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Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right
Nelson, Anne
(Hardcover)

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In 1981, emboldened by Ronald Reagan's election, a group of some fifty Republican operatives, evangelicals, oil barons, and gun lobbyists met in a Washington suburb to coordinate their attack on civil liberties and the social safety net. These men and women called their coalition the Council for National Policy. Over four decades, this elite club has become a strategic nerve center for channeling money and mobilizing votes behind the scenes. Its secretive membership rolls represent a high-powered roster of fundamentalists, oligarchs, and their allies, from Oliver North, Ed Meese, and Tim LaHaye in the Council's early days to Kellyanne Conway, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and the DeVos and Mercer families today.In Shadow Network, award-winning author and media analyst Anne Nelson chronicles this astonishing history and illuminates the coalition's key figures and their tactics. She traces how the collapse of American local journalism laid the foundation for the Council for National Policy's information war and listens in on the hardline broadcasting its members control. And she reveals how the group has collaborated with the Koch brothers to outfit Radical Right organizations with state-of-the-art apps and a shared pool of captured voter data - outmaneuvering the Democratic Party in a digital arms race whose result has yet to be decided.In a time of stark and growing threats to our most valued institutions and democratic freedoms, Shadow Network is essential reading.


Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation
Marantz, Andrew
(Hardcover)

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"Trenchant and intelligent." --The New York TimesA New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceFrom a rising star at The New Yorker, a deeply immersive chronicle of how the optimistic entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley set out to create a free and democratic internet--and how the cynical propagandists of the alt-right exploited that freedom to propel the extreme into the mainstream. For several years, Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, has been embedded in two worlds. The first is the world of social-media entrepreneurs, who, acting out of naïvete and reckless ambition, upended all traditional means of receiving and transmitting information. The second is the world of the people he calls "the gate crashers"--the conspiracists, white supremacists, and nihilist trolls who have become experts at using social media to advance their corrosive agenda. Antisocial ranges broadly--from the first mass-printed books to the trending hashtags of the present; from secret gatherings of neo-Fascists to the White House press briefing room--and traces how the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then how it becomes reality. Combining the keen narrative detail of Bill Buford's Among the Thugs and the sweep of George Packer's The Unwinding, Antisocial reveals how the boundaries between technology, media, and politics have been erased, resulting in a deeply broken informational landscape--the landscape in which we all now live. Marantz shows how alienated young people are led down the rabbit hole of online radicalization, and how fringe ideas spread--from anonymous corners of social media to cable TV to the President's Twitter feed. Marantz also sits with the creators of social media as they start to reckon with the forces they've unleashed. Will they be able to solve the communication crisis they helped bring about, or are their interventions too little too late?


Empire of Illusion
Hedges, Chris
(Paperback)

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Pulitzer prize–winner Chris Hedges charts the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate society that craves fantasy, ecstasy and illusion.Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: One, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other, a growing majority, is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. In this “other society,” serious film and theatre, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins.


Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction
Thompson, Derek
(Paperback)

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Every business, every artist, every person looking to promote themselves and their work wants to know what makes a hit.In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Hit Makers takes readers on a tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and investigates the most valuable currency of the twenty-first - people's attention. From the dawn of Impressionist art to the future of Facebook, from small Etsy designers to the origin of Star Wars, Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens, why things become popular, and what it takes - in an age of distraction - to make a hit.


Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
Petersen, Anne Helen
(Paperback)

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**One of NPR’s Best Books of 2017** “Petersen's gloriously bumptious, brash ode to nonconforming women suits the needs of this dark moment. Her careful examination of how we eviscerate the women who confound or threaten is crucial reading if we are ever to be better.”—Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of All the Single LadiesNOW WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY THE AUTHORFrom celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman.    You know the type: the woman who won’t shut up, who’s too brazen, too opinionated—too much. She’s the unruly woman, and she embodies one of the most provocative and powerful forms of womanhood today. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of “unruliness” to explore the ascension of pop culture powerhouses like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures. With its brisk, incisive analysis, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud will be a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today


The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity
Kohn, Sally
(Hardcover)

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What is the opposite of hate?As a progressive commentator on Fox News and now CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career out of bridging intractable political differences and learning how to talk respectfully with people whose views she disagrees with passionately. Her viral TED Talk on the need to practice emotional - rather than political - correctness sparked a new way of considering how often we amplify our differences and diminish our connections.But these days even famously "nice" Kohn finds herself wanting to breathe fire at her enemies. It was time, she decided, to look into the epidemic of hate all around us and learn how we can stop it. In The Opposite of Hate, Kohn talks to leading scientists and researchers and investigates the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and how incivility can be a gateway to much worse. She travels to Rwanda, the Middle East, and across the United States, introducing us to former terrorists and white supremacists, and even some of her own Twitter trolls, drawing surprising lessons from dramatic and inspiring stories of those who left hate behind.As Kohn confronts her own shameful moments, whether it was back when she bullied a classmate or today when she harbors deep partisan resentment, she discovers, "The opposite of hate is the beautiful and powerful reality of how we are all fundamentally linked and equal as human beings. The opposite of hate is connection."Sally Kohn’s engaging, fascinating, and often funny book will open your eyes and your heart.


The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity
Kohn, Sally
(Paperback)

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What is the opposite of hate?As a progressive commentator on Fox News and now CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career out of bridging intractable political differences and learning how to talk respectfully with people whose views she disagrees with passionately. Her viral TED Talk on the need to practice emotional - rather than political - correctness sparked a new way of considering how often we amplify our differences and diminish our connections.But these days even famously “nice” Kohn finds herself wanting to breathe fire at her enemies. It was time, she decided, to look into the epidemic of hate all around us and learn how we can stop it. In The Opposite of Hate, Kohn talks to leading scientists and researchers and investigates the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and how incivility can be a gateway to much worse. She travels to Rwanda, the Middle East, and across the United States, introducing us to former terrorists and white supremacists, and even some of her own Twitter trolls, drawing surprising lessons from dramatic and inspiring stories of those who left hate behind.As Kohn confronts her own shameful moments, whether it was back when she bullied a classmate or today when she harbors deep partisan resentment, she discovers, “The opposite of hate is the beautiful and powerful reality of how we are all fundamentally linked and equal as human beings. The opposite of hate is connection.”Sally Kohn’s engaging, fascinating, and often funny book will open your eyes and your heart.


Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era
Levitin, Daniel J.
(Paperback)

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It's raining bad data, half-truths, and fake news out there - and some of this nonsense is having devastating consequences. Daniel Levitin shows how corporate and government reports, statistics, and news stories can mislead, and reveals the ways lying weasels use them. What makes lies dangerous is the certainty with which people are prone to believe in them. Here is how to fix that.


The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News - and Divided a Country
Sherman, Gabriel
(Paperback)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •  A revelatory journey inside the world of Fox News and Roger Ailes—the brash, sometimes combative network head who helped fuel the rise of Donald TrumpNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR When Rupert Murdoch enlisted Roger Ailes to launch a cable news network in 1996, American politics and media changed forever. With a remarkable level of detail and insight, New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman puts Ailes’s unique genius on display, along with the outsize personalities—Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Gretchen Carlson, and others—who have helped Fox News play a defining role in the great social and political controversies of the past two decades. From the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal to the Bush-Gore recount, from the war in Iraq to the Tea Party attack on the Obama presidency, Roger Ailes developed an unrivaled power to sway the national agenda. Even more, he became the indispensable figure in conservative America and the man any Republican politician with presidential aspirations had to court. How did this man become the master strategist of our political landscape? In revelatory detail, Sherman chronicles the rise of Ailes, a frail kid from an Ohio factory town who, through sheer willpower, the flair of a showman, fierce corporate politicking, and a profound understanding of the priorities of middle America, built the most influential television news empire of our time. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Fox News insiders past and present, Sherman documents Ailes’s tactical acuity as he battled the press, business rivals, and countless real and perceived enemies inside and outside Fox. Sherman takes us inside the morning meetings in which Ailes and other high-level executives strategized Fox’s presentation of the news to advance Ailes’s political agenda; provides behind-the-scenes details of Ailes’s crucial role as finder and shaper of talent, including his sometimes rocky relationships with Fox News stars such as O’Reilly, Hannity, and Carlson; and probes Ailes’s fraught partnership with his equally brash and mercurial boss, Rupert Murdoch. Roger Ailes’s life is a story worthy of Citizen Kane. Featuring a new afterword about Ailes’s epic downfall during the extraordinary 2016 election, The Loudest Voice in the Room is an extraordinary feat of reportage with a compelling human drama at its heart. “[An] actually fair and balanced, carefully documented biography.”—Jacob Weisberg, The New York Times Book Review


Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
Petersen, Anne Helen
(Hardcover)

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From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman. You know the type: the woman who won’t shut up, who’s too brazen, too opinionated—too much. She’s the unruly woman, and she embodies one of the most provocative and powerful forms of womanhood today. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of “unruliness” to explore the ascension of powerhouses like Serena Williams, Hillary Clinton, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures. With its brisk, incisive analysis, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud is a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today.


The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life
Casey, Michael J.
(Hardcover)

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From tech visionaries Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey, a groundbreaking, must-read theory of social media--how it works, how it's changing human life, and how we can master it for good and for profit.In barely a decade, social media has positioned itself at the center of twenty-first century life. The combined power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine have helped topple dictators and turned anonymous teenagers into celebrities overnight. In the social media age, ideas spread and morph through shared hashtags, photos, and videos, and the most compelling and emotive ones can transform public opinion in mere days and weeks, even attitudes and priorities that had persisted for decades. How did this happen? The scope and pace of these changes have left traditional businesses--and their old-guard marketing gatekeepers--bewildered. We simply do not comprehend social media's form, function, and possibilities. It's time we did.In The Social Organism, Luckett and Casey offer a revolutionary theory: social networks--to an astonishing degree--mimic the rules and functions of biological life. In sharing and replicating packets of information known as memes, the world's social media users are facilitating an evolutionary process just like the transfer of genetic information in living things. Memes are the basic building blocks of our culture, our social DNA. To master social media--and to make online content that impacts the world--you must start with the Social Organism.With the scope and ambition of The Second Machine Age and James Gleick's The Information, The Social Organism is an indispensable guide for business leaders, marketing professionals, and anyone serious about understanding our digital world--a guide not just to social media, but to human life today and where it is headed next.


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World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
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World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Foer, Franklin
(Hardcover)

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Franklin Foer reveals the existential threat posed by big tech, and in his brilliant polemic gives us the toolkit to fight their pervasive influence. Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperiled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection - a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being coopted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success. Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science - from Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley - Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past but today's corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They’re monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision-making. Until now few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.


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Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction
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Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction
Thompson, Derek
(Hardcover)

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Nothing “goes viral.” If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today’s crowded media environment, you’re missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history - of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. Even the most brilliant ideas wither in obscurity if they fail to connect with the right network, and the consumers that matter most aren't the early adopters, but rather their friends, followers, and imitators - the audience of your audience.In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows quality is insufficient for success, nobody has "good taste," and some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. It may be a new world, but there are some enduring truths to what audiences and consumers want. People love a familiar surprise: a product that is bold, yet sneakily recognizable.Every business, every artist, every person looking to promote themselves and their work wants to know what makes some works so successful while others disappear. Hit Makers is a magical mystery tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and the most valuable currency of the twenty-first century - people’s attention.From the dawn of impressionist art to the future of Facebook, from small Etsy designers to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens and why things become popular.


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Make Noise: A Creator's Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling
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Make Noise: A Creator's Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling
Nuzum, Eric
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Inside Black Mirror
Brooker, Charlie
(Hardcover)

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The first official companion to the Emmy-winning Netflix cult-hit sci-fi television series that's fascinated millions of fans worldwide, with stunning visuals and never before seen behind-the-scenes content.What becomes of humanity when it's fed into the jaws of a hungry new digital machine? Discover the world of Black Mirror in this immersive, illustrated, oral history.This first official book logs the entire Black Mirror journey, from its origins in creator Charlie Brooker's mind to its current status as one of the biggest cult TV shows to emerge from the UK. Alongside a collection of astonishing behind-the-scenes imagery and ephemera, Brooker and producer Annabel Jones will detail the creative genesis, inspiration, and thought process behind each film for the first time, while key actors, directors and other creative talents relive their own involvement.


World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Foer, Franklin
(Paperback)

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Franklin Foer reveals the existential threat posed by big tech, and in his brilliant polemic gives us the toolkit to fight their pervasive influence. Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperiled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection—a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being coopted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success. Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science—from Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stewart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley—Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past but today's corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They’re monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision-making. Until now few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.


Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art
Heffernan, Virginia
(Paperback)

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Since its inception, the Internet has evolved from an engineering experiment into its own full-fledged civilization. It is now among humankind's great masterpieces - a massive work of art. As an idea, it rivals monotheism We all inhabit this fascinating place. But the Internet's deep logic, its cultural potential, and its political consequences often elude us. In this deep and thoughtful book, Virginia Heffernan presents an original and far-reaching analysis of what the Internet is, does, and can be.


Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now
Rusbridger, Alan
(Hardcover)

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An urgent account of the revolution that has upended the news business, written by one of the most accomplished journalists of our time.Technology has radically altered the news landscape. Once-powerful newspapers have lost their clout or been purchased by owners with particular agendas. Algorithms select which stories we see. The Internet allows consequential revelations, closely guarded secrets, and dangerous misinformation to spread at the speed of a click.In Breaking News, Alan Rusbridger demonstrates how these decisive shifts have occurred, and what they mean for the future of democracy. In the twenty years he spent editing The Guardian, Rusbridger managed the transformation of the progressive British daily into the most visited serious English-language newspaper site in the world. He oversaw an extraordinary run of world-shaking scoops, including the exposure of phone hacking by London tabloids, the Wikileaks release of U.S.diplomatic cables, and later the revelation of Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency files. At the same time, Rusbridger helped The Guardian become a pioneer in Internet journalism, stressing free access and robust interactions with readers. Here, Rusbridger vividly observes the media’s transformation from close range while also offering a vital assessment of the risks and rewards of practicing journalism in a high-impact, high-stress time.


Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)
Auletta, Ken
(Hardcover)

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An intimate and profound reckoning with the changes buffeting the $2 trillion global advertising and marketing business from the perspective of its most powerful players, by the bestselling author of GoogledAdvertising and marketing touches on every corner of our lives, and is the invisible fuel powering almost all media. Complain about it though we might, without it the world would be a darker place. And of all the industries wracked by change in the digital age, few have been turned on its head as dramatically as this one has. We are a long way from the days of Don Draper; as Mad Men is turned into Math Men (and women--though too few), as an instinctual art is transformed into a science, the old lions and their kingdoms are feeling real fear, however bravely they might roar. Frenemies is Ken Auletta's reckoning with an industry under existential assault. He enters the rooms of the ad world's most important players, some of them business partners, some adversaries, many "frenemies," a term whose ubiquitous use in this industry reveals the level of anxiety, as former allies become competitors, and accusations of kickbacks and corruption swirl. We meet the old guard, including Sir Martin Sorrell, the legendary head of WPP, the world's largest ad agency holding company; while others play nice with Facebook and Google, he rants, some say Lear-like, out on the heath. There is Irwin Gotlieb, maestro of the media agency GroupM, the most powerful media agency, but like all media agencies it is staring into the headlights as ad buying is more and more done by machine in the age of Oracle and IBM. We see the world from the vantage of its new powers, like Carolyn Everson, Facebook's head of Sales, and other brash and scrappy creatives who are driving change, as millennials and others who disdain ads as an interruption employ technology to zap them. We also peer into the future, looking at what is replacing traditional advertising. And throughout we follow the industry's peerless matchmaker, Michael Kassan, whose company, MediaLink, connects all these players together, serving as the industry's foremost power broker, a position which feasts on times of fear and change. Frenemies is essential reading, not simply because of what it says about this world, but because of the potential consequences: the survival of media as we know it depends on the money generated by advertising and marketing--revenue that is in peril in the face of technological changes and the fraying trust between the industry's key players.


Letters to a Young Journalist (Revised and Updated Edition)
Freedman, Samuel G.
(Paperback)

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It is no secret that journalism's mission is seriously imperiled these days, but in Letters to a Young Journalist, Samuel G. Freedman shows that the craft is not only worth pursuing but more crucial than ever. Freedman draws on his thirty-year career as an award-winning practitioner and professor of journalism to inspire students and seasoned professionals alike with wise guidance, penetrating insights, and astonishing anecdotes. In this updated edition, Freedman also addresses the recent unprecedented transformations within the industry—changes with which journalists at every level now have to contend.


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Wasting Time on the Internet
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Wasting Time on the Internet
Goldsmith, Kenneth
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Using clear, readable prose, conceptual artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s manifesto shows how our time on the internet is not really wasted but is quite productive and creative as he puts the experience in its proper theoretical and philosophical context.Kenneth Goldsmith wants you to rethink the internet. Many people feel guilty after spending hours watching cat videos or clicking link after link after link. But Goldsmith sees that “wasted” time differently. Unlike old media, the internet demands active engagement - and it’s actually making us more social, more creative, even more productive.When Goldsmith, a renowned conceptual artist and poet, introduced a class at the University of Pennsylvania called “Wasting Time on the Internet”, he nearly broke the internet. The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Slate, Vice, Time, CNN, the Telegraph, and many more, ran articles expressing their shock, dismay, and, ultimately, their curiosity. Goldsmith’s ideas struck a nerve, because they are brilliantly subversive - and endlessly shareable.In Wasting Time on the Internet, Goldsmith expands upon his provocative insights, contending that our digital lives are remaking human experience. When we’re “wasting time,” we’re actually creating a culture of collaboration. We’re reading and writing more - and quite differently. And we’re turning concepts of authority and authenticity upside-down. The internet puts us in a state between deep focus and subconscious flow, a state that Goldsmith argues is ideal for creativity. Where that creativity takes us will be one of the stories of the twenty-first century.Wide-ranging, counterintuitive, engrossing, unpredictable - like the internet itself - Wasting Time on the Internet is the manifesto you didn’t know you needed.


The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can't Do
Tenner, Edward
(Hardcover)

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A bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency--and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipityAlgorithms, multitasking, the sharing economy, life hacks: our culture can't get enough of efficiency. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than we ever have before. There is no doubt that we're performing at higher levels and moving at unprecedented speed, but what if we're headed in the wrong direction?Melding the long-term history of technology with the latest headlines and findings of computer science and social science, The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of digital platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns. Edward Tenner offers a smarter way of thinking about efficiency, revealing what we and our institutions, when equipped with an astute combination of artificial intelligence and trained intuition, can learn from the random and unexpected.


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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Silverman, Jacob
(Paperback)

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Social networking has grown into a staple of modern society, but its continued evolution is becoming increasingly detrimental to our lives. Shifts in communication and privacy are affecting us more than we realize or understand. Terms of Service crystalizes this current moment in technology and contemplates its implications: the identity-validating pleasures and perils of online visibility; our newly adopted view of daily life through the lens of what is share-worthy; and the surveillance state operated by social media platforms - Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others - to mine our personal data for advertising revenue, an invasion of our lives that is as pervasive as government spying.Jacob Silverman calls for social media users to take back ownership of their digital selves from the Silicon Valley corporations who claim to know what's best for them. Integrating politics, sociology, national security, pop culture, and technology, he reveals the surprising conformity at the heart of Internet culture - explaining how social media companies engineer their products to encourage shallow engagement and discourage dissent. Reflecting on the collapsed barriers between our private and public lives, Silverman brings into focus the inner conflict we feel when deciding what to share and what to "like," and explains how we can take the steps we need to free ourselves from its grip.


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935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity
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935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity
Lewis, Charles
(Hardcover)

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Facts are and must be the coin of the realm in a democracy, for government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” requires and assumes to some extent an informed citizenry. Unfortunately, for citizens in the United States and throughout the world, distinguishing between fact and fiction has always been a formidable challenge, often with real life and death consequences. But now it is more difficult and confusing than ever. The Internet Age makes comment indistinguishable from fact, and erodes authority. It is liberating but annihilating at the same time.For those wielding power, whether in the private or the public sector, the increasingly sophisticated control of information is regarded as utterly essential to achieving success. Internal information is severely limited, including calendars, memoranda, phone logs and emails. History is sculpted by its absence.Often those in power strictly control the flow of information, corroding and corrupting its content, of course, using newspapers, radio, television and other mass means of communication to carefully consolidate their authority and cover their crimes in a thick veneer of fervent racialism or nationalism. And always with the specter of some kind of imminent public threat, what Hannah Arendt called ‘objective enemies.'An epiphanic, public comment about the Bush “war on terror” years was made by an unidentified White House official revealing how information is managed and how the news media and the public itself are regarded by those in power: “[You journalists live] “in what we call the reality-based community. [But] that's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality . . . we're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” And yet, as aggressive as the Republican Bush administration was in attempting to define reality, the subsequent, Democratic Obama administration may be more so.Into the battle for truth steps Charles Lewis, a pioneer of journalistic objectivity. His book looks at the various ways in which truth can be manipulated and distorted by governments, corporations, even lone individuals. He shows how truth is often distorted or diminished by delay: truth in time can save terrible erroneous choices. In part a history of communication in America, a cri de coeur for the principles and practice of objective reporting, and a journey into several notably labyrinths of deception, 935 Lies is a valorous search for honesty in an age of casual, sometimes malevolent distortion of the facts.


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