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.