31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Essential reading for our time,
This review is from: Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World (Hardcover)
As other reviewers have noted, this book is difficult to summarize. Prof. Cowen insightfully touches on topics ranging from Adam Smith, to contemporary classical music, to facebook. Unlike some books that present one idea in the introduction, then repeat it endlessly, nearly page in prof. Cowen's book contains something new and thought-provoking. I found it difficult to put down.
Most exciting for me was the idea that internet, far from making us more impatient, may allow us to assemble long and valuable narratives from 'small bits'. This idea changed how I think about my time spent online. Rather than feeling vaguely guilty about the time I 'waste' reading blogs, I am thinking about the stories that each individual blog post adds to.
Cowen's notes that the internet (and computers, ipods, etc.) are exceptionally good at helping us to organize information. Intriguingly, Cowen argues that this may in a positive sense be making us all more autistic. Far from a being a distraction, the internet may be enabling us to appreciate culture in individual ways that were not previously possible. (For the economists out there, you need to read the book to see how much of this is explained by the most important theorem you've probably never heard of: the Alchian-Allen theorem.)
Whether or not you agree with all of Cowen's arguments, this book is likely to make you see the world - and yourself - differently. Highly recommended.