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Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age Hardcover – 4 Oct 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (4 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691138613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691138619
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,071,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review


Winner of the 2010 Don K. Price Award for Best Book in Science and Technology Politics, Section on Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics (STEP) by the American Political Science Association



Winner of the 2010 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in Media ecology, Media Ecology Association


"Mayer-Schonberger deserves to be applauded and Delete deserves to be read for making us aware of the timelessness of what we created and for getting us to consider what endless accumulation might portend."--Paul Duguid, Times Literary Supplement



"In Delete, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger argues that we should be less troubled by the fleetingness of our digital records than by the way they can linger."--Adam Keiper, Wall Street Journal



"Mayer-Schönberger raises questions about the power of technology and how it affects our interpretation of time. . . . He draws on a rich body of contemporary psychological theory to argue that both individuals and societies are obliged to rewrite or eliminate elements of the past that would render action in the present impossible."--Fred Turner, Nature



"There is no better source for fostering an informed debate on this issue."--Science



"As its title suggests, Delete is about forgetting, more specifically about the demise of forgetting and the resulting perils. . . . [Mayer-Schonberger] comes up with an interesting solution: expiration dates in electronic files. This would stop the files from existing forever and flooding us and the next generations with gigantic piles of mostly useless or even potentially harmful details. This proposal should not be forgotten as we navigate between the urge to record and immortalise our lives and the need to stay productive and sane."--Yadin Dudai, New Scientist



"Delete is a useful recap of the various methods that are--or could be--applied to dealing with the consequences of information abundance. It also adds a thought-provoking new twist to the literature."--Richard Waters, Financial Times



"After a decade or more of books examining digital technology's consequences for the law, politics and society, we are finally beginning to see interesting books that talk about its effect on the individual. Delete is a highly promising (and often fascinating) first effort to spell out the problems, and to think through how they might be engaged."--Henry Farrell, Times Higher Education



"This book . . . is laid out like an invitation to such a sparring session. There you find the detailed arguments, spread out one by one. Get ready to highlight where you agree, note contradictions and arguments not carried through to their consequential end, and make annotations where you feel a new punch. The session will be worth the effort."--Herbert Burkert, Cyberlaw



"A fascinating book."--Clive Thompson, WIRED Magazine

From the Inside Flap

"If the gathering, storage, and processing of information puts us all in the center of a digital panopticon, the failure to forget creates a panopticon crossbred with a time-travel machine. Mayer-Schönberger catalogs the range of social concerns that are arising as technology favors remembering over forgetting, and offers some approaches that might give forgetting a respected place in the digital world. Read this book. Don't forget about forgetting."--David Clark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Delete is, ironically, a book you will not forget. It provides a sweeping but well-balanced account of the challenges we face in a world where our digital traces are saved for life. These issues transcend just issues of privacy but go to the heart of how our society and we as individuals function, remember, and learn. I highly recommend this most informative and delightful book."--John Seely Brown, University of Southern California, coauthor ofThe Social Life of Information

"An erudite and wide-reaching account of the role that forgetting has played in history--and how forgetting became an exception due to digital technology and global networks. Mayer-Schönberger vividly depicts the legal, social, and cultural implications of a world that no longer remembers how to forget. Delete deserves the broadest possible readership."--Paul M. Schwartz, Berkeley School of Law

"In a work of extraordinary breadth and erudition, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger broadens the 'privacy' debate to encompass the dimension of time. His concept of 'digital forgetting' reshapes how sociologists, technologists, and policymakers must define and protect individual autonomy as technology usurps the prerogatives of human memory."--Philip Evans, Boston Consulting Group

"Human society has taken for granted the fact of forgetting. Technology has made us less able to forget, and this change, as Mayer-Schönberger nicely demonstrates, will have a profound effect on society. We as a culture must think carefully and strategically about this incredibly significant problem. Delete will spark a debate we need to have."--Lawrence Lessig, author ofRemix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy

"Delete is a refreshingly philosophical take on the new dilemmas created by extensive digital documentation of our daily lives. Mayer-Schönberger's background in business and technology leads him to a creative and novel response to the challenges generated by persistent storage of data. Delete is a valuable contribution."--Frank Pasquale, Seton Hall Law School

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