Gregg Kellogg's Reviews > Kill Process

Kill Process by William Hertling
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really liked it

This is a major improvement for William Hertling from his previous Singularity series. It obviously lives in the same general universe as Avogadro Corp, but it's not clear if their futures will converge, or this exists as a kind of "parallel universe". In any case, I'd like to see where this goes. I give it 4 1/2 stars.

The book touches on several major themes:

* The loss of the open web to giants such as Avagadro/Tomo (read Google/Facebook),
* The plight of female programmers in the technical world,
* The hacker ethic, and an exploration of just what the implications are on our increasingly connected world, and what the capabilities of the NSA might actually be in searching through this, and
* The effect of post traumatic stress, and how debilitating it can be.

I thought it dealt with all these themes quite intelligently and effectively. In this world, the protagonist (something of an anti-hero) "Angie" seeks to create an alternative to the closed environment that the web has become, with important profile information stuck inside of big silos such as those maintained by the large social and search giants

I've been somewhat involved the the subjects of decentralized identity, and desegregated profile information such as that promoted by the IndiWeb community. In fact, it's been a major source of work in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Many people have been working on this for a long time, and it would be nice to think that the right startup could make progress in here, but the vested interests, and the general problems with getting this architecture right, have put this off for some time. Recently, there are increased efforts to create The Web we Want and to create a web of meaning using Linked Data, which ironically, has taken a big step forward with support for schema.org by all those looking to rank high in search results. While I don't think the IndieWeb will make this happen, a lot of the philosophy embodied by this community is what will make this a reality.

In the book, a small group of plucky programmers in Portland endeavor to make this happen, in spite of strong forces trying to thwart them. It makes for a good thriller, and a great examination of the themes of the book.

I recommend this for web geeks, and those who want a believable (if technically dense) techno-thriller. Hertling has really become a great voice in this area, and I look forward to what he comes up with next.
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Reading Progress

July 18, 2016 – Shelved
July 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
September 24, 2016 –
80.0% "Accidentally marked this as complete, and uploaded the wrong review. I'm definitely enjoying this book, the discussion of mental illness, the social web, and IndiWeb."
September 24, 2016 – Finished Reading

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