- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (March 1 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385419945
- ISBN-13: 978-0385419949
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 65 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #976,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway Paperback – Mar 1 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Computer expert Stoll presents a backlash account of the Internet, questioning whether its potential influence is as far-reaching and positive as supporters claim.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Stoll, a Berkeley astronomer who chronicled how he broke a computer spy ring in The Cuckoo's Egg (LJ 9/15/89) and who has been netsurfing for 15 years, does an apparent about-face here, warning that the technophiles are trying to sell us a bill of goods on the promise of the Internet?one on which it can't deliver and that, ultimately, both ignores the cost of forsaking human interaction and actual financial costs. His is a lone voice countering the mass of media hype that has been touting the national information superhighway and the rush of individuals and businesses to get connected. In chapters dealing with everything from education to E-mail (Stoll reports he lost less mail via the U.S. Postal Service) to the "virtual" library, he details the limitations of the networks. Though he is occasionally not quite up to the minute on some library implementations, his message nevertheless should be read as a caution to every librarian rushing down the information highway. [For an interview with Stoll and an excerpt from his book, see p. 100.]?Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal.
-?Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I love the line about turning off the computer, growing some tomatoes and talking to your neighbors! :)
Great book, highly recommended!
and the Internet is just the last one - then give this book a try.
Besides it's fun to read, you will find arguments that should at least
startle you (for example the comparison snail-mail vs e-mail)
If you are a computer enthusiast, this book is the right starting point
to think about where to use computer - and where they are abused.
However, that's besides the point. I urge the reader to approach this book with an open mind. Frankly, besides playing games and doing word-processing (that's typing), what else do you actually do with your computer? Sending some spam mail to all your friends in your address book?
Well, I think Clifford Stoll has done a great job, and the more we should open our ears to him for his long-time involvement with the computers.
I rank this book alongside Jerry Mander's 'Four Arguements For The Elimination of Television' and Neil Postman's 'The Disappearance of Childhood'.
I find Stoll contradicts himself many times throughout the book. He claims that newsgroups and Usenet is a waste of time, yet he also tells the reader how much information he got while spending countless hours on them. Another thing peculiar about the author is his attitude about the Internet in general. He comes off very anti-Internet, yet tells the reader about his 15 years prior to 1996 he spent on the Internet, and even starts off the book telling the reader he realizes he's addicted.
This is not a book for anyone who is "pro-computer." Stoll does make some interesting, realistic, points throughout the book, but in some instances, fails to back them up with evidence. However, if the reader approaches the book open-minded, he/she should walk away with a better understanding of how the Internet affects our society.
I find the book to be informative with respect to the negative aspects of the Internet, yet overdramatic about it. The Internet has changed a lot through the four years since this book has been in print, and so have Internet users. I am interested in how the author feels today the Internet, Internet users, and his comments made in Silicon Snake Oil.
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