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The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It Paperback – March 17, 2009
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The book ... makes fascinating reading for those who have watched the network grow from its roots in the research community into today's global channel for communications, commerce and cultural expression. --BBC News
"Jonathan Zittrain does what no one has before--he eloquently and subtly pinpoints the magic that makes Wikipedia, and the Internet as a whole, work. The best way to save the Internet is to turn off your laptop until you''ve read this book."--Jimbo Wales, Founder, Wikipedia
0;Jonathan Zittrain does what no one has before2;he eloquently and subtly pinpoints the magic that makes Wikipedia, and the Internet as a whole, work. The best way to save the Internet is to turn off your laptop until you''ve read this book.1;2;Jimbo Wales, Founder, Wikipedia
-- Jimbo Wales
0;The most compelling book ever written on why a transformative technology''s trajectory threatens to stifle that technology''s greatest promise for society. Zittrain offers convincing road maps for redeeming that promise.1;2;Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
-- Laurence H. Tribe
0;A superb and alarming discussion, from one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts of the Internet. Zittrain explains how the glorious promise of the Internet might not be realized2;and points the way toward reducing the current risks. Absolutely essential reading."2;Cass Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, The University of Chicago Law School, and co-author of "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness"
-- Cass Sunstein
0;This book is fundamental. It will define the debate about the future of the Internet, long after we haven''t stopped it. Absolutely required reading.1;2;Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Stanford Law School, and author of "Free Culture" and "The Future of Ideas"
-- Lawrence Lessig
"This book is fundamental. It will define the debate about the future of the Internet, long after we haven''t stopped it. Absolutely required reading."-Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Stanford Law School, and author of Free Culture and The Future of Ideas
"Jonathan Zittrain does what no one has before-he eloquently and subtly pinpoints the magic that makes Wikipedia, and the Internet as a whole, work. The best way to save the Internet is to turn off your laptop until you''ve read this book."-Jimbo Wales, Founder, Wikipedia
"The most compelling book ever written on why a transformative technology''s trajectory threatens to stifle that technology''s greatest promise for society. Zittrain offers convincing road maps for redeeming that promise."-Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School -- Laurence H. Tribe
"This remarkably researched and highly entertaining book is a must-read for all who take the ubiquitous nature of the Internet in our everyday lives for granted. The future of the internet is NOT a positive one, unless we all work collaboratively to ensure its lasting success. Zittrain's analysis is first-class and should be widely heeded by leaders from all sectors of society."-Dr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum -- Dr. Klaus Schwab
"A superb and alarming discussion, from one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts of the Internet. Zittrain explains how the glorious promise of the Internet might not be realized-and points the way toward reducing the current risks. Absolutely essential reading."-Cass Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, The University of Chicago Law School, and co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness -- Cass Sunstein
From the Author
A conversation with Jonathan Zittrain
Q: You have a curious title to your book. Most people think the Internet is a good thing, so why try to stop it?
A: The Internet is a great thingand it's largely a historical accident that we have it at all. As late as the early 1990s, people in the know assumed that one of a handful of proprietary networks would be the network of the future. Those networks carefully groomed the content to be presented to people. The Internet came out of left field as an entity with no plan for content, no CEOnot even a main menu. PCs are similarly surprisingly successful. Unlike "information appliances" such as smart typewriters and word processors, the programs on a PC can come from anywhere. This has vaulted the PC into the front lines of business environments, not just homes. Unfortunately that's not how the future is shaping up. Our own choices, made in fear, are causing the most valuable features of our modern technology to slip away.
Q: You warn that the Internet, and the computers that sit on the ends of it, will become more like appliances if we aren’t careful. What do you mean by that?
A: Devices like Apple's iPhone are incredibly sophisticatedand flexible. But they can be programmed only by their vendors. That's very, very limitingand yet consumers will ask for that because it makes for a more consistent experience, and because our generative PC and Internet technologies are less and less useful due to spam, spyware, viruses, and other exploitations of their openness. We need to combat these exploitations in ways that don't sacrifice fundamental openness.
Q: Is it possible to have it both ways: to have a secure Internet that remains open to the possibilities you describe in your book?
A: Yes, and the book goes into detail about how we might thread this needle. If we fail, we return to the old models of consumer technology that we had already (and rightly) forgotten thanks to the Internet's success.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is instructive without being tedious, alarming without being hysterical. It is balanced, informed, and most relevant to all of us.
The entire book focuses on the transformation of the Internet from one in which the innovation could be done at the edges, with generative innovation that built on the provided software or hardware, to one in which we are allowed to buy tethered appliances like iPhone or X-Box that are "locked down."
Even PCs are being locked down today, and with this and other examples the author has my total attention.
He suggests that the end point matters, and that the confrontation between flexibility and openness, versus security and perfect reliability (and later, perfect enforcement) is one that requires more creative thinking rather than knee jerk mandates one way or the other.
He notes that historically IBM tried to bundle everything, and they were forced by anti-trust to unbundle, just as AT&T was, as Microsoft was, and as Google will be if the USG Government ever gets either honest or informed--either will do. Look for my book review of "Google 2.0: The Calculating Predator" to understand this suprnational unsupervised threat to multiple sectors, never mind privacy and copyright.Read more ›
This is fine, in my opinion, as Zittrain provides two important frameworks that define new ways of thinking about the net and its impact: the notion of generative technology and the idea that the value of that technology is moving from the network to the endpoints. The book describes these ideas and develops them into a range of policy and technical decisions facing business, political and judicial leaders.
In the Future of the Internet, Jonathan Zittrain provides a detailed analysis of the development of the Internet, the nature of networks, and the evolution of technology. This book concentrates on the central elements of what Zittrain calls "generative" solutions. A generative solution is one that provides a basis for innovation, new products and new sources of value through experimentation and individual innovation (ala Cheesbourgh's open innovation). Zittrain sees the Internet and the PC as generative technologies, which the clearly are. However he sees generative technologies go through a pattern where the openness and high levels of trust that made them generative and attracted new solutions soon fall prey to fraud, abuse and outright criminal activities.
Zittrain argues that this is what the Internet is going through now as SPAM, Malware, Phishing and other forms of cyber crime and mischief are eroding the value of the Internet as a generative platform.Read more ›
The book also references several seeming contradictions that I felt were poorly addressed. The opening of the book talks about the triumph of the Internet because of its openness over walled garden, then says that it's under thread by tethered services, which the Internet had initially bested.
Hacking isn't referenced for devices like DVRs, iPhones, and other such beasts.
DRM is entirely ignored as well as its failure in the music realm. I think the Sony Rootkit debacle would have served as a nice piece.
Finally, the book's title includes "and how to stop it". I don't recall much in the book that actively tells the read what to do to stop a tethered device dominated network nor what legislation should be avoided or promoted.
The center bits on generativity and how it pops up in everyday life was both informative and interesting. Maybe this book should have been broken into two parts rather than the odd mingling that took place in this text.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Struggling to read. This is clearly written for someone way more knowledgeable about the subject than I am. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you are into the destructive things people have done using the InterWeb, then this is the book for you. Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by S I P
In the Introduction to this 2008 book, Jonathan L. Zittrain (born 1969; a professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School) predicts that "the future unfolding right now is very... Read morePublished on June 11, 2012 by Steven H Propp
This is a subject I'm pretty familiar with, I actually spoke at his cyberlaw class once. I've participated in many open source discussions and debates, and I've heard the... Read morePublished on March 2, 2012 by Joseph Born
I was disappointed in this book. It has a very good title - we are nearly all interested in the future of the net. Read morePublished on January 20, 2011 by Russell Telfer
In this book, Professor Jonathan Zittrain makes implausible predictions of a dystopian future, presenting fallacious arguments and unsatisfying evidence for them. Read morePublished on December 28, 2010 by L. B. Glass
I saw a video of a talk he gave which seemed to be a prelude to this book. I liked his talk and presentation style, so I read the book. My review is in the middle of the road. Read morePublished on August 21, 2010 by AmazonShopper
Anyone interested in the future of freedom should read Jonathan Zittrain's book, The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It. Read morePublished on January 17, 2010 by Oliver Demille
This book was way too long. Much of the book seems repetitive. That being said, there were some very interesting and valuable concepts explained in the book.Published on July 20, 2009 by Mike Liptak