Wherever you go…whatever you say, write, photograph, or buy…whatever
prescriptions you take, or ATM withdrawals you make…you are generating
information. That information can be captured, digitized, retrieved,
and copied –anywhere on Earth, instantly. Sophisticated computers can
increasingly uncover meaning in those digital traces–understanding,
anticipating, and influencing you as never before.
Is this utopia? Or the dawning of a 1984/Brave New World horror
world? Whatever you call it, it’s happening. What kind of world are we
creating? What will it be like to live there? Blown to Bits offers
powerful and controversial answers to these questions–and give you the
knowledge you need to help shape your own digital future, not let
others do it for you. Building on their pioneering joint MIT/Harvard
course, the authors reveal how the digital revolution is changing
everything, in ways that are stunning even the most informed experts.
You’ll discover ten paradoxical truths about digital data–and learn
how those truths are overturning centuries-old assumptions about
privacy, identity, and personal control.
You’ll view the indelible digital footprints you’re making when you
search Google…send emails and text messages…write Microsoft Word
documents…download MP3s…make cellphone calls…post blog entries…pay
highway tolls…use your supermarket discount card. And you’ll see how
others could be following those footprints, in ways you never thought
about, and might not like.
Writing in plain English, the authors illuminate the myriad
implications of the digital revolution, answering the questions you’ve
wondered about–or ought to wonder about. Who owns all that data about
you? What do they owe you? How private is your medical information? Is
it possible to send a truly secure message? Who can you trust for
accurate information when traditional media is replaced by thousands of
unfiltered Internet sources?
Along the way, they reveal the decisions
governments and corporations are making right now that will shape your
future…and show how to have your say in those decisions. Because you
have an enormous stake in the outcome. We all do.