Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, 8 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pull (Portfolio) (Hardcover)
This book has its good bits and its not-so-good bits. It is certainly thought provoking and sparked off all kinds of ideas about what is possible. It is very wide ranging (libraries, the health care system, tax) and appears in general to be very well researched.

It was marred by several things. Firstly in a few particulars it was factually inaccurate (e.g in the assertion that print-on-demand - POD - books do not have ISBNs. The author misses a trick here - the ramifications of POD are potentially huge). Secondly the book is very ethnocentric. Just for example, Chinese internet usage is closing fast on the US. By mid century, China will have eclipsed the US and what China is doing on line will matter more to us than what the US is doing. Another example of ethnocentricity: the assertion that what Africa needs is the Internet. This is just asinine (try clean water).

The third weakness was an overliberal application of semantic pixie dust. We have "semantic information" (what other kind of information is there?), "semantic formats", "semantic legal documents", "semantic feedback" etc: and although I suspect that the author knows what he means by the term, he doesn't define it adequately for the rest of us. For example, he talks about "semantic" meaning (among other things) "unambiguous". I think what he means is that "there is never any doubt what a piece of data represents or to what/whom it applies". So "semantic" data combines the data value itself (39.4), what it represents (weight in kgs) and what it refers to (a particular make and model of lead-acid battery): but that is my extrapolation, not the author's.

The fourth weakness is that his depiction of the future does not even acknowledge the risk of the wholly disruptive. I recall reading in the 1960s a book written in the 1930s about the future of commercial aviation. It was comical because the author had not anticipated the gas turbine, the second world war or the social changes that ushered in mass air travel. This author might have been wise at times to have taken a broader view and shown greater humility in his prognostications.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.7 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.81
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Redditch, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 35,054