Carr is the author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, a 2011 Pulitzer Prize nominee and a New York Times bestseller, as well as two other influential books, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (2008) and Does IT Matter? (2004). His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. (

General Fields

  • : 9780099597452
  • : Penguin Random House
  • : Vintage
  • : 0.208
  • : January 2016
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Nicholas Carr
  • : Paperback
  • : 303.4834
  • : 288