The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems
Publication Date: June 2012
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Born Digital authors John Palfrey and Urs Gasser return with an argument about how we can improve interoperability, the principle that streamlines innovation and simplifies our lives.
John Palfrey is Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. He is a faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He has published extensively on the Internet’s relationship to Intellectual Property, international governance, and democracy, and is the author or co-author of Intellectual Property Strategy; Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rules in Cyberspace; Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies: Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force; and Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering. A regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, NPR and BBC, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Urs Gasser is the Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He is a Visiting Professor at KEIO University in Japan and teaches regularly on three continents. He has written and edited several books and contributed close to 100 articles in books, law reviews, and professional journals. He is also an advisor to international technology companies on information law matters. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Interop will serve as a constructive and motivating resource for policymakers, citizens, and practitioners interested in the outcome of emerging, hyper connected areas such as smart-grid energy infrastructures, cloud computing, and eHealth systems or in ensuring our ability to preserve digitally stored culture and knowledge for generations to come.”
Chris Hughes, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic and co-founder, Facebook
This is one of the few great books that theorizes the opportunities and pitfalls of a complex networked world while remaining accessible to anyone curious about how to manage these technologies for the sake of human progress.”
In Interop Gasser and Palfrey propose a unified theory of interoperability drawing on a myriad of examples to bring together a framework around an idea where heated debates, lawsuits and multi-billion dollar battles have been waged on a variety of complex and incomplete arguments. Interop pulls these arguments together into a nuanced but elegant framework, including suggestions on how we might design an architecture and practices to create optimal interop. This book is a must-read for policy makers, corporate leaders, academics and anyone hoping to live and thrive in our exceedingly interop-driven connected and complex world.” Vivek Kundra, Executive Vice President at Salesforce and Former CIO of the United States
Interop is a must read for leaders in the public and private sector as they try to harness the power of highly interconnected systems while balancing the dark side of technology. The ability of billions of people to instrument the world and share their experiences in a low-cost manner has forever shifted power away from the hands of the few to the network.”
Nature Palfrey and Gasser have a record of taking up a concept early and writing about it accessibly and informatively . [They] are at their best when discussing how regulation and legislation can promote interoperability . This issue, the authors stress, is not about making systems the same, but about maintaining diversity while identifying key areas of contact: an important point well made.”
Clear and thoughtful . [Palfrey and Gasser’s] writing is light but careful; their arguments are illuminating.”
Library Journal[If] you haven’t yet read [Interop], you should, since it discusses subjects that are the life’s blood to librarians (and many others) in the 21st century . Well-researched and a pleasure to read.” Times Higher Education SupplementA thorough, thoughtful and timely analysis of where we are, how we got here and where we might be headed if we want to get the maximum benefit from interoperability without paying too high a price in the process.” Slate, Future TensePalfrey and Gasser nicely toe the line between digital dystopians and globalization shillsthey’re forward-looking but pragmatic.”