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Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live
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"This is a superior work. Not only is it well researched and elegantly argued but he makes some original observations about how digital technology is changing the nature of human self-expression."—John Gapper, The Financial Times
"Jarvis offers a persuasive and personal look at why sharing things publicly on the Web should become the norm... Jarvis works methodically in Public Parts to unravel long-held beliefs about why openness online is dangerous... Jarvis' message of openness will be provocative to many, but what he explores is only the beginning of a revolution that will continue to change how we use the Web—and how the Web uses us."—Mark W. Smith, Detroit Free Press
"The author of What Would Google Do? returns with another thoughtful look at the Internet age. A welcome and well-reasoned counterpoint to the arguments that social-networking sites and the easy availability of personal information online are undermining our society and putting our safety at risk... A must-read for anyone interested in the issue of connectivity versus privacy."—David Pitt, Booklist
"It's important and will become more so, and I'm very glad Jeff has written his valuable book."—Stephen Baker, author of The Numerati
"How do we define what is public and what is private? What are the benefits and dangers of living a life in which everything is shared? Jarvis explores these questions and more in his immensely readable, chatty style... No one knows what's going to happen next. But people like Jarvis are having fun making sense of these confusing early years."—Niall Firth, New Scientist
"Jarvis makes a powerful case for re-framing the way we think about privacy, and for better appreciating the benefits of “publicness” in the information age."—Adam Thierer, Forbes.com
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Some will bristle at the notion that privacy "rights" should be balanced against any other right or value. If we desire the benefits of a more open and transparent society, however, it is a conversation we need to have. As Jarvis correctly notes, publicness improves interpersonal relationships, empowers communities, strengthens social ties, enables greater collaboration, promotes transparency and truth-seeking, and helps enliven deliberative democracy, among many other things.
Of course, new innovations in information technology -- the printing press, cameras, microphones, and now search engines and social networking -- have always spawned new privacy tensions. Ultimately, though, they also bring tremendous benefits, Jarvis correctly notes. The Internet revolution and all the angst that it entails is just the latest in this reoccurring cycle. We're going through the same growing pains our ancestors did with previous technologies and it's important not to overreact.
Whatever your view on privacy and the law governing it, it's always good to hear the other side of the story. Jarvis delivers it here with gusto and makes a powerful case for re-framing the way we think about these challenging issues going forward. Incidentally, those who find this topic of interest should also check out "The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom?" by David Brin, which also makes the case for increased information sharing and publicness.
[My longer review of "Public Parts" can be found at Forbes.com]
While Jarvis acknowledges that privacy has its uses, he is a gigantic advocate of openness, of public access to information, rather than containment. He backs his advocacy with examples that range from the very personal level (where we hear about his urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction after his prostate cancer surgery) to the international level, where he argues that "governments should be public by default, private only by necessity". Good governments, he says, are transparent. Bad governments are invariably, and often lethally, private. While conscious of the collateral damage that can occur with making some forms of information public, I think he would agree with the thought that when all is said and done, when all the dust is settled, when all the fires of public outrage die down, being public with information is a large net gain to society compared to a culture of privacy.Read more ›
However, it flies in the face of most conventional wisdom, and I am not sure it really will work in a less than perfect world.
Public Parts is a must-read for anyone. Period.
Not just business pros, though they'll doubtless benefit from the discussion of how the era of Radical Transparency can benefit business. Not just netizens, though they'll find the discussion of civil rights in the digital space invaluable in protecting themselves and advancing their own ideas. Not just PR pros, though they'll be comforted by the litany of case studies that will help them justify "doing the right thing" to the C-Suite.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Personal Data Protection: this is about you, this is about your privacy. On the other hand, your freedom to move, speak, think, express. Read morePublished 7 months ago by R-LONDON
"Public Parts" is a useful contribution to the public dialogue around privacy concerns. It doesn't have a compelling narrative and isn't a particularly fun read -- it... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Biz Book Reader
The book is reasonably researched and supports and explains Jarvis views about publicness and privacy. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jose M. Cane
Now, this book has become the center of attention even in Japan.
History brought people various benefits and a new problem by Gutenberg's printing technique invention. Read more
Lets talk about price... The Kindle and Audible price are well above the hardcover price ... WHAT GIVES! This is NOT RIGHT! Read morePublished on March 2, 2012 by JOHN P STONE
Mr. Jarvis is to be commended for the clarity of thought and honest passion in examining the ever-evolving complexities and challenges of living in the internet-connected world. Read morePublished on January 20, 2012 by Gary Oppenhuis
"Public Parts" is a play on Howard Stern's book, "Private Parts." Jarvis parallels this with his choice to reveal everything about his prostate cancer. Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by J Kragt
Jarvis provides a succinct and well-organized argument on why sharing more can improve everyone's life - though the metrics for what constitutes improvement is of course,... Read morePublished on November 14, 2011 by Jijnasu Forever