John Naughton's latest book, From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, What You Really Need to Know About the Internet, expands on his spectacular Observer feature article, "The internet: Everything you ever need to know, which I described as "a marvel of economy, the kind of primer you want to slide under your boss's door."
Gutenberg to Zuckerberg fills an important gap in the published literature of the Internet: a fast, thoughtful, thought-provoking read for intelligent people who don't quite get the Internet. We all know these sorts of people -- often powerful and accomplished, but at a disadvantage in that they got their start before the net came along. These people struggle to put the Internet in perspective, buffeted on the one side by colleagues who reassure them by telling them that the transformative nature of the net is overstated; on the other by juniors, analysts and press who tell them that they're doomed unless they rebuild their lives around the net.
Naughton, a seasoned business journalist, sums up the big, important effects that the Internet has in a very quick read, placing them in historical perspective, projecting to their plausible futures, warning of their imminent dangers. From copyright to collective action, from governance to ecommerce, Naughton's book sets out, in reasonable, measured tones, the systemic underpinnings of the net's disruptive power, and promises attentive readers the theoretical and practical grounding they need to separate hype from hope.
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, What You Really Need to Know About the Internet
In 2012, Kim Stanley Robinson published 2312, imagining how the world and its neighbors might look in 300 years, loosely coupled with the seminal Red Mars books, a futuristically pastoral novel about the way that technology can celebrate the glories of nature; in 2015, Robinson followed it up with Aurora, the best book I read that year, which used 2312’s futures to demolish the idea that we can treat space colonization (and other muscular technological projects) as Plan B for climate change — a belief that is very comforting to those who don’t or can’t imagine transforming capitalism into a political system that doesn’t demolish the planet. Now, with New York 2140, Robinson starts to connect the dots between these different futures with a bold, exhilarating story of life in a permanent climate crisis, where most people come together in adversity, but where a small rump of greedy, powerful people get in their way.
Last December, I published my review of Andrew “bunnie” Huang’s astoundingly great book The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware — without realizing that the book’s release had been delayed because the published decided to do some very fancy and cool stuff with the printing process.
It’s been fifteen years since the first edition of educator Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabes was published; now in its third edition — updated with current, timely material about social media and other fast-moving subjects, as well as reflections from girls who were raised on the techniques in the previous editions — the book is a compassionate, aware, and intensely practical guide to navigating the toxic, gendered lives of young girls in a diverse, politicized world.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]