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Framers  By  cover art

Framers

By: Kenneth Cukier,Viktor Mayer-Schönberger,Francis de Véricourt
Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
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Publisher's Summary

“Cukier and his co-authors have a more ambitious project than Kahneman and Harari. They don’t want to just point out how powerfully we are influenced by our perspectives and prejudices—our frames. They want to show us that these frames are tools, and that we can optimise their use.” (Forbes)

From pandemics to populism, AI to ISIS, wealth inequity to climate change, humanity faces unprecedented challenges that threaten our very existence. The essential tool that will enable humanity to find the best way foward is defined in Framers by internationally renowned authors Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, and Francis de Véricourt. 

To frame is to make a mental model that enables us to make sense of new situations. Frames guide the decisions we make and the results we attain. People have long focused on traits like memory and reasoning, leaving framing all but ignored. But with computers becoming better at some of those cognitive tasks, framing stands out as a critical function - and only humans can do it. This book is the first guide to mastering this human ability. 

Illustrating their case with compelling examples and the latest research, authors Cukier, Mayer-Schönberger, and de Véricourt examine:

  • Why advice to “think outside the box” is useless
  • How Spotify beat Apple by reframing music as an experience
  • How the #MeToo twitter hashtag reframed the perception of sexual assault
  • The disaster of framing Covid-19 as equivalent to seasonal flu, and how framing it akin to SARS delivered New Zealand from the pandemic

Framers shows how framing is not just a way to improve how we make decisions in the era of algorithms - but why it will be a matter of survival for humanity in a time of societal upheaval and machine prosperity.

©2021 Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Francis de Vericourt (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Although every moment of your life is filtered through your mental models, they’re often invisible to you. This sharp book reveals how you can recognize the lenses that you’re applying and rethink them as the world changes around you. It’s an important read - a steady hand for our turbulent times.” (Adam Grant, number-one NYT best-selling author of Think Again)

"A tightly written prescription for smart thinking.... A bold call to reinject pluralism and progressive human values into a decision-making process dominated by algorithms or gut instinct." (The Financial Times)

“A paean to cognitive agility and the elasticity of the imagination.... Convincingly, Framers is a plea for diversity in all its forms. It argues for the importance of ‘frame pluralism’, in which ideas can compete vigorously yet still share space.” (The Economist)

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  • 01-12-22

a lot of the same, repeated

it's got one good lesson or idea, but repeated over and over until it feels kind of meaningless and unhelpful.

a good article in HBR doesn't always need to be expanded into a book length.

8 people found this helpful

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Shockingly Bland

I had high hopes for this book but it was a real disappointment. There’s very little in this book most adults don’t already know. “Humans can think of religion, animals cannot”. Wow. Groundbreaking stuff. There’s nothing wrong with it per se but it’s very bland and not too insightful. The few times the book got interesting, it never delved deep enough into the topic or used unique examples. It had the same regurgitated stories that every other book has, it’s getting a little tiresome to constantly hear about Steve Jobs at Apple. By the end of the book I definitely did not feel that I learned anything new and I had to fight just to keep going until the end.

5 people found this helpful

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Sadly underwhelming

I read +50 books/year and had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately there are a few good story but barely any insight, the context lacks depth and there is basically nothing relevant to take away except for a few general ideals that can be summarized in the las 4 minutes 21 seconds of audiobook