‘The Master Switch’ is the Best Book of 2010, By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed (November 14, 2010).
…In The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Tim Wu does not examine the place of higher ed in the information economy. But I think that it is essential that our community pay attention to the lessons that he draws. In The Master Switch, Wu traces the history of the major information technology revolutions, and demonstrates how they all started with the promise of democratization and transformation and ended up with a realities of monopoly, limited choice, and restricted opportunities for expression.
….The Master Switch is a warning that if we allow ownership to consolidate in the Internet space in the name of ‘quality of service’ or ‘the logic of the market’ that we are in danger of repeating the path tread by other information technologies. Government must play a role in insuring we have a diversity of carriers, a policy of neutrality towards content, and a separation between content creators and content carriers. Our ability to disrupt the educational status quo, in terms of both improved quality and access, will depend on us not allowing the Internet industry to follow the same path towards consolidation and control that befell the information industries that have gone before.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.