Friday, May 1, 2009

Lost in Cyburbia

How Life on the Net Has Created a Life of Its Own, by James Harkin.

Quickie Recap: The internet's powerful social networking webs have been 70 years in the making - Harkin traces the path from WW2 until now, and delves into all the www's nooks and crannies along the way.

Quickie Review: Confession time. When you pick up a non-fiction book that's going to be on a certain topic, it is usually written by an expert in that field - maybe a physicist, or a paleontologist. These people are knowledgeable, and sometimes they convey the material in really engaging ways. But they aren't usually english majors, and that usually shows. This book, however, seems to have been written by a writer. Call me a cynic, but to find this book so thoroughly well-written was a surprise, and a good one. And yes it was interesting, and topical, and I loved the way Harkin explores the commonalities between what's happening now in cybernetics and the counterculture of the 1970s. Norbert Wiener and Marshall McLuhan are also compared, and it's fascinating to watch the internet and its offshoots spring up around these men who predicted the things to come more accurately than even they could have guessed. Harkin does a wonderful job weaving all of these things cohesively, and then presenting them with a wink.

Quickie Recommendation: I have to give this one a yes.

1 comment:

Bee said...

Sounds good . . . as I am so often (lost in cyburbia). Counter culture? Cool.

p.s. Am in awe that you can maintain three blogs.