** The End of Big by Nicco Mele


After a surprisingly gloomy introduction, the author of The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath argues patiently and coherently that the new technology of the internet and big data is changing — or should change — government institutions, the press, private companies, politics, and education. He gives many examples from his own experience (I particularly enjoyed the description of his involvement in Howard Dean’s presidential campaign) and as a self-proclaimed geek he is able to describe technology correctly and credibly.

Now and then, there are eyebrow-raising statements, as when he urges readers to redirect a few of their weekly 20+ hours of TV-watching time to do something useful such as write a Wikipedia article. Does he really think that the 20+-hour viewers are reading his book in the first place? But he is absolutely right that institutions need to evolve to better match technological progress, and that change is happening extremely slowly.

And I’m still puzzled about the tone of the introduction, since the rest of the book is upbeat, although appropriately balanced, about the benefits of technology.

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