Evgeny Morozov vs. The Internet

CJR's Michael Mayer profiles Evgeny Morozov, who "wants to convince us that digital technology can’t save the world" but has instead kinda picked up a reputation as an axe-grinding polemicist.

Many of Morozov’s opponents dismiss him as a spoiled child, someone who sits in the corner refusing, as Tim O’Reilly once said, to be “useful,” shouting insults at the adults as they roll up their sleeves and solve the world’s problems. Reviewing Morozov’s second book in The Washington Post, Columbia law professor Tim Wu spoke of Morozov’s “promise” as a thinker before lamenting, “One suspects he aspires to be a Bill O’Reilly for intellectuals.” Morozov faces similar criticism even among his supporters. He once defended his style by saying, “We’ve got too many priests and not enough jesters,” an explanation Joshua Cohen, the Stanford professor who brought Morozov to Palo Alto on a fellowship and published some of his earliest long-form work in Boston Review, told me is “bullshit. There’s a vast open field between priests and jesters.”

This is why Morozov is so good at making trouble for these guys. Since no-one in this business has the slightest sense of humor, neither he nor his critics can even tell he's not a jester.