When Evgeny Morozov and Shoshana Zuboff already had a certain standing in Germany, Jaron Lanier was pretty much unknown. But he might just become the leader of the „We own our data“-movement of people such as Max Schrems. What Lanier does in his book is introducing the so called „Siren Servers“ and highlighting how we manage to ignore Terms and Conditions of online services and how these service providers trick us into not caring.
“We want free online experiences so badly that we are happy to not be paid for information that comes from us now or ever. That sensibility also implies that the more dominant information becomes in our economy, the less most of us will be worth.”
Rund drei Wochen ist es her, als Angela Merkel mit ihrem #Neuland-Vergleich eine Netz-Debatte losgetreten hat, die erst belacht wurde, dann versachlicht, nur damit die NSA uns Tage später zeigt, wie sehr wir hierzulande wirklich noch im Wald stehen. Auf haarsträubende Weise werden Netz und Web, Social und Mobile durcheinander gebracht. Offshoreleaks werden gehypt ohne Ende, dabei muss jedem klar sein, dass diese Daten genauso durch die Deep Packet Inspection erzeugt worden sein könnten. Evgeny Morozov gelingt in seinem Buch einen echten Diskurs zwischen echter Moderne und Neusprech zu beginnen. Genau das richtige also…
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and his team managed to publish some impressing findings about network sciences in the millenium years. If you hear them today, you sometimes subconsciously conclude, that this all doesn’t sound to new. But only because of the reason, the results of the group were picked up so fast and answered so many pressing questions about links in society, biology or economics. The book „Linked“ is a summary of their findings and a setup for new researches.
Nate Silver is the wunderkind of American media. On his blog FiveThirtyEight he managed to predict the outcome of the last US presidential election with a precision never seen before. Silver bases his estimation on the works of Thomas Bayes and his „Essay towards solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances“. Silver’s success with this approach is astonishing and casts a shadow on the work of political pundits and experts. In “Signal and the Noise” he explains how he does that.
Paul Ormerod’s „Why most things fail“ was published in 2005. Before the subprime crisis, but nevertheless it is a crisis book, that deals with information, lack of information and „bounded rationality“ (Stieglitz / Akerlof). The question is the very basic „why do companies fail?“ – a welcome antonym to all sorts of overconfident management literature. And it seems to me it is he last book written before Big Data came to life. Ormerod leaves some barriers to decision-making and predictive analysis – these are exactly the barriers companies – such as Google or Amazon – try to break.
When he wrote „Megaprojects and Risk“ Bent Flyvbjerg is Professor in the Department of Development and Planing at Aalborg University, Denmark. You wouldn’t expect a crime thriller from someone in that position – and you don’t get one. But Flyvbjerg refers to a concept called the zero-friction world and he points out, that we are living in a world that doesn’t allow any friction. Google’s latency tought us to be impatient – and even megaprojects have to be finished early, financed thoroughly and communicated transparently. Impossible.