New Book – “framers” released!

“framers” is the new book, co-authored by professor Mayer-Schönberger together with decision scientist Francis de Véricourt and ECONOMIST senior editor Kenneth Cukier. Published in the US on May 11, 2021, “framers” is the culmination of three years of work. In “framers”, professor Mayer-Schönberger and his co-authors focus on a cognitive superpower humans posses, but which is often underutilized: to think using mental models. In contrast to many commentators on the findings of behavioral economists, “framers” suggests that utilizing framing, humans can greatly improve their decision-making – individually and societally.

“framers” features countless examples of human framing, from innovators and scientists, like Elon Musk and Jennifer Doudna, to artists like Martha Graham and will.i.am, activists like Alyssa Milano and athletes like Mount Everest mountaineers Peter Habeler and Reinhold Messner. “framers” also includes numerous rarely told stories, from how physicist Lise Meitner was the first to understood nuclear fission (and coin the phrase), but was denied the Nobel prize 48 times (likely because of rampant misogynism) to how research on global warming relies on imagining a world without humans, from how computers can self-learn to win chess, Go, and popular video games, but crucially depend on mental models, and how developing and maintaining a repertoire of cognitive frames is crucial for our survival.

“framers” has been endorsed by a wide spectrum of voices, including entrepreneurs like Salesforce’s Mark Benioff and Box’s Arron Levie as well as DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman and professional poker player Annie Duke.

The End of a Sabbatical…

You may have wondered why all of sudden this website fell silent. Well. During the last academic year, I took a sabbatical. I am grateful to the University of Oxford for giving me this opportunity, and enabling me to focus on writing a new book (see separate post). The German edition of the book (“Das Digital”) will appear in October 2017, the English version (“Reinventing Capitalism”) will take a bit longer (US publishers have longer production times) – and appear in February 2018. Back in the saddle. And much more to come. Stay tuned!

“Delete” in paperback published, with new chapter

Princeton University Press has just published the paperback edition of Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s awards-winning book “Delete – The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age.” The paperback version is not only more affordable, but also sports a newly added chapter, in which Professor Mayer-Schönberger offers updates on his argument, as well as some personal insights into his own journey of thinking about and dealing with the challenges posed by comprehensive digital memory. The book is available at Amazon and many other book sellers around the world.

New book “Delete” published

Top academic publishing house Princeton University Press has just released “Delete – The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age“, Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s brand new book on the importance of human forgetting, the shift due to digital tools towards comprehensive remembering, and the dire consequences this shift may entail for everyone of us, and for society at large. Going far beyond conventional privacy and data protection arguments, “Delete” argues that undoing forgetting may limit our ability to forgive each other and ourselves, and to constrain our ability to act and decide in the present as we remain tethered to an ever more detailed remembered past.

Not content with just sketching out the challenge ahead of us, in this book Professor Mayer-Schönberger evaluates various options to confront the challenge, and – concluding that no silver bullet exists – also suggests a creative solution: building the ability to forget into the digital tools we use. Labeled “expiration dates” for personal information, this approach is not a technical fix to the ills of comprehensive remembering, but is rather intended to remind us humans time and again that most information is linked to a particular temporal context and thus loses its relevance over time.

Chapter one is free to download.