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
Kirby Ferguson, who created the remarkable Everything is a Remix series, has a new podcast hosted by the Recreate Coalition called Copy This and he hosted me on the debut episode (MP3) where we talked about copying, creativity, artists, and the future of the internet (as you might expect!).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a new series, 12 Days of 2FA, in which every installment explains how to turn on two-factor authentication for a range of online services and platforms.
The Data & Society institute (dedicated to critical, interdisciplinary perspectives on big data) held an online seminar devoted to Cathy O’Neil’s groundbreaking book Weapons of Math Destruction, which showed how badly designed algorithmic decision-making systems can create, magnify and entrench the social problems they’re supposed to solve, perpetuating inequality, destabilizing the economy, and making a […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]