In January 2012, I reviewed a new book from Observer business/tech columnist John Naughton, called From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet. It's a great, fast read aimed at smart people who don't quite get the net -- the kind of thing you'd want to slide under your boss's door to forestall more well-intentioned and frustrating questions about What Should Be Done about this Internet thing.
Now the book is out in the USA and Quercus, the US publisher, is giving away 15 copies of the book in a random drawing. I highly recommend it -- my original review is below the jump!
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: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet [Amazon]
Win a copy!
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The first time Merle Rasmussen played Dungeons & Dragons, he thought it was a Halloween game.
“It was October 1975, and I was an 18-year-old freshman at Iowa State University. My roommate got this game filled with skeletons and undead monsters. I had no idea.” The role-playing bug had bitten him, but fantasy wasn’t his genre. So that same year, he started writing a game set in a modern world, the spy game that would become Top Secret.
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
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