Author(s): John Naughton
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg gives you all the basic, conceptual equipment you need to understand the Internet phenomenon. Our society has gone through a weird, unremarked transition: we've gone from regarding the Net as something exotic to something that we take for granted as a utilitarian necessity, like mains electricity or running water. In the process we've been remarkably incurious about its meaning, significance or cultural implications. Most people have no idea how the network works, nor any conception of its architecture; and few can explain why it has been - and continues to be - so uniquely disruptive in social, economic and cultural contexts. In other words, our society has become dependent on a utility that it doesn't really understand. John Naughton has distilled the noisy chatter surrounding the internet's relentless evolution into nine clear-sighted and accessible areas of understanding. In doing so he affords everyone the requisite knowledge to make better use of the technologies and networks around us, and see lucidly into their future implications. Along the way FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG covers areas as diverse as the science of complexity, the economics of abundance, the appeal of disruption and the problematic nature of intellectual property.
John Naughton is Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is also the Observer's 'Networker' columnist and a prominent blogger at memex.naughtons.org. His last book was A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet (1999).