What kind of world are we building for ourselves? That’s the question bestselling author Nicholas Carr tackles in his urgent new book, The Glass Cage, about the human consequences of automation.

Digging behind the headlines about factory robots and self-driving cars, wearable computers and digitized medicine, Carr explores the hidden costs of granting software dominion over our work and our leisure. Even as they bring ease to our lives, computer programs are stealing something essential from us. Drawing on psychological and neurological studies that underscore how tightly people’s happiness and satisfaction are tied to performing meaningful work in the real world, Carr reveals something we already suspect: shifting our attention to computer screens can leave us disengaged and discontented.

From nineteenth-century textile mills to the cockpits of modern jets, from the frozen hunting grounds of Inuit tribes to the sterile landscapes of GPS maps, Carr explores the impact of automation from a deeply human perspective, examining the personal as well as the economic consequences of our growing dependence on computers.

Join Carr as he discusses this increasingly crucial topic with public advocate and Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu, who developed the highly-influential Net Neutrality theory.

To purchase Nicholas Carr’s The Glass Cage, click here.
To purchase Tim Wu’s The Master Switch, click here.

Brief Bios

Nicholas Carr writes about technology and culture. His new book is The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.

Nick is also the author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist); The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google and Does IT Matter?. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

Nick is a former member of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s editorial board of advisors, was on the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s cloud computing project, and was a writer-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley. He writes the popular blog Rough Type. Earlier in his career, he was executive editor of the Harvard Business Review. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A., in English and American Literature and Language, from Harvard University.


Tim Wu is an author, policy advocate and professor at Columbia Law School. He is also a fellow at the New America Foundation, and a contributing editor at The New Republic. Wu's best known work is the development of Net Neutrality theory, but he wires also about private power, free speech, copyright and antitrust.

He has previously served as a senior advisor to the Federal Trade Commission, Chair of Media reform group Free Press, as a fellow at Google and worked for Riverstone Networks in the telecommunications industry. He was a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner and Justice Stephen Breyer. He graduated from McGill University (B.Sc.), and Harvard Law School.

Wu also writes regularly for the New Yorker, The New Republic and T magazine, has been recognized by Scientific American magazine, National Law Journal, 02138 Magazine and the World Economic Forum, and has twice won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing.

92YLive Details & Ordering

  • The Glass Cage: Nicholas Carr in Conversation with Tim Wu

    Original Air Date: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

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