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FCW : September 30, 2015
1. “Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection” by Jacob Silverman Journalist Jacob Silverman applies a corrective critique to the idea that technical progress is inevitably determined by what is possible rather than what might be desirable or useful. He pushes back against the tag of “neo-Luddite,” but in a precise sense Silverman’s first book embodies some Luddite sensibilities — the idea that there is some logic to smashing up a new machine rather than being rendered disposable or irrelevant. The book takes a broad look at the development of social media and the corporate ideology that Silverman sees embedded in the growth of connected networks of users sharing their personal information, preferences, desires, thoughts and feelings — not only with their real- life friends and family, but also with a more nebulous array of virtual “contacts” and marketers. To Silverman, Facebook, Twitter and other networked services — including sharing economy platforms like Uber — are selling “a technocracy of benevolent but total surveillance.” His argument is that we have not so much made a decision to buy into this new reality as drifted rudderless into it. “Terms of Service” can read like a tract at times, but is it also offers a useful perspective as agencies push headlong into “social gov.” 2. “Beyond Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Digital Business” by James M. Kaplan, Tucker Bailey, Derek O’Halloran, Alan Marcus and Chris Rezek The Andy Ozments of the world might find this to be remedial reading, but “Beyond Cybersecurity” delivers real value for the rest of us. Written by technologists from McKinsey and Co. and the World Economic Forum, the book targets private-sector executives who aren’t giving cybersecurity as much thought as they should. That shortcoming is all too common in government as well, and the authors go deep enough to truly educate without driving away readers who don’t make a habit of carefully parsing technology standards. The fundamental message is simple if somewhat distressing: “Cybersecurity, as it is practiced today, is hurting large institutions’ ability to derive value from technological innovation and investment,” the authors write. And the impact is most keenly felt when it comes to cloud computing and mobile technology. Over the course of 256 pages, they map the trends that have created this situation and the building blocks required to begin to change it. 5 books for your reading list BY FCW STAFF There are important lessons for federal IT managers in recent fiction and nonfiction books alike Bookshelf September 30, 2015 FCW.COM 29 0930fcw_029-030.indd 29 9/9/15 9:05 AM
September 15, 2015