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The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data
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Liveright 2016
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Description

"An intelligent book that struggles honestly with important questions: Is the net turning us into passive knowers? Is it degrading our ability to reason? What can we do about this?" —David Weinberger, Los Angeles Review of Books


We used to say "seeing is believing"; now, googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world's information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Now firmly established as a pioneering work of modern philosophy, The Internet of Us has helped revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age. Indeed, demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that there is more to "knowing" than just acquiring information, leading philosopher Michael P. Lynch shows how our digital way of life makes us value some ways of processing information over others, and thus risks distorting the greatest traits of mankind. Charting a path from Plato's cave to Google Glass, the result is a necessary guide on how to navigate the philosophical quagmire that is the "Internet of Things."

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/21/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781631491863
ASIN:
B010C3Q3ZU
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Michael P. Lynch. (2016). The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data. Liveright.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Michael P. Lynch. 2016. The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data. Liveright.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Michael P. Lynch, The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data. Liveright, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Michael P. Lynch. The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data. Liveright, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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shortDescription

With far-reaching implications, this urgent treatise promise to revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age.

We used to say "seeing is believing"; now googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world's information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Indeed, the Internet has revolutionized the way we learn and know, as well as how we interact with each other. And yet this explosion of technological innovation has also produced a curious paradox: even as we know more, we seem to understand less.

While a wealth of literature has been devoted to life with the Internet, the deep philosophical implications of this seismic shift have not been properly explored until now. Demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that...

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title
The Internet of Us
fullDescription

"An intelligent book that struggles honestly with important questions: Is the net turning us into passive knowers? Is it degrading our ability to reason? What can we do about this?" —David Weinberger, Los Angeles Review of Books

We used to say "seeing is believing"; now, googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world's information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Now firmly established as a pioneering work of modern philosophy, The Internet of Us has helped revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age. Indeed, demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that there is more to "knowing" than just acquiring information, leading philosopher Michael P. Lynch shows how our digital way of life makes us value some ways of processing information over others, and thus risks distorting the greatest traits of mankind. Charting a path from Plato's cave to Google Glass, the result is a necessary guide on how to navigate the philosophical quagmire that is the "Internet of Things."

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Jill Lepore;The New Yorker
      • content: We now only rarely discover facts, Lynch observes; instead, we download them. Of course, we also upload them: with each click and keystroke, we hack off tiny bits of ourselves and glom them on to a data Leviathan...The root of the problem, as he sees it, is a well-known paradox: reason can't defend itself without resort to reason.
      • premium: False
      • source: Electric Review
      • content: In this age of 'surf Google now,' everyone is an expert by virtue of the instant ability to click for answers...Lynch's treatise shows us that constantly forsaking the effort to dig and analyze in favor of quick information is a recipe for disaster that too often results in impulsive half-formed decisions...[T]his is a must read book.
      • premium: False
      • source: Robert M. Thorson;Hartford Courant
      • content: To object to the internet would be like objecting to the atmosphere. But just as the atmosphere can be too warm, too toxic or can send violent storms our way, so, too, can the infosphere create many difficulties, not the least of which is the conflict between privacy and security. Luckily, there's a new book out there by philosopher Michael P. Lynch. The Internet of Us shares my appreciation for what is less a new technology than a new way of knowing.
      • premium: False
      • source: Owen Flanagan, author of The Geography of Morals: Varieties of Moral Possibility
      • content: Michael P. Lynch is a deep thinker and a wise soul. In his beautifully written The Internet of Us, he goes to the heart of a high-stakes existential drama in which nothing less than the fates of knowledge, education, democracy and what it means to be human are at stake.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews, starred review
      • content: An excellent, much-needed contribution to the constant battle to sort truth from falsity.
      • premium: False
      • source: Alan Jacobs;Wall Street Journal
      • content: In The Internet of Us, Michael P. Lynch begins by pointing out, rightly enough, that in the age of the Internet we seem simultaneously to know more and know less. This leads him, philosopher that he is, to ask some questions about what it means to say that we know something...Mr. Lynch's basic argument is that if we understand better the conditions under which knowledge is produced and disseminated—conditions he explores clearly and cogently—then we will become more 'responsible' knowers.
      • premium: False
      • source: Paul Roberts, author of The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification
      • content: Combing the sharp insights of a leading philosopher with the lucid, accessible style of a natural historian, Lynch shows us how, as 'knowledge' has become a manufactured—and controlled—commodity, genuine understanding and creativity are becoming dangerously scarce. Essential reading for educators, parents, policymakers and, one hopes, those pulling the levers in the knowledge economy.
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from December 15, 2015
        How the Internet and "Google-knowing" can aggravate our tendency to be unreasonable. Lynch (Philosophy, Director of the Humanities Institute/Univ. of Connecticut; In Praise of Reason: Why Rationality Matters For Democracy, 2012, etc.) takes issue with the widely accepted notion that the Internet is a net benefit because it makes more information available to more people more quickly and easily. He is concerned with the consequences of a growing confusion between our receptivity to information and informed understanding as well as the advantages taken by data companies based on surveillance and systematic invasions of privacy. Lynch fears the growing impact of rumors and false information through what he calls "information cascades." Social media and the Internet in general, he writes, "are particularly susceptible" to a phenomenon comparable to "mob mentality." After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a photograph of a man and wounded woman were circulated, along with the story that the man had been about to propose marriage. However, the story was made up. Lynch argues that the trust people give to their sources of information can be both misplaced and abused. The Internet gives us more to disagree about and more sources to choose from. Given that many people limit whom they talk to and trust, those they agree with and think are authorities, the author is concerned that the Internet is increasing group polarization and the emergence of what he calls "isolated tribes." For him, reasonableness can go by the wayside when people begin to discuss the different principles on which their views are based. However, the Internet did not cause people to act this way. Lynch effectively presents the case for rationality against factional loyalties and insists that there should be vigorous promotion of scientific methods and thinking in public discourse. This activity would encourage the positive habits of evaluating authority and sources. An excellent, much-needed contribution to the constant battle to sort truth from falsity.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2016
        As the Google search engine grows ever more adept at completing the sentences of its users, Lynch warns that those human users may be losing their power to think through their sentences on their own. Though hardly a Luddite, Lynch fears that by relying too heavily on the Internet as a source of ready information, we risk the erosion of our power to reason, to think creatively, to gain knowledge through direct experience, and then to take social and political responsibility for that knowledge. To be sure, frequent use of the Internet may teach us how to recognize correlations in data and to use those correlations to make helpful predictions. But Lynch worries that these skills may mask deficiencies in our critical capacity to interrogate the assumptions that give correlations and predictions their cultural meaning. Consequently, these deficiencies leave us too imaginatively sterile to explore new conceptual horizons. Worse, these deficiencies expose us to the machinations of Internet con artists and governmental Big Brothers. A bracing challenge to Internet enthusiasts.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 15, 2015

        So much information comes at us these days, especially via the Internet, that we can barely absorb it all, much less work through it to some kind of understanding. That's bad news, argues rising-star philosopher Lynch; knowledge is more than just acquiring facts.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data
popularity
134
publisher
Liveright
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