The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google

byNicholas Carr

Kobo ebook | January 19, 2009

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“Magisterial. . . . Draws an elegant and illuminating parallel between the late-19th-century electrification of America and today’s computing world.”—Salon

Hailed as “the most influential book so far on the cloud computing movement” (Christian Science Monitor), The Big Switch makes a simple and profound statement: Computing is turning into a utility, and the effects of this transition will ultimately change society as completely as the advent of cheap electricity did. In a new chapter for this edition that brings the story up-to-date, Nicholas Carr revisits the dramatic new world being conjured from the circuits of the “World Wide Computer.”

Title:The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to GoogleFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 19, 2009Publisher:W. W. Norton & CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393067874

ISBN - 13:9780393067873

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Prescient This is quintessential Carr doing what he does best: making you think twice about technological utopianism through a masterly mix of anecdote and academic research. What also makes it an compelling read is that you get to see, with the benefit of hindsight, how some of his predictions and apprehensions, committed to writing up to 2008, have played out; his perspicacity is striking, as he identifies several trends that have only come into the mainstream more recently. You also get to learn some interesting things about electrification in the late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Forceful account might benefit from more humility. This book tells two stories. One is an analogy between the establishment of the modern electricity grid and cloud computing networks suggesting that computer networks will soon transform society with cloud computing networks turning computing into a commodity that we will be able to buy and use for any number of purposes with little if any effort. The other story is that cloud computing networks creates a technological potential that is probably bad news for life as we know it both intellectually and socially. The book is interesting because its author has clearly read and is engaging academic thought about the history and implications of computers and technology, but the author takes a rather straightforward view of technology, accepting a technological determinism. This position has some motivation that the author shares, but I wish he had engaged more with some potential objections. For example, comparing computers to utility is an idea that achieved some popularity in the 60s and 70s but failed then why is Carr so sure that now will be so different. Some of the author's negative apprehension about computers seems to be more a contrarian response to the endless positive froth generated by a thousand optimistic press releases than a completely justified intellectual position. That said the author stakes out his position relatively clearly and offers a contrast with the technological optimism that so many companies and authors offer.
Date published: 2015-04-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The big switch Interesting book, but getting a bit dated
Date published: 2014-04-07