“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.”
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.
About the Author
Kenneth Cukier is a senior editor at The Economist and host of its weekly podcast on technology Babbage. He is also an associate fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is professor of internet governance and regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Francis de Véricourt is professor of management science and the director of the Center for Decisions, Models, and Data at the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.
“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, #1 New York Times bestselling 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 book is stuffed full of examples of how some frames are more effective than others, and how amending a frame, or adopting a new one, can lead to scientific, economic, and emotional breakthroughs. . . . 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. And we can change them when they become obsolete or misleading.”
—Calum Chace, Forbes
“Framers provides an exciting intellectual tour of how people throughout history have developed mental models that have advanced human progress. It assembles research to support the idea that a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints leads to better outcomes. And the book suggests tactics that we all can use to get better at framing problems, something especially useful in this moment of change.”
“A fascinating look at what makes humans special in the age of algorithms—and how people can improve the way they think to stay ahead of the machine.”
—Mustafa Suleyman, cofounder of DeepMind and vice-president at Google
“Framers provides insight into how we can all nurture more of a beginner’s mind and manifest breakthrough ideas for building a better future.”
—Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce
“A great book filled with fresh perspectives to help us out during the rise of AI so we can usher in the Age of Humanity.”
—will.i.am, musician and entrepreneur
“Framers is packed with big ideas, great stories, values and verve that make it a delight to read. It will certainly change how you think—and might just change the world too.”
—Annie Duke, bestselling author of Thinking in Bets
“Framers brilliantly shows that mental models are at the heart of creativity, critical thinking, and innovation, and how we can get better at it to solve our toughest business and social challenges.”
—Aaron Levie, CEO of Box
“A captivating read. Framers will transform the way you think.”
—Marissa King, professor at Yale School of Management and author of Social Chemistry
“Wonderfully stimulating . . . It will teach you to see around corners."
—Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author of The Data Detective