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
I've had a fabulous weekend at Chicago's C2E2 festival as part of my Radicalized book-tour, and now I'm heading to San Francisco for an appearance on Monday night at Berkeley Arts & Letters at 7:30PM with Richard Kadrey. Then it's on to The Revolutionary Reads series at Ft Vancouver (outside of Portland, OR), and then […]
This morning, CBC's flagship weekend programme Day Six aired its latest episode (MP3), a conversation between host Brent Bambury, me, and Tim Maughan, the author of an outstanding debut novel called Infinite Detail. (Image: Jason Vermes/CBC)
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