A Cross of Silicon: Collected Essays 2016-2019
Jonathan Salem Baskin, author
This book will change the way you talk about technology. Baskin has spent the past three years documenting the latest innovations in artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, smart cities, and new uses for big data, though always asking the same questions: Who asked for it? Who does it impact? What does it really cost? In a series of witty, biting essays posted on his blog, A Cross of Silicon, he's found answers to those questions incomplete or, just as often, utterly unavailable or unfathomable. All of us are participants in the wholesale reinvention of everything we know in the world, yet few of us have the information or decision making authority to have much influence over it. We're supposed to go along with it and enjoy all of its benefits -- and, when voices challenge this unencumbered and unrepentant transformation, they are ignored or, at best, marginalized. Each short essay looks behind and around a news headline to uncover what it might mean or entail. You can't read them without realizing that you've had some of the same insights yourself or, just as likely, wondering why more people aren't talking about them. Baskin wants to encourage those conversations by talking truth to technology. This book is a good start.