July 17, 2011
BOOK OF THE WEEK: WEEK TWENTY-NINE, 2011
Shumeet Balujam The Silicon Jungle: A Novel of Deception, Power, and Internet Intrigue (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2011) (From the Preface: "The Silicon Jungle examines what happens when the brilliance, immaturity, and unbridled enthusiasm of an intern, Stephen, is mixed with unfettered access to people's most private thoughts and actions. Stephen's blind idealism and overwhelming desire to impress render him oblivious to the severe consequences of his actions and make him an easy mark for those willing to exploit his naivete." Id. at xii. "One of the novels happens to be on a government watch list; they want to keep tabs on who's reading such 'radical' ideas. Wonder if she talked about the novels with her sister? Maybe. Maybe her sister talked to her boyfriend. Did it go further? Unlikely. It's even more unlikely that Antonio talked about it with his mom. Who would? But unlikely doesn't mean impossible. He might have discussed it with his mom who then talked to your mom who then talked about it with you in some passing comment. Unlikely--yes. Impossible--no." "If you have enough of these types of connections, eventually the probability that someone will talk to you about something they heard second, third, or fourth-hand approaches inevitability. You're connected." Don't talk to people much? No problem. Your connections, and everyone else's, aren't just to people, they 're to web sites, to products, to places. You don't need to talk to people, you just need to interact with something, anything, that Ubatoo tracks." "No man is an island. . . ." Id. at 210.).