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What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Electronic Frontier by James Gleick

James Gleick, one of my favorite authors (his biography of Feynman is as fine a book as you’ll find about science), is coming out with a book in May entitled What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Electronic Frontier, which sounds a bit similar to Michael Lewis’s Next: The Future Just Happened. Gleick is a great author, very adept at making complex issues understandable to the reader. Too bad his personal site hasn’t been updated with information about the new book.

From what is on Gleick’s site, it looks like the book will be based on some articles he’s been writing recently: Patently Absurd, Connected: Life in the Wireless Age, Stop Me Before I Shop Again, and Love, Microsoft, among others. I liked this passage I found in an article he wrote in 1994 for the NY Times:

“The hardest fact to grasp about the Internet and the I-way is this: It isn’t a thing; it isn’t an entity; it isn’t an organization. No one owns it; no one runs it. It is simply Everyone’s Computers, Connected. It is the network of all networks โ€” the combination of all the large and small university, government, and corporate networks. It extends to individual PC’s at the end of the line, like shacks at the ends of dirt roads not far from the turnoff to U. S. Route 1.”