Cultural critic David Rieff uses my new book, Rewire: Digital Cosmpolitans in the Age of Connection, as a jumping off point for a screed against “techno-utopians” – and, near as I can tell, the very idea of progress – in the latest issue of Foreign Policy. I’m a little surprised that Rieff has grouped me with thinkers like Ray Kurzweil, as I’m far more skeptical of technological potential than he. Then again, it would be very hard to recognize my positions from Rieff’s portrayal of my book.
It’s a bit frustrating that Foreign Policy is releasing this essay (they’ve made it clear that it’s not a book review) six weeks before my book is in print. Unfortunately, you can’t yet read my book and see the wide gap between what I actually say and Rieff’s portrayal of my positions. FP gave me a very brief window to respond to Rieff, and that response runs in their current issue.
If you’d like a better introduction to my work than Rieff offers, Publishers Weekly was kind enough to review my book here. I’m looking forward to other reviews and reactions in the coming weeks.