One of the best surprise of this year. It really opened my mind over internet information spreading and its role in social/political/economical life. Morozov says that internet is not the way to achieve people democracy all over the world but it's a powerful tool full of contradictions. For example he demonstrates that the arabian spring wasn't really brought about by the extensive use of social networks. Or for example he mentions a research in which people from authoritarist countries were allowed to surf the web freely, they did not really google for "democracy" but for "sex" and topics of similar level.
All in all an extremely well written book that confutes all the fallacies about internet freedom and poses a lot of unsolved questions shedding light over the dark side of the web.
I became curious of reading this book after watching Evgeny TED talk on the same topic:
I usually collect a "small set" of important quotes to summarise each book I read... for this one I have a "huge set" :)
Extraordinary book for its clarity and the rational approach that uses to deconstruct many of the beliefs of Internet-centrism and cyber-utopianism finding their flaws.
In few spots I think Evgeny point of view is a bit biased on his side but on the majority of the topics is a book that really changed my assumptions and my point of view.
I also recommend reading the afterword the Evgeny has published recently:
5th star is not achieved only because it may become a bit boring to read in some chapters... but overall is very recommended !!
...here are 3 quotes from the book introduction:
"The idea that the Internet favours the oppressed rather than the oppressor is marred by what I call cyber-utopianism: a naïve belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to acknowledge its downside"
"Internet-centrism is a highly disorienting drug; it ignores context and entraps policymakers into believing that they have a useful and powerful ally on their side.
Pernicious tendency to place Internet technologies before the environment in which they operate."
"To salvage the Internet’s promise to aid the fight against authoritarianism, those of us in the West who still care about the future of democracy will need to ditch both cyber-utopianism and Internet-centrism. Currently, we start with a flawed set of assumptions (cyber-utopianism) and act on them using a flawed, even crippled, methodology (Internet-centrism)"
If you want to understand why... buy and read the rest of this book :)...Continua