Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen

“If you must comprehend the longer term prior to it occurs, you’ll love this booklet. with a purpose to swap the longer term earlier than it occurs to you, this e-book is needed reading.”

Reed Hundt, former Chairman of the Federal Communications fee


“There is not any easier or clearer assertion of the novel swap that electronic applied sciences will deliver, nor any booklet that greater prepares one for puzzling over the following steps.”

Lawrence Lessig, Stanford legislation institution and writer of Code and different legislation of Cyberspace


Blown to Bits will blow you away. In hugely obtainable and consistently enjoyable prose, it explores the entire nooks and crannies of the electronic universe, exploring not just how this exploding area works but in addition what it means.”

Debora Spar, President of Barnard university, writer of Ruling the Waves and The child Business


“This is a superb book–probably the easiest for the reason that Hal Varian and Carl Schultz wrote Digital Rules. The authors are engineers, no longer economists. the result's an extended, pleasant speak with the genie, out of the lamp, and keen that will help you keep away from making the conventional mistake with that all-important 3rd wish.”

David Warsh, writer of Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations


Blown to Bits is among the clearest expositions I’ve visible of the social and political concerns coming up from the web. Its remarkably transparent reasons of the way the internet really works shall we the recent air out of a few probably never-ending debates. You’ve made explaining these things glance effortless. Congratulations!”

David Weinberger, Coauthor of The Cluetrain Manifesto and writer of Everything Is Miscellaneous: the ability of the recent electronic Disorder.


Blown to Bits is a well timed, vital, and intensely readable tackle how info is produced and ate up this day, and extra vital, at the forthcoming sea switch within the method that we as a society take care of the consequences.”

Craig Silverstein, Director of expertise, Google, Inc.


“This ebook supplies an outline of the types of matters confronting society as we develop into more and more depending on the net and the area huge internet. each proficient citizen should still learn this publication after which shape their very own opinion on those and comparable matters. And after interpreting this publication you are going to reconsider how (and even no matter if) you employ the internet to shape your opinions…”

James S. Miller, Senior Director for know-how coverage and method, Microsoft Corporation


“Most writing concerning the electronic international comes from techies writing approximately technical topic for different techies or from pundits whose flip of word enormously exceeds their technical wisdom. In Blown to Bits, specialists in laptop technological know-how handle authoritatively the sensible matters within which all of us have willing interest.”

Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and schooling, Harvard Graduate university of schooling, writer of Multiple Intelligences and Changing Minds


“Regardless of your adventure with desktops, Blown to Bits provides a uniquely enjoyable and informative standpoint from the computing industry’s maximum minds.

A attention-grabbing, insightful and wonderful ebook that is helping you know pcs and their influence at the global in a complete new manner.

This is a unprecedented publication that explains the effect of the electronic explosion in a fashion that everybody can comprehend and, whilst, demanding situations specialists to imagine in new ways.”

Anne Margulies, Assistant Secretary for info know-how and leader info Officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Blown to Bits is enjoyable and basic. What a excitement to work out genuine lecturers supplying such first-class framework for college students in a electronic age to discover and comprehend their electronic setting, code and legislation, beginning with the perception of Claude Shannon. i glance ahead to you educating in an open on-line school.”

Professor Charles Nesson, Harvard legislations tuition, Founder, Berkman heart for web and Society


“To many folks, pcs and the net are magic. We make stuff, ship stuff, obtain stuff, and purchase stuff. It’s all pointing, clicking, copying, and pasting. yet it’s all mysterious. This booklet explains in transparent and finished phrases how all this equipment on my table works and why we must always pay shut consciousness to those progressive adjustments in our lives. It’s an excellent and priceless paintings for shoppers, electorate, and scholars of all ages.”

Siva Vaidhyanathan, cultural historian and media pupil on the college of Virginia and writer of Copyrights and Copywrongs: the increase of highbrow estate and the way it Threatens Creativity


“The global has changed into the proverbial elephant and we the blind males. The previous and the younger between us chance being managed via, instead of in command of, occasions and applied sciences. Blown to Bits is a outstanding and crucial Rosetta Stone for commencing to work out how the entire items of the recent global we've simply began to enter–law, expertise, tradition, information–are going to slot jointly. Will existence explode with new percentages, or agreement stressed of recent horrors? The precipice is either exhilarating and scary. Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, and Harry Lewis, jointly, have ably controlled to explain the elephant. Readers of this compact booklet describing the start levels of an unlimited human experience can be one leap forward, for they are going to have a framework on which to hold new items that would proceed to seem with awesome pace. to assert that it is a ‘must learn’ sounds trite, yet, this time, it’s completely true.”

Harvey Silverglate, felony safeguard and civil liberties legal professional and writer


Every day, billions of images, information tales, songs, X-rays, television indicates, mobile calls, and emails are being scattered world wide as sequences of zeroes and ones: bits. We can’t get away this explosion of electronic details and few folks wish to–the advantages are too seductive. The expertise has enabled extraordinary innovation, collaboration, leisure, and democratic participation.


But a similar engineering marvels are shattering centuries-old assumptions approximately privateness, id, loose expression, and private regulate as progressively more information of our lives are captured as electronic data.


Can you keep watch over who sees all that private information regarding you? Can electronic mail be actually personal, whilst not anything seems inner most? Shouldn’t the net be censored the best way radio and television are? Is it relatively a federal crime to obtain song? if you use Google or Yahoo! to go looking for whatever, how do they make a decision which internet sites to teach you? Do you continue to have unfastened speech within the electronic global? Do you have got a voice in shaping executive or company rules approximately any of this?


Blown to Bits deals provocative solutions to those questions and tells interesting real-life tales. This e-book is a warning call to the human outcomes of the electronic explosion.


Preface xiii


Chapter 1: electronic Explosion: Why Is It occurring, and what's at Stake? 1

Chapter 2: bare within the sun: privateness misplaced, privateness deserted 19

Chapter three: Ghosts within the desktop: secrets and techniques and Surprises of digital records 73

Chapter four: Needles within the Haystack: Google and different agents within the Bits Bazaar 109

Chapter five: mystery Bits: How Codes grew to become Unbreakable 161

Chapter 6: stability Toppled: Who Owns the Bits? 195

Chapter 7: You Can’t Say That on the web: Guarding the Frontiers of electronic Expression 229

Chapter eight: Bits within the Air: outdated Metaphors, New applied sciences, and loose Speech 259


Conclusion: After the Explosion 295

Appendix: the web as procedure and Spirit 301

Endnotes 317

Index 347



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