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Republic.com 2.0

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
What happens to democracy and free speech if people use the Internet to listen and speak only to the like-minded? What is the benefit of the Internet's unlimited choices if citizens narrowly filter the information they receive? Cass Sunstein first asked these questions in 2001's Republic.com. Now, in Republic.com 2.0, Sunstein thoroughly rethinks the critical relationship ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 17th 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published August 20th 2007)
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Josh Braun
My review from 60 Second Science: Cass Sunstein's a leading advocate of the idea of "cyberbalkanization" —the notion that the Internet may one day do in democracy. He suggests the presence of an exploding number of interest-based online communities, personalized search, personalized news, Amazon-style book recommendations, and such, which seem to offer something for everyone, will ultimately encourage Internet users to wall themselves into ever-smaller interest-based groups.

You've probably hear
...more
Lucas
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd really mark this 2.5 stars. Terribly repetitive, but not without some good points. If I recall, chapter four was the most enjoyable. Interestingly, he states that the book was inspired by Jane Jacobs' Death and Life of Great American Cities. It does seem clear that lack of exposure to diverse thought on the internet, which cannot be forced, is akin to the loss of shared experiences one gets when living in the suburbs. He keeps talking about public forums like parks as if they no longer exist ...more
Jason
Aug 11, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
truly fascinating reading about how our rapidly advancing technologies are affecting the deliberative process of a republic. i only wish sunstein had expounded a little more. he raises some really interesting issues, but is constantly tempering every idea with "i'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing - just that it is." he fails to take the next step of suggesting how we proceed as country given the current state of democracy and our participation (or lack thereof) in it.

i'm writing t
...more
matt
Jan 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book, but could have used some editing-- because it sometimes feels repetitious and doesn't always push ideas as far as it might, it feels a bit as if it were rushed out. (Which is strange, considering it's an updated version of Sunstein's turn-of-the-millenium "Republic.com".) (Ugly cover, too.)

What I found most interesting, however, is Sunstein's sketch of a legal-historical framework in which to think about the ideas of free speech and democratic deliberation. His also serves a
...more
David
I have taken to heart Professor Sunstein's admonition that we need to resist the enticement of the Internet to filter out views other than those we already hold and issues other than those we are already predisposed to consider. The book caused me to examine the many ways that new technology enables us to hear only views that are an echo of our own. Nonetheless, there seems to be something quixotic about his effort to take on the Internet's ability to serve as an affiliation device and to promot ...more
Garrett
May 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law-and-politics
1) Too obtuse and dry for the general reader, but not specific enough for lawyers.
2) Chapters are structured so as to attack strawmen. (Who out there is really arguing that governments have NO AUTHORITY OF ANY KIND related to the internet?)
3) Argument that the internet creates echo chamber effect is hedged so much that he's barely argued that any problem exists at all.
4) Hardly any specific policy recommendations that are legal. His conclusion seems to be "if we care about democracy, we should g
...more
Adam Crouse
A decent book. Sunstein makes a lot of good points on how the personalization of the internet can fragment a democratic society and ultimately threaten its freedom. And although the internet does allow for larger deliberative enclaves and creates massive echo chambers caused more and more by cyber cascades, Sunstein seems to forget that there still does exist reasons to leave your house and interact with other locked in your same geological location in the real, physical world.
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
Assigned reading, an interesting point that Sunstein made. This novel definitely isn't light-reading and was pretty intense in many parts.

I felt like Sunstein's view was very negative, but that makes sense as he was trying to expose the negative aspects of filtering and the "daily me." However, I felt like he maybe ignored the positive.

An interesting read for those who like politics, democracy, government, internet, and technology type books.
Aeden
Nov 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
He may be a well-regarded law professor, but his conclusions are rather perfunctory. There are several better works about the internet and its impact on American democracy, such as Hindman's "The Myth of Digital Democracy", Prior's "Post-Broadcast Democracy" and Stroud's "Niche 2.0".
Bethany Keeley
Look. I'm really glad this book exists. It is a valuable perspective and a valid concern, but I think Sunstein overstates his case, both in terms of how informed and democratic Americans have ever been, and how severe the current and potential bubble effect are.
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Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where he continues to teach as ...more
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