12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Brilliant Concept,
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This review is from: In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace (Hardcover)
This is the most unusual piece of non-fiction I've read in a long while, and a dazzling one. Here's the concept: David Post makes the case that the Internet is today's great frontier, the modern era's great unmapped territory (and a universe that, as he explains, is expanding at a pace almost beyond human understanding.) So who better to help us think about that new frontier and how to govern it than the great philosopher/scientist//Renaissance Man of America's early days, Thomas Jefferson himself? The concept is improbable and eccentric and . . .the author totally pulls it off. In an almost cinematic style, the books moves seamlessly back and forth between the days of the Louisiana Purchase, when this vast and ungovernable wilderness lay to the West, and today's attempts by individuals and government to make sense of and manage the Internet. The book's style is chatty and enthusiastic and easily accessible to the lay reader even while the thinking behind it is deeply learned -- the writer is jumping around from law, to evolutionary theory, to the diplomatic history of the 19th Century to Jefferson's torrid love affair with a British noblewoman. And by the end, you're left with a feeling of awe. Awe for Jefferson's bold thinking for sure (and the book is a nice reminder of TJ's greatness, after all the well-deserved bashings he's been taking about slavery), but more, an awe and excitement about the present-day, the world we live in and the revolutionary transformations we are part of courtesy of the World Wide Web.