Target: Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Darkside of Internet Freedom and To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism
Profile: Non-Fiction, Technology, International Studies, Cultural Studies
This is going to be a very atypical review. In reading The Net Delusion and Click Here, I was attempting to develop a cohesive personal position on the problems of internet advocacy. There is a lot of literature and scholarly articles on the benefits of using the internet in the cause of advocacy, either as a method of raising awareness or as a means to a fundraising end, but there is very little in the way of criticism outside of the shallow critique of ‘Slacktivism.’ Morozov’s books offered a more cutting look at my subject area, but failed, by and large, to dig deeper or offer a cohesive alternative. This is broadly true of both books, but is more apparent in Click Here.
Because both books failed to meet my personal metric for usefulness, it is difficult for me to recommend them. Even ignoring that, both books left me with a bad taste in my mouth, not because Morozov’s ideas are wrong or uninteresting, but because he is such a hostile author. That hostility, directed against politicians, pundits, academics, and above all else the Techno-Literati of Silicon Valley, is an enormous barrier-to-entry for readers who haven’t already bought into Morozov’s aggressive architecture. Again, Click Here is the worst offender, withThe Net Delusion appearing relatively calm and reasoned. But let’s go ahead and get into the books.