Synopses & Reviews
"David Shenk looks at the new face of our world with a curiosity and connection-making responsiveness that make him exhilarating to read. These are bits, takes, provisional sweeps at issues still coming into focus, but taken together they give us a startling glimpse of where we are. Shenk is so close to the present that most readers will mistake it for the future." --SVEN BIRKERTS, author, THE GUTENBERG ELEGIES
"If the world of constant, instantaenous communication makes you a little nervous from time to time, David Shenk can explain why. This book is a very useful antidote to the endless praise lavished on the new electronic mediums. Read it slowly!" --BILL McKIBBEN, author, THE AGE OF MISSING INFORMATION
In this provocative collection of essays, David Shenk expands his enlightened skepticism to include thoughts on the dangers of online journalism, the ethical implications of digital photography, and the misguided hopes for computers in the classroom. Shock-jocks, computerized toys, Microsoft-bashing, and genetic testing are all subject to his incisive and discerning criticism.
Is Shenk just another neo-Luddite determined to bash all things digital? Hardly. This self-described technology enthusiast--and avid fan of the Internet--is simply interested in clear-eyed analysis of how machines we use actually affect our lives. As one of the founders of the Technorealism movement, he insists that new technologies must be appraised for their ability to achieve traditional human ends, rather than embraced merely for novelty's sake. The End of Patience includes vignettes from Shenk's conversations with some of the most provocative technology thinkers of our time, including Mitch Kapor, Steven Johnson, Esther Dyson, Douglas Rushkoff and Steve Silberman.
About the Author
David Shenk is author of Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut, which The New York Times called "an indispensable guide to the big picture of technology's cultural impact," and the Chicago Tribune called "A concise, insightful, and welcome critique of the communications world we have created."
He is also co-author of Skeleton Key, and has contributed to Wired, Harper's, The New Republic, The New York Times, Feed, Salon, and NPR's All Things Considered. He is a co-founder of Technorealism, which seeks to articulate a more balanced approach to technology.
Shenk was a 1995-96 fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center, in New York, and in 1998 traveled to Japan as a U.S.-Japan Foundation fellow.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Problem with Hypertext
Introduction and Acknowledgments
Part I: The Disease of Images
Stealing Calm: An Ode to Radio
The Disease of Images
Just Sit Still: The Problem with The Java-Infused Web
Part II: The End of Patience
The End of Patience: The Triumph of Button Smackers
The Age of Net Scoops
The Problem wIth Breathless Online Journalism
This Just In: The Problem with Pointcast
When Rushed Is Rash: The Dangers of Super-Quick Email
Part III: From Signal to Noise
The Devolution has Been Televised: Crossfire Turns 15, An Appreciation
More is Less: How Faster News Can Hurt Journalism
A Wrinkle in Cyberspace: The Unreliability of Information on the Web
The World Wide Library: An Immodest Proposal
Disclose Disclose Disclose: What Newt Gingrich Doesn't Get about the Information Revolution
Part IV: The Paparazzi Is Us
The Paparazzi Is Us: How the Democratization of Media Leads to the Tabloidization of Media
The Would Full of Stone Phillipses: The Tyranny of the Hit Count
Not Kissing but Telling Anyway: The Ethical Ramifications of Photoshop
Ph.D., Inc. : Is Extreme Profitability Healthy for Academia?
The World according to You: The Problem with Personalized News
Part V: The World and Redmond, WA
Deep Pockets: The Problem with a Free Microsoft Browser
Hating Gates: The Culture of Microsoft Bashing
To Mac or Not to Mac: One Apple Devotee's Excruciating Purchase Dilemma
Part VI: When Information Costs Too Little
The New Pests
The End of Anonymity?
Spam: Congress to the Rescue
Free Bridge for Sale. Just Click Here
The Problem with Abundance
Part VII: Generation Next
School Bells and Whistles
"Use Technology to Raise Smarter, Happier Kids:" Behold the Toys of Tomorrow
Hall Pass to the 21st Century: The Problem with Putting Schools Online
Stupid Kid-Tricks: The Actual State of "Educational" Material Online
Biocapitalism: What Price the Genetic Revolution?
Part VIII: Technorealism
A Philosophy for the Rest of Us
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Letter from Shinjuku: Japan and the Future of the Information Revolution