We look at the latest book by Byron Reese, whose previous book The Fourth Age we also reviewed for Irish Tech News. See more about Stories, Dice & Rocks That Think here.
Stories, Dice & Rocks That Think, reviewed
Bryson Reese is a good and engaging story teller, as we found from his previous book and so we were interested to review this book also. The first hundred and fifty pages approximately were interesting, but at times it felt like interesting after dinner anecdotes rather than stitching together into a clear narrative driving you to a specific concept or goal. Naturally the title is a strong clue as to where the author is trying to take you, but we just felt it took a slightly longer than expected period of time to get the car running and up to speed.
Around the middle of the second hundred pages we felt that the narrative theme hit its stride and the points became more specifically relevant to the author making his point, rather than merely interesting in their own sake. Then things became more interesting and we found the book insightful, thought provoking and well worth reading. We will share this book with others and suggest that people read it, and that it is well worth tackling. You will come away smarter, and looking to join up the dots in various areas. Definitely one for the cooler autumn evenings to read.
More about this book
“Stories, Dice & Rocks That Think” is a new look at the history & destiny of humanity, wherein dice teach us about probability, which allows us to acccurately predict the future; storytelling allows us to envision the future; and rocks that think – a reference to a computer’s CPU – enable us to build the future. This fascinating tale explores the three leaps in our history that made us who we are—and will change how you think about our future.
Look around. Clearly, we humans are radically different from the other creatures on this planet. But why? Where are the Bronze Age beavers? The Iron Age iguanas? In “Stories, Dice, and Rocks That Think” (Aug. 16, 2022 / Benbella Books), Byron Reese argues that we owe our special status to our ability to imagine the future and recall the past, escaping the perpetual present that all other living creatures are trapped in.
Envisioning human history as the development of a societal superorganism he names Agora, Reese shows us how this escape enabled us to share knowledge on an unprecedented scale, to predict—and eventually master—the future.
Thoughtful, witty, and compulsively readable, Reese unravels our history as an intelligent species in three acts:
Act I: Ancient humans undergo “the awakening,” developing the cognitive ability to mentally time-travel using language
Act II: In 17th century France, probability theory is born—a science for seeing into the future that we used to build the modern world
Act III: Beginning with the invention of the computer chip, humanity creates machines to gaze into the future with even more precision, overcoming the limits of our brains
A fresh new look at the history and destiny of humanity, readers will come away from Stories, Dice, and Rocks that Think with a new understanding of what they are—not just another animal, but a creature with a mastery of time itself.
“Stories, Dice and Rocks That Think” is Byron’s fourth book.
More about the author
Serial entrepreneur, technologist, and futurist – Byron Reese has enjoyed a wide range of success over 30 years, including two NASDAQ IPOs as well as the sale of three companies he founded. Byron has spoken around world to both technical and non-technical audiences.
His keynotes and appearances include SXSW, TEDx Austin, Google, Nvidia, FedEx and Fortune 1000 companies (Dell Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Oticon, Swisslog) and universities Rice (University of Texas, Queen’s University, TWU) and futurist conferences (TimeMachine, PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam, Wolfram Data Summit, and the IEEE Conference) among others.
He is the former CEO of Gigaom (and is still its primary shareholder) and was the creator / host of the Voices in AI podcast.
Byron’s previous book, The Fourth Age, was cited by the NYT as one of “Three Books to Consider When the Robots Take Over”. His newest book, “Stories, Dice & Rocks That Think: How Humans Learned to See the Future – And Shape It”, launches internationally from Ben Bella press in August.
This new book provides a new look at the history & destiny of humanity, wherein dice teach us about probability, which allows us to accurately predict the future; storytelling allows us to envision the future; and rocks that think – a reference to a computer’s CPU – enable us to build the future.
See more reviews here.