Stephen Redwood's Reviews > The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google

The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr
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Sep 24, 2011

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bookshelves: technology
Read from September 24 to November 08, 2011

Burden's waterwheel changed industry, Electricity changed the world, computing changed it again, then the Internet blew open the doors and dramatic change is about us all over again. That's the essence of the book. It may sound a bit obvious, but actually the stories about Burden, Edison, Insull (who scaled the electricity grid), Hollerith (tabulating machine), Watson (IBM), Gates, Brin and beyond that carry the narrative are interesting and bring the whole thing alive with the kind of nuggets that win pub quizzes. The book describes big impacts resulting from big ideas, but in itself does not really develop a unique big idea of its own. It's a very readable run through the history that links these 'big shifts' together, but doesn't have the depth of, say, one of Nassim Taleb's books.
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