Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: The Blind Giant

A while back I read (and subsequently reviewed) Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. I loved it so much I looked into what else he'd written. I found out that he had a non-fiction work about the impact of technology on business and culture, and so gave it a read.

It's hefty piece of work, talking about the impact of technology on a very wide range of subjects, from the publishing business, to our ability to learn and concentrate, to the impact on politics and life in the public eye. His view of the impact of tech on the publishing business is especially well done, as he's grown up in and around that industry as one of the 'disruptees', and yet is also a technology proponent.

Through the book, the author takes a nuanced, even-handed look at most of these areas of controversy, showing both sides as having some merit. He also tackles it in a way that is entertaining, and still goes deep enough to show that he's done a fair amount of research and thinking on the subjects.

The down side is that he covers broad ground without really reaching a hard conclusion. that might be OK though - as the point is to show that we are evolving in our relationship with technology, and that we don't necessarily know where it will end up, and that it's neither all good nor all bad, but somewhere in between, as will be our end destination.