The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World
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The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The digital age. An age of isolation, warped communication, disintegrating community. Where unfiltered and unregulated information pours relentlessly into our lives, destroying what it means to be human. Or an age of marvels. Where there is a world of wonder at our fingertips. Where we can communicate across the globe, learn in the blink of an eye, pull down the barriers t...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by John Murray Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Tac Anderson
If you want my full review go here

Most interesting to me though, is that this is a book about the disruption of technology, by a writer who is the child of writers (Nick’s father is John le Carré). Nick has grown up in one of the industries most disrupted by technology, and being a member of Generation X, Nick grew up during the time that technology itself has grown up.

While Nick himself may be an early adopter and a power user of social media he also mad...more
An interesting book. The beginning is a bit slow (at least for someone like me who lives with a serious tech guy, and who is old enough to remember the birth of the web), as it's rather a potted history of the Internet, but it picks up when it gets to Harkaway's specific ideas about the intersection of technology and the book world.

I'm curious about his view of social media, though. He says he looks at how many people a person is following (on Twitter, say), not just how many followers they have...more
In my current, “I’m-all-about-the-non-fiction” phase (I get one, every so often) I just finished reading Nick Harkaway’s new book The Blind Giant. The simple verdict, it’s good, go read it.
Longer version - yes, I was pre-disposed to like it, I like digital stuff and tech, I like thinking about the impact that they’re going to have, I like Nick Harkaway and his writing (otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bought the hardback). I also like the cover. It pretty.

I also really quite like the approach...more
A look at some of the issues we're currently or soon to be facing as technology relentlessly permeates into our lives. A fairly quick read the book puts forward a lot of interesting moral, technological and political ideas that provide plenty of food for though for the interested reader.

Although the book starts with a look at two possible futures (one dystopian and one utopian) the majority of the book concerns itself with the immediate future - some of the issues at first glance might seem like...more
Gilang Danu
An interesting read on the topic of digital era. Prior to this book, I've read You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier, The Digital Divide by Mark Bauerlein and Alone Together by Sherry Turkle. Those three books, while I admit are well written, detailed and persuasive, lack a bit of 'spice'. I don't even know what the missing ingredient is until I read The Blind Giant.

What's missing from many other books about digital lifestyle is 'humbleness'. Funny, right? The Blind Giant works for me, especiall...more
Other than with his two novels (The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker) Harkaway does as an essayist not challenge his readers with eccentric prose and extravagant flights of fancy. (BTW: Which is not meant a a diss against his novels … both are brilliant!) — He offers an thematically wide ranged (and sometimes personal) examination of the merits and dangers, the possibilities and changes that come with the rise of information technology, especially the internet. He avoids elegantly not to be too op...more
Deedee Light
A little less innovative than I expected as far as conversations about advance technologies but still thought provoking.
Erin Leigh
Sep 17, 2012 Erin Leigh marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Preliminary Note: To those Americans who have been just as frustrated with the hard-copy procurement process and backasswards publishing decisions surrounding this book (we know it's not your fault, Nick!), Strand Bookstore in NYC might have a copy (Union Sq location)! That is where I found mine (hardcover), and I didn't pay an arm and a leg for it.
A part of me enjoyed reading it, but ironically it's pretty overwhelming and comes across as just a lot of information as opposed to any real structure.
Some good points but I found this a bit of a struggle
Andrew McMillen
Reviewed for The Oz. Fantastic book. Such clear and intelligent writing.
David Press
A really great book that I'm using in my freshman seminar on life hacking.
Nancy Stringer
How do we continue to be human in this digital world?
Chris Baker
I was enjoying this until I left it in Plymouth...
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Nick Harkaway was born in Cornwall, UK in 1972. He is possessed of two explosively exciting eyebrows, which exert an almost hypnotic attraction over small children, dogs, and - thankfully - one ludicrously attractive human rights lawyer, to whom he is married.

He likes: oceans, mountains, lakes, valleys, and those little pigs made of marzipan they have in Switzerland at new year.

He does not like: b...more
More about Nick Harkaway...
The Gone-Away World Angelmaker Edie Investigates Doctor Who: Keeping Up with the Joneses (Time Trips) Tigerman: A novel

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“A desire for privacy does not imply shameful secrets; Moglen argues, again and again, that without anonymity in discourse, free speech is impossible, and hence also democracy. The right to speak the truth to power does not shield the speaker from the consequences of doing so; only comparable power or anonymity can do that.” 15 likes
“Privacy is a protection from the unreasonable use of state and corporate power. But that is, in a sense, a secondary thing. In the first instance, privacy is the statement in words of a simple understanding, which belongs to the instinctive world rather than the formal one, that some things are the province of those who experience them and not naturally open to the scrutiny of others: courtship and love, with their emotional nakedness; the simple moments of family life; the appalling rawness of grief. That the state and other systems are precluded from snooping on these things is important - it is a strong barrier between the formal world and the hearth, extended or not - but at root privacy is a simple understanding: not everything belongs to everyone.” 10 likes
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