Sometimes it helps to have someone say “no.” The naysayer often deserves gratitude. Think of it as appreciating the black smoke during the pope’s election.* Didn’t some of us feel a little bit better when the vote did not produce a new pope? Evgeny Morozov is our non-pope. I imagine that when all the well-to-do tech gurus were rushing toward Second Life, now a piece of internet detritus, Evgeny was there yelling, “No!” And, “In what craziness are you people engaged?” However, no one listened. Shall some of us try listening to him by reading his new book?
What makes today different is that the overall excitement about “the Internet”—I find this concept so sickening and suffocating that I use it in scare quotes throughout the book—makes us blind to the pitfalls of solutionism and justifies many silly interventions and reform agendas. Why not do all these things—eliminate hypocrisy or crime—if “the Internet,” this revolutionary technology, allows us to? — Evgeny Morozov