- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up Hardcover – 19 May 2015
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Forget networking your toaster to your refrigerator--in Pax Technica, Howard brilliantly outlines the coming consequences of the Internet of Things, including altered norms of international governance. This is the most important work yet written on the subject, and the first to extend the logic of networked infrastructure to the global political stage."--Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody-- (01/06/2015)
"Connected devices raise a variety of social, economic, and political concerns. In this timely book, Howard analyzes how sensors, geolocation devices, and wearable technologies will broaden and threaten people's lives. It is a superb analysis of what he calls 'pax technica'."--Darrell West, Brookings Institution-- (11/25/2014)
"Pax Technica is a groundbreaking assessment of the next great stage of the digital revolution, the one that makes all previous stages look like child's play. The 'internet of things' is upon us, and Howard provides an eye-opening account of its immense promise and perils."--Robert W. McChesney, author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy-- (12/02/2014)
"We can't say we haven't been warned--or encouraged. Phil Howard makes a big argument about the fundamental shift in power that will occur once the Internet of Things takes hold and connected devices become central to our lives. He also provides a wise blueprint for making these changes work for the common good. Take heed."--Lee Rainie, Director of Internet, Science, and Technology research at the Pew Research Center-- (12/12/2014)
"Pax Technica is an essential guidebook for the often unsettling implications of Big Data and the Internet of Things. Howard crafts a persuasive plea for active civic engagement to help chart us towards a more equitable digital future."--Ron Deibert, author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet-- (01/02/2015)
"To understand the true significance of the Internet of Things, I only need to turn to Philip Howard's new masterpiece: Bold, comprehensive, full of intriguing insights and eminently readable!"--Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, co-author of Big Data--Viktor Mayer-Schonberger (12/30/2014)
"Ambitious and provocative, Pax Technica addresses the implications of digital media, big data, and related phenomena for democracy and public life. Pundits, policymakers, and those curious about the changing landscape of media, politics, and global affairs should take note."--Seth Lewis, University of Minnesota-- (09/10/2014)
"Pax Technica is a brilliant work of responsible optimism about how big data, AI and the Internet of Things may improve the world. Philip Howard acknowledges the potential downsides of our data-drenched society, but makes a compelling case for why we may live better, and govern ourselves sensibly, in the era of Pax Technica. The book makes a substantial contribution to the debate over how we coexist with technology--and is as a thoughtful antidote to the digital doomsayers."--Kenneth Cukier, co-author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think-- (01/06/2015)
"In Pax Technica, Phillip Howard envisions a world in which the ubiquity of Internet connectivity and the proliferation of Internet-aware devices fundamentally change the ways governments and other power structures interact with people. Whether this new order comes to full fruition, Howard's roadmap of the potential opportunities and consequences is extremely useful as we move into unchartered technical and political waters."--Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of Law and Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University-- (01/06/2015)
"Building on his previous research about digital technology and democratization, Philip Howard takes a sweeping and ambitious look at how government, political structures and international relations will be transformed by technological change. Optimistic that a Pax Technica will bring global stability, Howard calls for more transparency, standards for data sharing and reminds us of the need for an internet that is truly global. Thought provoking, opinionated, and upbeat, Howard's book is an interesting addition to the debate about the effects that new technology should and could have on our society."--Anya Schiffrin, author of Global Muckraking-- (01/08/2015)
About the Author
Philip N. Howard is a professor and author of seven books, including Democracy's Fourth Wave? and The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. He is a frequent commentator on the impact of technology on political life, contributing to Slate.com, TheAtlantic.com and other media outlets.
Customers who bought this item also bought
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)|
|4 star (0%)|
|3 star (0%)|
|2 star (0%)|
|1 star (0%)|
Review this product
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"Pax Technica" presents another possibility: perhaps this expansive and seemingly intrusive network of "things" will liberate us? Though not oblivious to the obvious challenges, it even predicts that the IOT may become the "most effective mass surveillance infrastructure ever built." The title obviously evokes analogous epochs such as the "Pax Romana," "Pax Brittanica" and the, some claim, recently waning "Pax Americana." Similar to these eras, the book argues that the IOT could bring about a similar kind of stability that keeps corruption in check and provides global citizens, no longer necessarily tied to a particular government or country, with a bigger and more transparent view of their world than ever before. This positive vision uses voluminous, almost overwhelming, examples of this promise. The technology-driven Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Tunsia and Iran still resonate as well as the controversial Wikileaks exposures and philanthropic internet responses to recent tragedies such as the 2010 Haitian earthquake. The IOT might also dampen the current growing trends in cyberwar and bot proliferation by advocating "cyberdeterrence" (a kind of digital social contract of "you don't hack me, I won't hack you"). Not only that, unscrupulous governments, organizations or individuals may have a hard time finding a place to hide their activities if the IOT pervades and sees all like some benevolent eye of Sauron. The book argues that the IOT could even create new forms of self-governance outside of traditional state-based paradigms and produce a new kinds of freedom especially for those living under authoritarian regimes.
Though some of this sounds undeniably cyberutopian, the book also explores the downsides of the IOT and threats to the "Pax Technica." It discusses new directions the Chinese government has taken in censorship and control over digital content, including the building of its own internet infrastructure - sometimes called "The Great Firewall of China." It seems to aim its heaviest surveillance against interactions involving face to face meetings or public protests. It also ships this inevitably slower technology elsewhere in the world, particularly to Africa, which remains one of the globe's largest unexplored and unconquered digital territories. As social control corresponds more and more with control of digital content dispersal, the IOT may find itself a mass conduit of directed and diffuse propaganda. Technologies used by political activists may also be used against them as events in Ukraine demonstrated. The IOT could amplify this. Some devices may also invade personal lives more than others. Warnings have already circulated about placing "smart TVs" in intimate settings such as bedrooms as their embedded cameras and microphones may transmit data even when turned off. Not to mention the future possibility that an absence of internet activity in a locale may arouse suspicion. Detecting a lack of digital activity apparently helped officials locate Osama Bin Laden's hiding place (arguably this point could be categorized as both positive and negative). Bots also impersonate people, sometimes with stunning authenticity especially over limited platforms like Twitter. The book claims that one fifth of followers of Canadian politicians during a recent election were actually bots and that multitudes of Twitter users are indeed mere bots. As AI continues to undermine the Turing test people may find themselves interacting more and more with virtual online "beings." A host of challenges, many more listed in the book, exist.
Throughout, "Pax Technica" maintains a rather ambiguous definition of the IOT. Sometimes referred to in the future tense and sometimes in the present tense, the book never really decides what the IOT actually is or will be. Though expected in a work infused with a certain amount of futurism, those new to the IOT concept may finish the book not really knowing what this potentially ominous "network of things" really comprises. But does anyone really know? One thing the last half century or so has demonstrated is that technology remains difficult, if not impossible, to predict. For example, the book makes the prediction that "hacktavists" will continue to stay ahead of governmental technology. Maybe. Overall, the book feels somewhat repetitive as examples recur, especially the "Pax" analogies which reappear almost ad nauseum. Its information swells to an almost incomprehensible level, sometimes making the arguments difficult to track. Relief appears with the "5 premises" and "5 consequences" chapters which provide a more concise adumbration of the main points. But the majority of the positive arguments seem to rest on people having a say in the building of the IOT for it to have the transparent, liberating effect emphasized throughout. Though correct, just how people have a say in this doesn't receive much attention. Some may fall back on market dynamics, but, similar to small televisions, will non-networked devices one day become almost unavailable? The book never directly mentions activism as a way to "have a say," but that route also poses numerous challenges. So, as the IOT slowly builds itself under our very feet, how do people have a say in its construction and implementation? One great piece of advice the book offers is for people to become more technically aware. Don't just consume digital products, understand what they do and the network upon which they transmit information. Regardless of the near silence on how we bring about a liberating IOT, "Pax Technica" nonetheless remains a good read throughout and presents a number of intriguing and important examples of how technology shapes our lives and the sometimes surprising effects it can produce. We can definitely hope for a "Pax Technica" as described in this book, but the reality of tradeoffs will likely dominate as usual. Some things to some people will seem better. The same things to other people will seem worse. Given the incomprehensible polymorphicity of experience and perspective sometimes the overall effect of change and "progress" seems impossible to quantify. We can really only be confident that things will change.