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First the talk, then the book. Clearly a weak effort has been made to sling a series of one-star reviews here that pretend to argue against regulation and for the "free market" for broadband. Of course, this is one of Crawford's main points, that there really is no free market in the face of the oligarchy that controls broadband media access. As the TechDirt article explains, most of these reviews are the only review from the posters. These are the pretenders to the position Lippmann called the phantom public; they are not insiders, they are not even demonstrating an engagement with Crawford's arguments. To the extent that these are phony reviews, the corporations behind them are lying to the public, and they are distorting the feedback loop that these reviews can provide.
When the book came out, I introduced its ideas to a class I was teaching to senior undergrad media students. This was an especially important moment for the issues that Crawford discusses because the book came out right about the same time as the death of Aaron Swartz, who was being singled out and hounded by the government for trying to "free" scholarly articles from their inaccessibility behind pay walls like JSTOR. Crawford participated in discussions among Swartz's partner, along with media law Professor Larry Lessig. Crawford clearly sees a role for regulatory control over industries where there is little to no competition (like the cable/broadband industry of the moment). That's the trick here; to see the lack of real market forces in these industries, once again proving that competition is favored until one gains power, where support turns to hedging market forces to maintain one's advantage. In such a case, the public must use regulation to thwart negative externalities (as John Dewey argues in "The Public and It's Problems").
So this book should be read for its picture of the broadband/telecom oligarchy, for it's proposal to find solutions in regulation, and for its assessment of what happens when companies are so successful that they experience no real market competition. Instead of investment and innovation, they increase their profit margins, and spend a little time and energy distorting the public conversation in places like Amazon reviews.
These are complex questions that come through Crawford's argument. Should broadband access be like a utility? Is it a right or a privilege? It it a public street or a private communication channel? More importantly, is the discussion around it inviting a public called into existence by the problem, or a truly "phantom" public called into existence as astroturfing? How do you like being a captive audience that is manipulated into desiring its own captivity?
Reading Crawford's book may specify the conditions of a specific media industry, but its implications for the idea of the public are important.
Have used this before and found best price here (as it can be expensive). I always have a tube on hand to stop cold sores as they start....works as well as oral prescription acyclovir (sp?). Highly recommend - just keep on had always.
Words cannot even express how much this book has changed my way of thinking. I started reading this book with no expectations, and without reading other book reviews. I only heard from others how great of a book it was and that I must read it. Now I know why.
The word "radical" to me has a whole new meaning. I realized how much I stumble in life to live according to God's Word and how so many times, I give excuses for why I don't do certain things. David Platt gives his opinion about how we need to embrace the truth of the gospel and live it in today's society. Who cares if we have to suffer, live uncomfortably, or maybe even die for the sake of the gospel. He has challenged me greatly to pursue God's Will in my life through giving my time and money and truly being a servant of Him. At the end of the book, he presents a Radical Experiment that lasts one year. Since this is a beginning of a new year, I am going to strive to complete this challenge and I encourage you to do the same!
If you have not read this book, I highly encourage you to do so. However, this is one book that I had to put down several times, take deep breaths, and come back to reading later. It's very intense and challenging, but totally worth the time. I will probably be reading this book over and over again for a long time.
Here is a video about the book:
And you can read the first chapter of the book here:
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
So Im just sitting there, playing Guitar Hero and dying of thirst. Boy does rocking out get your mouth dry. So I ran to the fridge, unsure of what I would find. Lets see, theres some cola, tea, purple stuff.....TUSCAN WHOLE MILK!!! Right on!
I grabbed the jug, ripped off the top and chugged away. That refreshing blend of milk and air flowing down my throat. The crisp nature of the hard chunks. Oh no! The Tuscan Whole Milk was long since outdated. Since I was still thirsty I grabbed a spoon and dug in.
Do I ever love me some Tuscan Whole Milk!