book hack


Steven Johnson

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Wonderland highlights how much of societal and technological progress stems from those who simply play. Discover history's greatest dabblers and how they helped build the future.




by Steven Johnson


We know that coincidence plays a huge part in discovery. Penicillin was the result of a petri dish left in the lab over vacation, velcro was the result of a dog full of burrs, and the post-it glue was initially considered a failed product. But we're mistaken if we think these events are just lucky breaks for people toiling away behind closed doors.

Steven Johnson suggests that actually, many of our greatest achievements happened because innovative thinkers were engaging in play, hoping to stumble across something interesting. In Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World, he takes us on a tour of unlikely origins, shedding light on how some of history's most important moments relied on curiosity.

Favorite quote

You will find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

- Steven Johnson

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