… My heart’s in Accra Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003

May 20, 2013

Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

Filed under: — Ethan @ 8:32 pm

rewirecover

“Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection” is my first book. I started writing it five years ago, and it’s based in part on essays I’ve written on this blog. Based on my experiences as a blogger, an activist, and a scholar of digital media, I offer my perspective on how digital media does and doesn’t give us a rich, nuanced view of the world, and why we need a diversity of perspectives to thrive in a world where the most interesting ideas are ones that cross borders.


Here’s what my friends at Norton wrote about the book:

We live in an age of connection, one that is accelerated by the Internet. This increasingly ubiquitous, immensely powerful technology often leads us to assume that as the number of people online grows, it inevitably leads to a smaller, more cosmopolitan world. We’ll understand more, we think. We’ll know more. We’ll engage more and share more with people from other cultures. In reality, it is easier to ship bottles of water from Fiji to Atlanta than it is to get news from Tokyo to New York.

In Rewire, media scholar and activist Ethan Zuckerman explains why the technological ability to communicate with someone does not inevitably lead to increased human connection. At the most basic level, our human tendency to “flock together” means that most of our interactions, online or off, are with a small set of people with whom we have much in common. In examining this fundamental tendency, Zuckerman draws on his own work as well as the latest research in psychology and sociology to consider technology’s role in disconnecting ourselves from the rest of the world.

For those who seek a wider picture—a picture now critical for survival in an age of global economic crises and pandemics—Zuckerman highlights the challenges, and the headway already made, in truly connecting people across cultures. From voracious xenophiles eager to explore other countries to bridge figures who are able to connect one culture to another, people are at the center of his vision for a true kind of cosmopolitanism. And it is people who will shape a new approach to existing technologies, and perhaps invent some new ones, that embrace translation, cross-cultural inspiration, and the search for new, serendipitous experiences.


In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly calls it a “fascinating and powerful reflection on what it means to be a citizen of the world in the Internet age”, and notes, “Zuckerman’s imaginative and inventive reflections offer a resourceful guide to living a connected life with intention and insight.”

Other reviews:

John Naughton in the Guardian/Observer
Oliver Burkeman in his blog on The Guardian
Franklyn Cater in NPR Books
Richard Morrison in the Times of London
Jacob Silverman in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Astra Taylor in Bookforum
Kirkus
David Sasaki
David Rieff in Foreign Policy, and my response
Reviews on GoodReads


I’m particularly fond of this review by Andrew Golis, which makes clear how challenging cosmopolitanism is, pointing out that the five people who’ve blurbed my book are emphatically in my tribe.


I spoke about the book at Harvard, sponsored by the Berkman Center, in late June – video of that talk is here. I’ve had several radio conversations about the book – I particularly enjoyed this one with Joe Donahue on WAMC, my local NPR station.


You can order the book on Amazon, from Powell’s or from lots of other bookstores. The Kindle edition should be available on June 10.

Google Books has some information on Rewire, as well as the intro and much of the first chapter.

51 Comments »

  1. Looks great, when will the e-book be available? :)

    Comment by Christopher Wilson — May 29, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

  2. Amazon says the Kindle edition is live on June 10, but they seem to be selling the print edition two weeks early, so who knows.

    Comment by Ethan — May 29, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

  3. […] Zuckerman ist Leiter des MIT Center for Civic Media, Autor des jüngst erschienenen Buchs “Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection” und hat die internationale Blog-Community Global Voices Online […]

    Pingback by Personal Democracy Forum – #pdf13 | Kleinerdrei — June 14, 2013 @ 4:59 am

  4. […] a real issue, said author of “Rewired” and MIT Center for Civic Media Director Ethan Zuckerman. The irony speaks for itself that the […]

    Pingback by It’s not just the government From PBS | Mediashift | Lewis C. Knight Classes — June 15, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  5. […] Read the full excerpt » “Rewire”, Ethan’s latest book » […]

    Pingback by Ideas: The Currency of the Web | silencematters — June 20, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

  6. […] may live in a more connected world, but in his latest book REWIRE, Ethan Zuckerman is keen to point out how this doesn’t necessarily lead to more human […]

    Pingback by The Age Of Immediacy – it’s all about Now | Welcome to our blog — June 25, 2013 @ 3:36 am

  7. […] reading Ethan Zuckerman’s Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection at the moment. He uses the concept of “homophily” – “love of the […]

    Pingback by Q25: What is something you know you do differently from most people? » FQ — July 28, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  8. […] recently heard an interview with Ethan Zuckerman, author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the age of Connection  on Bob Kall’s Bottom Up Radio Show. One of the topics discussed was how the internet […]

    Pingback by Cognitive Diversity | Desultory Heroics — August 16, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

  9. […] Alas, because of the unreliability of the postal system in the Caucasus, I had to have it delivered back him in the U.K. so it will be some time before I get to read it all, let alone write a review, but I’m very much looking forward to doing so. The book arrived about a week ago and I hope to get back to pick it up in a few months. Until then, some reviews are listed here. […]

    Pingback by Armenia and Azerbaijan Rewired: Digital Cosmopolitansism in the Age of Connection | Onnik James Krikorian — August 17, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  10. […] Book: Rewire […]

    Pingback by The “good citizen” and the effective citizen | ... My heart’s in Accra — August 19, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

  11. […] Ethan Zuckerman: Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection (Norton, 2013) […]

    Pingback by Bookshelf: Ideas for Secondary School Teachers, with a Bent Toward the Digital | John Palfrey — September 14, 2013 @ 11:18 am

  12. […] Book: Rewire […]

    Pingback by What We Watch: a new tool for watching how popular videos spread online | ... My heart’s in Accra — September 23, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

  13. […] Book: Rewire […]

    Pingback by Long tail audiobooks – a thought experiment | ... My heart’s in Accra — September 25, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

  14. […] Book: Rewire […]

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  15. […] how the Internet may be changing politics. Ethan Zuckerman of MIT has a good new book out called Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in an Age of Connection that talks about the need for “cognitive diversity” and a conscious effort to broaden one’s […]

    Pingback by Research chat: UT Austin's Talia Stroud on how to de-polarize news audiences Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center — October 3, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  16. […] and Google, which subtly decide who we interact with and what we read. Moreover, Ethan Zuckerman writes extensively about how the internet actually hasn’t made us as connected as we thought – we talk to very […]

    Pingback by The Civic Beat Reader » A Survey of the Protest Selfie — November 22, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  17. […] Book: Rewire […]

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  18. […] «Rewire» argumenterer for at selv om verden blir stadig mer sammenvevd, har folk mindre oppmerksomhet på hva som skjer. […]

    Pingback by «Vår sosiale horisont krymper når vi bruker mer teknologi! | «Sharing is the new way of learning — February 2, 2014 @ 6:42 am

  19. […] first Ethan (for a few days before he went to TED Global and gave the TED talk which led to Rewire), and then my mother, stayed with me and took care of the baby while I was in […]

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  20. […] has been on my mind since reading Ethan Zuckerman’s new book Rewire, which argues that our increased capacity to communicate with one another through technologies does […]

    Pingback by Chinatown Cosmopolitan | Sarah Myers — February 19, 2014 @ 1:16 am

  21. Hi,
    This is Hee Young in Korea.
    I’m interested in transtrating this book in Korean.
    I’m a development economist and work for an education institute.
    Mostly, I organize short-term training programs for public officials from various developing countries and very much interested in human interactions.
    I’ve never published translated book yet, though I have translated papers, document, and etc so far. Most of all, I love reading. I know how to inspire readers by the words on the paper.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    Many Thanks, HY.

    Comment by HeeYoung Choi — March 6, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

  22. […] Book: Rewire […]

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  23. […]   […]

    Pingback by Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Con... — July 9, 2014 @ 2:31 am

  24. […] Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection […]

    Pingback by Meet Ethan Zuckerman! | It's more complicated than that. — July 15, 2014 @ 8:26 am

  25. […] a set of common facts on which we could build a debate. While many have written on this topic (and I wrote a book on it), few have shown the implications of overpersonalization as well as Gilad Lotan did in this […]

    Pingback by Pop-Up Ad Inventor Apologizes for Creating a ‘Fiasco’ | Sharing Interesting Stuff, Updates News & Free Tips — August 15, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

  26. […] a set of common facts on which we could build a debate. While many have written on this topic (and I wrote a book on it), few have shown the implications of overpersonalization as well as Gilad Lotan did in this recent […]

    Pingback by PlashThe Internet's Original Sin - Plash — August 29, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  27. […] a set of common facts on which we could build a debate. While many have written on this topic (and I wrote a book on it), few have shown the implications of overpersonalization as well as Gilad Lotan did in this recent […]

    Pingback by Plash | The Internet’s Original Sin — August 31, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

  28. […] ways that technology can radically connect humans in profound and meaningful ways. In his book Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection, Zuckerman examines how the potential of connectivity rarely delivers – and why this is so. […]

    Pingback by Being in/Being and Technology » The Digital Quad — December 26, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

  29. […] cohesion, and the control of mechanisms and dynamics of knowledge and power (P. Dominici, 2005). Ethan Zuckerman, one of the most authoritative voices on the subject, returns to these fundamentally important […]

    Pingback by Fuori dal Prisma - ilSole24ORE — January 3, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

  30. […] recently looking through the shelf at Barnes & Noble, and came across a new book entitled “Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection,” by Ethan Zuckerman.  In it he delves into the assumption that just because technological […]

    Pingback by Chris Nawoichik's Blog | Internet Relationships and Connection: Being Mindful of Our Intentions — January 3, 2015 @ 9:01 pm

  31. […] world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or […]

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  32. […] world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or whatever. 46We do this in part […]

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  33. […] world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or […]

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  34. […] world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or whatever. 46 We do this in part […]

    Pingback by New New Clues: Doc Searls and David Weinberger Update the Cluetrain Manifesto – Stephen's Lighthouse — January 9, 2015 @ 11:01 am

  35. […] 45. Il mondo si estende davanti a noi come un buffet, ciononostante restiamo incollati alla nostra bistecca con patate, agnello e hummus, pesce e riso, o qualsiasi altra cosa.   […]

    Pingback by Il nuovo Cluetrain Manifesto: istruzioni per il web 3.0 - Daniela Conti — January 9, 2015 @ 11:15 am

  36. […] The world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or […]

    Pingback by Manifiesto Cluetrain 2 | Blog Grupo Reputación Corporativa — January 9, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

  37. […] The world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or whatever. 46 We do this in part […]

    Pingback by computers and webpages and the Internet - Preeva's Blog — January 10, 2015 @ 2:53 am

  38. […] world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stickwith our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or […]

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  39. […] Die Welt liegt vor uns wie ein reich gefülltes Buffet. Und doch bleiben wir bei unserem Steak und Kartoffeln, Lammfleisch und Hummus, Fisch und Reis, oder was auch […]

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  40. […] The world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or whatever. 46 We do this in part […]

    Pingback by Cluetrain 2.0: The New Cluetrain Manifesto | The Cryptosphere — January 12, 2015 @ 4:02 pm

  41. […] mondo è un grande buffet, eppure rimaniamo attaccati a bistecca e patate, maiale e hummus, pesce e riso e via […]

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  42. […] wereld ligt voor ons opgediend als een lopend buffet, en toch blijven we bij aardappelen en biefstuk, lamsbout en hummus, vis en rijst of wat dan […]

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  43. […] I am interested in exploring the origins of such an unequal distribution of visibility and empathy. Ethan Zuckerman, researcher at the MIT Media Lab, hits the nail on the head in a recent book, Rewire. What […]

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  44. […] for Civic Media at MIT, and teach at MIT’s Media Lab. In 2013 Ethan's first book “Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection” was […]

    Pingback by As a Drone Captures Global Voices at 10, a Few Thoughts from Cebu · Global Voices — February 1, 2015 @ 2:17 am

  45. […] Die Welt liegt vor uns wie ein reich gefülltes Buffet. Und doch bleiben wir bei unserem Steak und Kartoffeln, Lammfleisch und Hummus, Fisch und Reis, oder was auch […]

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  46. […] currently reading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Ethan Zuckerman’s Rewire. I love print magazines, and recently bought Hypebeast (#08, The Perspective Issue) and […]

    Pingback by Herbert Lui’s Gear and Productivity Tips - Trendingnewsz.com — February 13, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

  47. […] Ethan Zuckerman, known as a guru of Internet activism, is the director of M.I.T. Media Lab’s Center for Civic Media. He’s also the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. […]

    Pingback by If you’re not going to win at fast news, can you win at deep news? | Storybench — February 18, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

  48. […] currently reading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Ethan Zuckerman’s Rewire. I love print magazines, and recently bought Hypebeast (#08, The Perspective Issue) and […]

    Pingback by How We Work 2015: Herbert Lui's Favourite Productivity Tips And Gear | Lifehacker Australia — February 19, 2015 @ 3:00 am

  49. […] currently reading Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Ethan Zuckerman's Rewire. I love print magazines and recently bought Hypebeast (#08 The Perspective Issue) and Jocks&Nerds' […]

    Pingback by How We Work 2015: Herbert Luis Gear and Productivity Tips - People's News Now — March 7, 2015 @ 1:31 am

  50. […] world is spread out before us like a buffet, and yet we stick with our steak and potatoes, lamb and hummus, fish and rice, or […]

    Pingback by for and from the curious – web 2.0, social media and cause marketing explored» Blog Archive » New Clues — March 25, 2015 @ 7:37 pm

  51. […] It’s possible, but unproven that Airbnb’s success has led to greater cross-cultural and cross-racial contact, and therefore has promoted peaceful international relations. On the other hand, use of the platform could replicate existing cultural ties or encourage homophily, a trend that Ethan Zuckerman has observed among many online communities. […]

    Pingback by Thoughts on a PeaceTech industry | Let them talk — May 8, 2015 @ 10:03 am

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