A provocative, engrossing dialogue sure to raise eyebrows.

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WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

Two powerful, conflicting tech execs exchange thoughts on the future of the Internet.

In the early summer of 2011, while WikiLeaks was under full investigative crackdown, its Australian co-founder, Assange (Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet, 2012), was under house arrest in Norfolk, England. When given a chance to be interviewed by Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, for a book he was writing, Assange welcomed the opportunity to possibly “understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on Earth.” (Assange’s pan of Schmidt’s eventual book is dutifully included in this volume—“a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism.”) With neither technological revolutionary an advocate of the other’s philosophy, the sparks flew throughout their three-hour conversation, which is transcribed here. In response to Schmidt’s probing, Assange discussed his frustration with the URL system; Bitcoin’s statelessness; and WikiLeaks’ motivations and the development of its defining technology. This book also contains Assange’s heavily footnoted commentary on the preamble leading up to his discussion with Schmidt, its aftermath, and the prospects facing contemporary digital media. Assange describes Schmidt as a wunderkind who acts with “machinelike analyticity,” a quality apparent during the interview, even though their intricate verbal volleying becomes diluted by the hovering, intimidating presence of Jared Cohen, a former adviser to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton and current director of Google Ideas. Their jargon-filled conversation will surely fascinate the tech-savvy and perplex neophytes while redefining both Assange and Schmidt as extremists in their shared passion for ushering in the next wave of digital development. Though the two men are opposites in their objectives, the book emphasizes their roles as visionary predictors forecasting the future of Internet communications.

A provocative, engrossing dialogue sure to raise eyebrows.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-939293-57-2

Page Count: 200

Publisher: OR Books

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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