Matt Spaamen recommended Glenn Reynolds’ An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths. Glenn, professor of law at the University of Tennessee is the former MSNBC blogger known by his very popular blog instapundit.
I was looking forward to this book as soon as Matt commented on my blog and suggested this reading. I was expecting a lot from Glenn and feel let down by only finding a few chapters worthwhile. The beginning of Glen’s book is almost a rewrite of Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat. Another view of the technological advances throughout history that changed the way society and business operate bringing the world closer together for trade, education, culture and art.
He did provide good opportunities on chapters regarding nanotechnology and space research, yet those are pretty narrowly defined markets that require advanced degrees to fully exploit…while the marketing arm of an organization can indeed leverage An Army of Davids to change access to space and nanotechnology from a few to the masses.
His chapter on Horizontal Knowledge states very well the fundamental changes the internet, Google and Web2.o has brought to libraries when you can access knowledge from a browser…the change as fundamental as Glenn stated when Citizen’s Band radios changed President Carter’s 55 mph speed limit. But Nixon and Congress instituted the law, not Carter. Glenn suggests CBs where a contributing factor to Carter’s loss to Reagan. While I’m not sure Smokey and the Bandit was the tipping point, clearing BC radio was the first to tackle a law based not on safety or fuel efficiency, but rather politics and social engineering. Also Glenn does not address the accuracy in what you find on Google relating to the truth of the topic. Many students today feel that if the search topic is not on Google’s first two or three pages, it really doesn’t exist to them. Thank God for Wikipedia.
With a raised eyebrow I read (page 80) his suggestions that citizens carry guns to help deter terrorism:
If you can legally carry a gun, you may want to consider do so on regular basis…If you’re going to carry it, you need to be good at hitting what you shoot at, and –just as important–you need to practice in situations that will help you formulate judgement about when and how to shoot.
Not really in favor of gun laws that permit Joe Six-pack to start shooting anyone (not white) when the next terrorist attack occurs on US soil. Lets face it your probably not going to ID someone carrying a bomb on first glance…
His chapter “From Media to We-dia” was strong and further supported by the work of Dan Gillmore’s We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People and the role of blogging (instapundit) in bringing a voice to everyone, not just a selected crowd.