Sociologist and radio/TV presenter Aleks Krotoski's debut book Untangling the Web consolidates and presents a decade's worth of social science related to the Internet, conducted by Krotoski and other social scientists around the world. Structured as a series of brief, topical vignettes, each of which summarises the best research on the way that the Internet is changing the way we relate to each other and ourselves, Untangling the Web is a calm, measured and engaging answer to the hysterical tech scare stories about kids in peril, online extremism, the Internet making us stupid, and the general, Daily Mailish tendency to blame every social ill on the Internet.
Krotoski's prodigious work as a popular TV/radio presenter, along with her academic credentials, makes her uniquely qualified to write this book. She tackles her subjects seriously, but without any eye-watering academic jargon, and with enough brevity that the book doesn't bog down. This isn't a comprehensive guide to the impact of the net on society. Rather, it's a kind of charming index to the smartest thinking and research. Krotoski isn't wholly optimistic about the power of the net to improve our lives, but she makes a convincing case that on balance, it is a force for good, and provides the data to back it up.
Untangling the Web
If you’re a student journalist and want to attend HOPE XI, the Eleventh Hackers on Planet Earth conference (July 22-24, NYC) you can win free admission (and an interview with me!) by submitting an article about any of the topics come up at HOPE conferences! Get writing!
Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive’s Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies — and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.
Designer Art Donovan writes, “I’m always looking for new and unique inspiration for my lighting commissions and the latest, cutting edge scientific devices offer a boatload of great design inspiration. From the cool, new ‘James Webb Space Telescope’ to the myriad of complex details in the L.H.P.C. at Cern- it’s a cornucopia of rich imagery.”
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
Bluetooth speakers may be convenient to use, but many of them just aren’t that powerful. Sure, it may be fine if you’re seated in front of the speaker. But move across the room, and you may strain to hear what’s coming from those tiny drivers.There’s a reason why the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (now $79.99 in the Boing […]