I didn’t agree with all of it, but this is a very important conversation that isn’t being had widely enough.
Contrary to popular belief, the Amish don’t completely abstain from technology. They get together and discuss if a technology is going to be good for their community. When we need tin, we call Amish Willie and leave a message on his landline. He calls us back when he gets a chance. It works.
This book isn’t about the Amish, but I do think we should take a hard look at our technology and decide if it’s good for us, and decide how we can reduce the harms - ie putting phones away when eating with friends etc.
This book is mostly about the economic impact of the internet economy, though there is some social commentary as well. Both are important.
Books about the internet tend to become outdated very quickly, but this 2015 work is still very relevant today in 2021.
While I do agree completely that the internet creates more losers than winners, I disagree with the author that the opportunities now available are totally a bad thing. I make my living online and I know it’s not easy, and I know lots of middle class jobs have been eliminated, but it is now possible for any average Joe to climb out of poverty with an online hustle.
Despite making my living online, I truly hate the digital world. Much has been lost culturally, creatively, and economically. As we continue on I think we really should re-evaluate how we use our technologies and this book is an important part of that conversation.