Fortunately for this book the subtitle is much more obvious than the actual title, which I still don’t understand, so I scooped it of the library shelf in a hurry.
Harkaway gives a swift tour of how technology has changed how we think in the past, and offers perspective on how we are changing now. There is a mixture of history and light Psychology, with a lot of consideration as to the interaction between our communication methods and our internal thoughts and social structures.
The hearth, once a very simple, solid thing with discrete boundaries, has been extended into the world. The telephone allows us to reach out; the television allows us to see out; the computer allows us to search, to send messages and so on. We have positioned these things within the compass of the private space, and extended its reach.
He could do with considering his privilege though: of course someone well-connected and articulate will benefit from the social media revolution. That doesn’t mean that even the majority of people will do as well from it as he has. I don’t disagree with his premise that a lot of people stand to gain from an increase in connectivity, I just think he may be overselling that aspect somewhat.
Overall there is considerable food for thought, about how we think and communicate.
There is also something delightfully meta in writing a blog post about a book about the internet.