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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting thesis, but a difficult read, 15 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? (Hardcover)
I really enjoy David Brin's novels and I am very interested in modern society and the technological changes we're experiencing, which is why this book appeals to me.
I think Brin does an excellent job of presenting both sides of the argument, even conceding points to the "opposing" side of his thesis. This lends a lot of credibility to his arguements. He provides many many examples and illustrations which I find very interesting. He includes both historical and current examples which present a range of practical and philosophical perspectives. It's clear he spent a lot of time doing research to find these examples.
That said, my only complaint is that the style of writing is a bit cumbersome. It's not Brin's extensive vocabulary (which is refreshing and challenging), but rather his tendency to continually refer to other chapters as support for the current arguement. The organization of the book is good and speaks for itself. The author should not be compelled to direct the reader to other sections. Specifically, the hypertext-like references are disruptive to the flow of the argument. If such asides are helpful for some readers, perhaps footnotes would have served the same purpose without creating so many parenthetical interruptions.
All in all this is a topic I like to think about, and the substance of Brin's arguments are quite valuable.
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