Techdirt Reading List: The Wealth Of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets And Freedom

from the still-relevant dept

We’re back again with another in our weekly reading list posts of books we think our community will find interesting and thought provoking. Once again, buying the book via the Amazon links in this story also helps support Techdirt.

While it was originally published almost exactly a decade ago, I still find myself regularly referring to Yochai Benkler’s excellent The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. This book was, and remains, the sort of bible for understanding not just the power of the internet to create all sorts of wonderful new connections, freedoms and innovations — but also the many threats to the internet as well. It’s optimistic about the potential, but recognizes that such potential is not necessarily inevitable (perhaps in contrast to our reading list book from two weeks ago, Kevin Kelly’s new book, The Inevitable).

It is a fairly dense book, packed with a ridiculous amount of thought provoking ideas, concepts and revelations that have shaped the way I think about the internet. In revisiting the book, I frequently come across passages that I forget about, but which I recognize deeply impacted the way I view certain aspects of the internet. The fact that it’s still so relevant today, despite being about the constantly changing internet, suggests just how perceptive and forward reaching the book was when it first came out. If you somehow have missed it over the past decade, now would be a good time to fix that.

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