Synopses & Reviews
Cyberpundit And Media Scholar David Shenk Launches A Trenchant And Informed Critique Of The Impact Of Data Smog -- Information Overload -- On Individual Well-Being And Our Society As A Whole. Picking Up Where Silicon Snake Oil
And The Gutenberg Elegies
Left Off, Shenk Skillfully Explodes The Rosy Myths Of The Technological Revolution, Points The Way Toward A Saner And More Meaningful Future, And Offers The Most Convincing And Thorough Rebuttal Yet Of The Overhyping Of The Information Age.
More Praise For Data Smog:
"Over The Past 150 Years, Humanity Solved The Problem Of Information Scarcity. In Solving It, We Created The Problem Of Information Glut, Incoherence And Meaninglessness. David Shenk'S Brilliant Book Names The Problem, Describes It, Explains It And -- God Bless Him -- Offers Us Help In Coping With It."
- Neil Postman, Author, Technopoly And Amusing Ourselves To Death
"This Could Be The Silent Spring For The Digital Age. Data Smog Shows The Very Real Threats That We Now Face. We Ignore Them At Our Peril."
- Simson Garfinkel, Columnist, Hotwired
"Data Smog Is Quite Wonderful...A Smart Warning By A Savvy Aficionado Of Cyber-Culture To Be Wary Of Too Much Of A Good Thing."
- Orville Schell, Dean, Graduate School Of Journalism, University Of California At Berkeley
"This Book Breaks New Ground. Here You Will Find A Public Ethic For An Era Of Too-Much Information, Delivered In A Succinct And Heroically Civil Style That Puts To Shame An Entire Shelf Of Books On The Coming Media Environment. Shenk Is A Citizen Writing For Other Beleaguered Citizens...Data Smog Is Really A Book About Democracy And What It Will Take To Keep That Troubled Idea Alive And Breathing In Years Ahead."
- Jay Rosen, Director, Project On Public Life And The Press, New York University
"This Book Is An Oxygen Mask. Take It Along When You Need To Breathe. This Careful, Informed And Passionate Argument Should Take The Stuffing Right Out Of The Cheerleaders Of The (Indiscriminate) Information Age."
- Andrei Codrescu, Commentator, National Public Radio
"Data Smog Offers A Rare Combination Of Extensive Research, Clear Thinking, Lucid Writing And Valuable Advice. It'S A Must For Anybody Feeling Overwhelmed But Underserved By Today'S Information Sources."
- Edward Tenner, Author, Why Things Bite Back
Media scholar David Shenk examines the effects of data overload on our lives, our relationships, and our culture, and offers strikingly down-to-earth insights for coping with our information infatuation.
Hailed by the New York Times as "An Indispensable guide to the big picture of technology's cultural Impact", Data Smog is the most compelling and thorough rebuttal to date of the overhyping of the Information Age.
With a skillful mixture of personal essay, firsthand re-portage, and sharp analysis, Shenk illustrates the central paradox of our time -- as our world gets more complex, our responses to it become increasingly simplistic. He draws convincing links between data smog and social fragmentation, declining educational standards, political fractiousness, religious fundamentalism, and more.
But there's hope for a saner, more meaningful future, as Shenk offers a wealth of novel prescriptions -- both personal and societal -- for dispelling data smog.
"A concise, insightful, and welcome critique of the communications world we have created". -- Chicago Tribune
"Four-star rating... well argued, witty and tightly written...crisply argued books like this can help us see the future more clearly". -- Detroit Free Press
Includes bibliographical references (p. 219-242) and index.
About the Author
David Shenk, a former Freedom Forum fellow, has written for Wired, Harper's, The New Republic, the New York Times and the Washington Post, and is a commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
Table of Contents
The laws of data smog -- Spammed! -- The black shakes -- Skeptical in Seattle -- "A new generation of geniuses" -- The Thunderbird problem -- Paralysis by analysis -- Stat wars -- The two-by-four effect -- Village of Babel -- A nation of lonely molecules -- Superdemocracy -- Creatures from the Info Lagoon -- Dataveillance -- Anecdotage -- The end of journalism? -- March of the cyber-Republicans -- What then must be done? -- Be your own filter -- Be your own editor -- Simplify -- De-nichify -- Don't forsake government; help improve it -- Appendix: How to get off junk mail/phone lists.