The Best Technology Writing 2009

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Yale University Press, May 14, 2014 - Computers - 233 pages
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In his Introduction to this beautifully curated collection of essays, Steven Johnson heralds the arrival of a new generation of technology writing. Whether it is Nicholas Carr worrying that Google is making us stupid, Dana Goodyear chronicling the rise of the cellphone novel, Andrew Sullivan explaining the rewards of blogging, Dalton Conley lamenting the sprawling nature of work in the information age, or Clay Shirky marveling at the 'cognitive surplus' unleashed by the decline of the TV sitcom, this new generation does not waste time speculating about the future. Its attitude seems to be: Who needs the future? The present is plenty interesting on its own. Packed with sparkling essays culled from print and online publications, The Best Technology Writing 2009 announces a fresh brand of technology journalism, deeply immersed in the fascinating complexity of digital life.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Put the Blame on Griefers the Sociopaths of the Virtual World
9
I 9829 Novels
20
The Death of Planned Obsolescence
39
How Obama Really Did It
44
Why I Blog
56
Isle of Plenty
73
Rich Mans Burden
81
Brave New World of Digital Intimacy
120
Dymaxion Man
137
The Street as Platform
149
Can You Spot the Chinese Nuclear Sub?
163
Becoming Screen Literate
176
Spores Intelligent Designer
188
The Spreadsheet Psychic
195
Gin Television and Cognitive Surplus
211

Is Google Making Us Stupid?
84
Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book
98
Reflections on Lori Drew Bullying and Strategies for Helping Kids
101
Secret Geek ATeam Hacks Back Defends Worldwide Web
107
About the Contributors
219
Acknowledgments
223
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Steven Johnson was born on June 6, 1968. He received an undergraduate degree at Brown University, where he studied semiotics, and later went on to receive a graduate degree in English literature from Columbia University. He is the author of several books including Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age; Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation; The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution and the Birth of America; and The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic-and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World. His book, How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, was the subject of a six-part series on PBS, which he also hosted.

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