Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

Wonderland How Play Made the Modern World A house of wonders itself Wonderland inspires grins and well what d ya knows The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come Fr

  • Title: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
  • Author: Steven Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780399184482
  • Page: 191
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A house of wonders itself Wonderland inspires grins and well what d ya knows The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From, a look at the world changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long zoom A house of wonders itself Wonderland inspires grins and well what d ya knows The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From, a look at the world changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world shaping technological change Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused.Johnson s storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows.In Wonderland, Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements You ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

    One thought on “Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World”

    1. Steven Johnson is one of my favorite authors (I even wrote this article making suggestions on where to start if you've never read him). Wonderland is very similar to Johnson's previous book, How We Got to Now, which examined six innovations, clean, time, glass, light, cold, and sound that revolutionized the world. Wonderland takes a similar tact, this time examining how six amusements-fashion, music, taste, illusions, games, and public spaces-have had similar results. For example, the early fash [...]

    2. Hai sa nu mai fugim de latura noastra ludica si sa o lasam sa ne indrume catre revelatii.Restul recenziei aici:youtube/watch?v=2vjdh

    3. Let me be very clear. My rating reflects my preference, not the quality of the book. This book has taught me about myself in that I am very interested in play as applies to games and gaming.I will say I feel the use of the word "play" in the title is used extremely loosely. I personally do not consider a taste for spices to be "play." This is more an exploration of how the seeking of pleasure/novelty, not the push to have more of the necessities, drives much of innovation and exploration. The th [...]

    4. Wonderland : How Play Made the Modern World (2016) by Steven Johnson is an interesting read about the impact of how luxuries and amusements have had on history. Johnson wrote a superb book called 'How we got to now' that had a limited number of key inventions that he says lead to the modern world. Wonderland is similarly constructed.The book looks at shopping, music, taste, illusion, games and public space. The chapter on shopping looks at how the development of shopping fed growth. When looking [...]

    5. Vă dați seama că multe dintre invențiile și realizările umane din ultimele secole sau milenii au pornit din joacă sau din pură întâmplare?Ei bine, dacă nu, veți afla acest lucru din această carte dinamică, ce explică în mai multe capitole (Modă și cumpărături, Muzică, Gustul, Iluzia, Jocuri, Spațiul public) modul în care lumea modernă s-a inventat. Nenumărate exemple interesante: jocul de șah sau Monopoly, magazinele cu vitrine, mall-ul, cârciuma, cafeneaua, polițele [...]

    6. o carte de aproape 5. not an easy read. dar îți deschide larg fereastra spre o înțelegere diferită a felului în care am ajuns aici, unde suntem acum.

    7. I really wanted to like this book more. At times it was very interesting and at others it seemed Johnson was working very hard to connect his topics back to the original concept of the book and it made the reading very tedious. There were some very clear instances of innovation born from the human desire for entertainment, but the majority of the connections felt forced and almost shoehorned in to make a point. I learned a few interesting things, so it wasn't a waste. I was just so excited about [...]

    8. I chose this as my non-fiction book about technology for the Read Harder Challenge. Wasn't sure I really wanted to read a tech book, but this was so fantastic! I loved learning about how certain innovations have changed the whole course of human history.

    9. An interesting book, although the title is misleading. Only the introduction has an in-depth analysis/discussion on how play created innovation, linking early automatons with Babbage's invention of the difference engine. The subsequent book chapters are variations on how connections can lead to various discoveries. This is similar to the old PBS show "Connections". Well worth the read, though, for anyone interested in how serendipity can play in innovation.

    10. This book attempts to explain that one of the key drivers for the growth of innovation and the exploitation of new ideas has always been mankind's desire to entertain itself. By examining concepts such as fashion, taverns or coffee houses, and games, Johnson shows how society has evolved through the pursuit of pleasure, and how completely unpredictable outcomes are inextricably linked to the growth of recreational ideas. So, we get computers from sophisticated clockwork toys (use of punched card [...]

    11. I found this to be fascinating. While not quite as cohesive as “How We Got To Now” (still one of my favorite books ever), this exploration of the effect of play on society and history was insightful and cleverly arranged. I find that Johnson doesn’t waste words: while some books of this length on such narrow topics have an excess of flowery language, Johnson writes long and detailed but without wasted effort. The book is just as long as it needs to be to convey a very thought-provoking mes [...]

    12. The book is interesting as a selective history of technology. I found the connections between music and coding to be particularly interesting. However, the main premise that leisure activities lead to utilitarian ends is not always as clear as one would hope. While the dopamine response certainly provides motivation for developing new forms of entertainment, a direct connection to utilitarian innovations was sometimes a stretch. Yet, the ideological shifts and the "adjacent possible" (from one o [...]

    13. Interesting read on the origin of key innovations - many of which started as play activities. As example, he discusses how decorative fashions from the Far East became clothing items and ultimately lead to fashionable shops in London. These them morphed into department stores which were unheard of before. A long road indeed to shopping malls and now back to inner city shopping areas. Another interesting example were public taverns and coffee shops which lead to more mixing of the classes and to [...]

    14. A useful and important hypothesis (that the desire for wonder and play has led to a large portion of humanity’s advances), but executed not very well. Too many described pursuits were poorly tied to the claimed results (e.g claiming the seeking of spices built the trade routes, when those routes were called the Silk Road, not the spice road).I would have liked a more scholarly version of this book, with more effort to truly tie efforts to outcomes, and also one with a lot less commentary. I wa [...]

    15. A fascinating discussion of how games and enjoyment work with – or actually are a PART of the anthropology and the creation of our current society! Games from ancient Arabic countries all the way through current times, as well as the pleasure that we as a people derive from spices, observing and interacting with other people, and observing and interacting with animals are all a part of what makes us us. Some of our greatest innovations are based on what creates and encourages pleasure, and thi [...]

    16. A delightful read about how the pursuit of delight shaped our world more than we appreciate. I thought that listening to the podcast made from this book would have spoiled the best parts, but there were many new gems in the book. I enjoyed learning, for example, about how "the great outdoors", the idea of nature as a source of pleasure, was invented in the 1700s, at a time when mountains were viewed as Earth's ugly blisters. Or how Darwin's experience watching an orangutan in an early zoo was as [...]

    17. Challenging the oft-repeated claim that "necessity is the mother of invention," Johnson explores the innovations and broader societal impact related to humankind's quest for the pleasing, the interesting, and the curious. Topics covered include fashion, spices, music, and more, so that most of our senses are covered at some point in the book. It is a large topic, which can't be covered exhaustively in a book of this size, but one of my requirements for a good nonfiction book has always been that [...]

    18. Similar to his book "How We Got to Now" Johnson details the impact of innovations designed for play and leisure. Items developed for a new way to make music or to thrill the masses with visual tricks, for example, led to computers and film. The desire for spices, coffee and cotton also changed the world. His books are great for the way they reveal history in both big and small ways. I gain a better understanding of movement in history but also learn the odd tidbits too.

    19. Interesting and informative, but a little over-hyped and I would have liked to see more about play rather than just the development of things we play with.That said, the examples helped to illustrate the point and develop a strong argument for the premise, while also providing interesting facts and anecdotes around the major characters that we followed advancements of "play." A better title would be "How Entertainment Made the Modern World."

    20. Want to give this a 3.5 - I enjoyed it (more than "just" liked it) but I didn't REALLY like it! I didn't buy the connection between spices and play. He barely sold it, but the subtitle "How Play Made the Modern World" means an entire chapter on spices doesn't make sense to me. But it was interesting.I'm a big fan of podcasts "Stuff You Missed In History Class" and "Useless Information," and my appreciation for this book was in the same vein as my enjoyment of those two podcasts.

    21. Very interesting thesis that games drive industry and even societal change; While I am a big fan of the author, he drives this book into the ground a little with too much detail, too much repetition; he expends too much energy to prove the thesis This book becomes a tired read by the middle

    22. I always enjoy Steven Johnson's books and his unusual looks at history. This one covers a lot more ground than usual but is full of interesting facts and alternate versions of the usual saga of cultural development. I wish he had gone into more depth on a few of the items but overall it was an informative and enjoyable read.

    23. Steven Johnson is a great weaver of historical tidbits into a loosely connected narrative, and this book is no exception. Here, the (not very important) idea is that many important things in the world are because of "non-essentials" -- people's desire for fun, play, fashion etc.So, a lot of little stories.

    24. Good if you like Johnson's modern day version of "Connections", here he gets into things like the forerunners of movies and the original coffee shops, and the non-leisure developments they later enabled. Lots of history and decent flowing prose. (The hardback also has some nice purple pages separating the chapters.)

    25. Loved the readability of the scientific study of how play made (makes) the world! This book reaffirms for me the importance of creating art, enjoying art and playing with everything around you - including food! More play needed!! Play is not just for kids!! Now I'm going to shut off my computer and go do something fun!

    26. I got hooked reading his chapter on the science of music. Wow, there are so many physical traits in our perception and oddities in waves that all conspire with time to amuse us and transcend our daily grind.A fun book if you like to think and learn.

    27. I really enjoyed this book. It's taken me awhile to complete, because I read it with my morning coffee a couple of days a week. But, the connections and lessons are striking. The author ties everything together very nicely. It is a well-written book.

    28. Enjoyable read from an author who is always interesting, but I don't feel like the central thesis of the book was borne out in the stories he chooses to illustrate it. That made them less interesting, because I kept looking for the "play" element and felt cheated when it wasn't there.

    29. A truly fascinating exploration of the link between entertainment and technology that makes the counterintuitive case that amusement and frivolity often inspire the most significant advances in human innovation. Breezily written and constantly surprising.

    30. Facts like spice trade were interesting. His claim is it is the curiosity and luxury that drive human innovation, not the necessity. But overall, I did not trust his argument. There must be innovation born out necessity such as Alan's computation machine during WW2.

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