Book picks similar to
The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online by Mary Aiken
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Nicholas Carr - 2010
He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways.Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Jaron Lanier - 2018
In Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now Jaron Lanier draws on his insider's expertise to explain precisely how social media works and why its cruel and dangerous effects are at the heart of its current business model and design. As well as offering ten simple arguments for liberating yourself from its addictive hold, his witty and urgent manifesto outlines a vision for an alternative that provides all the benefits of social media without the harm. nicer person in the process.
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous
Gabriella Coleman - 2014
She ended up becoming so closely connected to Anonymous that the tricky story of her inside–outside status as Anon confidante, interpreter, and erstwhile mouthpiece forms one of the themes of this witty and entirely engrossing book.The narrative brims with details unearthed from within a notoriously mysterious subculture, whose semi-legendary tricksters—such as Topiary, tflow, Anachaos, and Sabu—emerge as complex, diverse, politically and culturally sophisticated people. Propelled by years of chats and encounters with a multitude of hackers, including imprisoned activist Jeremy Hammond and the double agent who helped put him away, Hector Monsegur, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy is filled with insights into the meaning of digital activism and little understood facets of culture in the Internet age, including the history of “trolling,” the ethics and metaphysics of hacking, and the origins and manifold meanings of “the lulz.”
The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld
Jamie Bartlett - 2014
A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.The dark net is an underworld that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the encrypted web. It is a world that frequently appears in newspaper headlines, but one that is little understood, and rarely explored. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures: trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes.Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
Adam Alter - 2017
We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans. In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today's products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist. By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good—to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play—and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children.
The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data
Kevin D. Mitnick - 2017
Consumer's identities are being stolen, and a person's every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand.In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge--and he teaches you "the art of invisibility." Mitnick is the world's most famous--and formerly the Most Wanted--computer hacker. He has hacked into some of the country's most powerful and seemingly impenetrable agencies and companies, and at one point he was on a three-year run from the FBI. Now, though, Mitnick is reformed and is widely regarded as the expert on the subject of computer security. He knows exactly how vulnerabilities can be exploited and just what to do to prevent that from happening. In THE ART OF INVISIBILITY Mitnick provides both online and real life tactics and inexpensive methods to protect you and your family, in easy step-by-step instructions. He even talks about more advanced "elite" techniques, which, if used properly, can maximize your privacy. Invisibility isn't just for superheroes--privacy is a power you deserve and need in this modern age.
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Sherry Turkle - 2011
Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them.In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It’s a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for—and sacrificing—in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today’s self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.
Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers
Andy Greenberg - 2019
Targeting American utility companies, NATO, and electric grids in Eastern Europe, the strikes became ever more brazen, eventually leading to the first-ever blackouts triggered by hackers. They culminated in the summer of 2017 when malware known as NotPetya was unleashed, compromising, disrupting, and paralyzing some of the world's largest companies. At the attack's epicenter in Ukraine, ATMs froze. The railway and postal systems shut down. NotPetya spread around the world, inflicting an unprecedented ten billions of dollars in damage--the largest, most penetrating cyberattack the world had ever seen.The hackers behind these attacks are quickly gaining a reputation as the most dangerous team of cyberwarriors in the internet's history: Sandworm. Believed to be working in the service of Russia's military intelligence agency, they represent a persistent, highly skilled, state-sponsored hacking force, one whose talents are matched by their willingness to launch broad, unrestrained attacks on the most critical infrastructure of their adversaries. They target government and private sector, military and civilians alike.From WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg comes Sandworm, the true story of the desperate hunt to identify and track those attackers. It considers the danger this force poses to our national stability and security. And as the Kremlin's role in manipulating foreign governments and sparking chaos globally comes into greater focus, Sandworm reveals the realities not just of Russia's global digital offensive, but of an era where warfare ceases to be waged on the battlefield--where the line between digital and physical conflict begins to blur, with world-shaking implications.
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
Bruce Schneier - 2015
Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He brings his bestseller up-to-date with a new preface covering the latest developments, and then shows us exactly what we can do to reform government surveillance programs, shake up surveillance-based business models, and protect our individual privacy. You'll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again.
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
Cathy O'Neil - 2016
Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives--where we go to school, whether we can get a job or a loan, how much we pay for health insurance--are being made not by humans, but by machines. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules.But as mathematician and data scientist Cathy O'Neil reveals, the mathematical models being used today are unregulated and uncontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination--propping up the lucky, punishing the downtrodden, and undermining our democracy in the process.
Marc Goodman - 2015
Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services. Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders. With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment. Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.From the Hardcover edition.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick - 2011
The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself. And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.
Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
William Powers - 2010
Part intellectual journey, part memoir, Hamlet's BlackBerry sets out to solve what William Powers calls the conundrum of connectedness. Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose an enormous burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfillment we crave.Hamlet's BlackBerry argues that we need a new way of thinking, an everyday philosophy for life with screens. To find it, Powers reaches into the past, uncovering a rich trove of ideas that have helped people manage and enjoy their connected lives for thousands of years. New technologies have always brought the mix of excitement and stress that we feel today. Drawing on some of history's most brilliant thinkers, from Plato to Shakespeare to Thoreau, he shows that digital connectedness serves us best when it's balanced by its opposite, disconnectedness.Using his own life as laboratory and object lesson, Powers demonstrates why this is the moment to revisit our relationship to screens and mobile technologies, and how profound the rewards of doing so can be. Lively, original, and entertaining, Hamlet's BlackBerry will challenge you to rethink your digital life.
Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
Jane McGonigal - 2010
The average young person in the UK will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of twenty-one. What's causing this mass exodus? According to world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal the answer is simple: videogames are fulfilling genuine human needs. Drawing on positive psychology, cognitive science and sociology, Reality is Broken shows how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy, and utilized these discoveries to astonishing effect in virtual environments. But why, McGonigal asks, should we use the power of games for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, she reveals how gamers have become expert problem solvers and collaborators, and shows how we can use the lessons of game design to socially positive ends, be it in our own lives, our communities or our businesses. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, Reality is Broken sends a clear and provocative message: the future will belong to those who can understand, design and play games.
We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency
Parmy Olson - 2012
WE ARE ANONYMOUS is the first full account of how a loosely assembled group of hackers scattered across the globe formed a new kind of insurgency, seized headlines, and tortured the feds-and the ultimate betrayal that would eventually bring them down. Parmy Olson goes behind the headlines and into the world of Anonymous and LulzSec with unprecedented access, drawing upon hundreds of conversations with the hackers themselves, including exclusive interviews with all six core members of LulzSec. In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Other targets were wide ranging-the websites of corporations from Sony Entertainment and Fox to the Vatican and the Church of Scientology were hacked, defaced, and embarrassed-and the message was that no one was safe. Thousands of user accounts from pornography websites were released, exposing government employees and military personnel.Although some attacks were perpetrated by masses of users who were rallied on the message boards of 4Chan, many others were masterminded by a small, tight-knit group of hackers who formed a splinter group of Anonymous called LulzSec. The legend of Anonymous and LulzSec grew in the wake of each ambitious hack. But how were they penetrating intricate corporate security systems? Were they anarchists or activists? Teams or lone wolves? A cabal of skilled hackers or a disorganized bunch of kids?WE ARE ANONYMOUS delves deep into the internet's underbelly to tell the incredible full story of the global cyber insurgency movement, and its implications for the future of computer security.