David Eagleman’s new iPad-only book: Why the Net Matters

Posted on Wednesday, December 8th, 02010 by Austin Brown
link Categories: Announcements, Long Term Thinking, Seminars, Technology   chat 0 Comments

After his SALT talk for Long Now called Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization, David Eagleman mentioned his interest in writing an entire book on the subject. Kevin Kelly suggested he make it an iPad book, though they both acknowledged they didn’t really know what that meant at the time. Eagleman spent the intervening months working it out and has just announced release of the result:

Why have societies before us collapsed? Do we face the same fate? In his new book, Why the Net Matters, Long Now board member David Eagleman (author of international bestseller Sum) proposes that the invention of the internet averts the major existential threats that brought down those before us. By demonstrating how the internet can contend with epidemics, natural disasters, tyranny, energy depletion and other maladies, Eagleman shows how our existential equations have changed forever.

Why the Net Matters represents a novel step into the future of digital publishing: it is written as an iPad app that introduces a new way to navigate a non-fiction narrative. By offering random-access chapters, interactive 3D figures, and the ability to zoom in and out of the details of the argument, this represents a new direction for digital publishing.

Why the Net Matters is available on the iTunes store.

  • http://bignose.whitetree.org/ bignose

    David Eagleman mentioned his interest in writing an entire book on the subject.

    Yay! The book sounds like a great idea, especially on the strength of the talk.

    Kevin Kelly suggested he make it an iPad book, though they both acknowledged they didn’t really know what that meant at the time.

    Boo. What that means is “a book that no-one can use unless they own a particular device available from exactly one vendor”. Hardly a suggestion worthy of the long-term thinking advocated by the Long Now foundation.

    How about making the book in a standard format? PDF is a good candidate.

  • Zander

    I suspect because PDF would not allow the interactivity and random access that David wanted to experiment with here.

  • http://www.postlinearity.com gregorylent

    bought it … let's see … if it is bs, like all ipad mad apps and all ipad newspaper apps, i will let you know

  • Saemenkelyk

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that.
    PDF would have been the way to go, or better yet PDF/A.


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