America’s unhealthy obsession with productivity is driving its biggest new reading trend

“I probably started reading ultra hardcore about seven or eight years ago,” says Tom Bilyeu, an entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. “Ultra hardcore” means that Bilyeu reads everywhere: While he brushes his teeth, while he gets dressed, in the 30 seconds it takes to cross rooms in his house, he’s reading.

“My big secret is,” says Bilyeu, “I read in all those little transitional moments.” Plus, for the last eight years, he’s optimized his intellectual consumption by listening to audiobooks at three times the normal speed.

Audiobooks are the latest trend in book publishing. They’re part of the podcast boom, and they’re helping US publishers keep losses down as ebook sales from big-name companies continue to slump. What’s been around since the 1980s has a sleek new face, and today who’s listening, where, and why, offers a glimpse into a new reading trend sweeping the US.

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Will My Future Self Be Disappointed in the Decisions I’m Making Today? – Excerpts from “Epiphany Z”

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On January 10, 2017, my new book, “Epiphany Z – Eight Radical Visions for Transforming Your Future was officially released in bookstores all around the world. Here are a few excerpts from the book where I discuss the concept of “future self.”

Being a Futurist is far more than just making predictions. It involves digging deep into the nature of humanity to better understand who we are and why we do the things that we do.

So what kind of relationship do you have with your future self?

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Technology is now forcing us to confront the ethics of bringing people back from the dead

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Imagine you have a close friend you frequently communicate with via text. One day, they suddenly die. You reel, you cry, you attend their funeral. Then you decide to pick up your phone and send them a message, just like old times. “I miss you,” you type. A little response bubble appears at the bottom of the screen. “I miss you too,” comes the reply. You keep texting back and forth. It’s just like they never left.

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Students are zapping their brains for a boost

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Last October, Matt Herich was listening to the news while he drove door to door delivering pizzas. A story came on the radio about a technology that sends an electric current through your brain to possibly make you better at some things — moving, remembering, learning. He was fascinated.

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Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs Are Here At Last

 NO, REALLY. AMPUTEES HAVE BEEN TESTING THEM FOR OVER A YEAR

For a full decade, Gudmundur Olafsson was unable to move his right ankle. That’s because it wasn’t there. Olafsson’s amputated lower leg was the delayed casualty of an accident from his childhood in Iceland, when he was hit by an oil truck. “I lived in pain for 28 years,” says Olafsson. “After 50-plus operations, I had it off.” For years after the operation he wore a Proprio Foot, a prosthetic with a motorized, battery-powered ankle, sold by the Reykjavik-based company Ossur.

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Paralyzed man feels through robotic fingers

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A 28-year-old man left paralyzed after a car accident has been able to feel as though he was touching something with his fingers after a robotic arm was connected directly to his brain in a world-first breakthrough.

Nathan Copeland, who was injured after crashing his car on a rainy night in Pennsylvania when he was just 18, spoke of experiencing a “really weird sensation” as he touches things.

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The Pot-Belly of Ignorance

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What you eat makes a huge difference in how optimally your body operates. And what you spend time reading and learning equally affects how effectively your mind operates.

Increasingly, we’re filling our heads with soundbites, the mental equivalent of junk. Over a day or even a week, the changes, like those to our belly, are barely noticeable. However, if we extend the timeline to months and years, we face a worrying reality and may find ourselves looking down at the pot-belly of ignorance.

Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
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