In “Silicon Snake Oil”, Clifford Stoll, the best-selling author of “The Cuckoo’s Egg” and one of the pioneers of the Internet, turns hisattention to the much-heralded. Silicon snake oil: second thoughts on the information highway. Author: Clifford Stoll. Publication: ยท Book. Silicon View colleagues of Clifford Stoll. top of page. In Silicon Snake Oil, Clifford Stoll, the best-selling author of The Cuckoo’s Egg and one of the pioneers of the Internet, turns his attention to the.

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Copyright by Scott London. Jan 08, Scott rated it it was ok. The ‘net has grown up siliconn fast and is consistently surprising the world with new inovations growing out of it.

Silicon Snake Oil – Wikipedia

A cautionary tale about today’s media darling, Silicon Snake Oil has sparked intense debate across the country about the merits–and stolll what’s been touted as the entranceway to our future. The heavily promoted information infrastructure addresses few social needs or business concerns.

The books central thesis is one of scepticism of the promises that the advocates of the so called Information Superhighway where making.

The internet had grown in a text based, bulletin-board, that was dominated in academia by mainframes running UNIX. I call this the Amara sto,l, after Roy Amara: There may beroadblocks up ahead”. However, when he talks about what computers should do then he’s worth listening to.

Selected pages Title Page. I particularly enjoyed his commentary on the role of the internet in education, its effect on libraries, and the problems of maintaining records and compatibility over long spans of time.

Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway – Clifford Stoll – Google Books

You’re done in 1 minute. Mar 06, Carlos Scheidegger rated it liked it. And then, in this book, Stoll goes from being a funky grad student with a problem to solve to a cranky old man, insisting that the kids stay off his yard. He saves most of his reservations for the trend at the time to computerise education and worries the educational benefits of computers and ‘net access are being oversold.

I read this not long after publication, and re-read it a year ago weeding through my books. A mistake means eraser marks or cross-outs. That’s because it’s a straight non-fiction about technology. D, so listen up! As part of the youtube generation, remembering a time when we had to dial in, and a simple HTML web page took minutes to load, was well worth it.


I read this as a teenager right when it first was published. The author’s aim was to offer an anti-view against the emerging Web as it robs individuals of real and true- I’ve wanted to read this book about a wary view of the developing internet for a while. Along the way, he made various predictions, e.

This was the first book I ever read that made me think technology is not all this it is cracked up to be. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.

I had totally forgotten Clifford Stoll. He talks of the frustration of searching for information by keywords in titles of documents through various gopher services. Quotes from Silicon Snake Oil I don’t understand that mindset at all: I read the Cuckoo’s Egg years ago and then when this book came out it was requested by all the Luddites on campus many of them good friends who were terrified by the Internet and computers.

Most people would not criticize the highway system but it’s true that now This book shows its age, but I’m so happy I read it. You don’t need a computerto Published in it was when the Internet was moving from a cosy academic network used by scientists to the first commercial ISPs and early influx of AOLers.

This is before the all powerful Google “solved” the problem of search by using links to information to rank the usefulness of a page. A lot like, but a much easier read, the book Data Smog. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. No trivia or quizzes yet. In the end, I would like to read the author’s first book which is somewhat strangely promoted in this oneand would recommend this book to a few of my technology-zealous colleagues to give them a bit of perspective.

I was more interested in the concepts he would touch on that speak more to psychology and the replacement of clfiford physical experience with a virtual or electronic-dependent experience. For an email, your type up what your want, do some quick editing, and maybe do a spellcheck but hardly a grammar check.

Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway

Now, whenever I think I know what’s happening, I temper my thoughts: I’m still rearranging my mental furniture. Grounded in common sense, Silicon Snake Oil is a meditation full of passion but devoid of hysteria. However so much of this is mixed in with problems I know are now solved it’s hard to not just write them off as excessive pessimism on Stoll’s part.


Basically, he’s saying that there are only so many hours in the day, solicon time spent on computers is time that you don’t spend doing other things, so computers can get Snaie lot of this book is outdated since it’s 15 years oldailicon there are also some points which are still valid. The humanity of activities is pared down – the aesthetics of living changed.

Jun 18, Brian rated it liked it. A message for avid computer users from the author of The Cuckoo’s Egg Disappointing follow up silicno The Cuckoo’s Egg. If the ability to self publish will drown the ‘net is a sea of dross. Etoll terms and phrases America Online Andy answer archive astronomer Brad Templeton bulletin boards bytes card catalog CD-ROM classroom color communications computer games computer jocks computer networks computerized connected cost Cuckoo’s Egg database digital cash disk dollars dozen e-mail easy electronic experience feel Fidonet friends ghostwriting gigabytes Guy Consolmagno happen hundred images interactive Internet John Brockman Jon Gradie Jupiter keyboard kids latest learning letter librarians look magazines messages Mike Godwin modem never newsgroups packets paper plenty problem Professor puter reply says screen server simple SIMTEL someone spend sure talk teach teacher telephone television tell there’s thing thousand tion Today silicn tool Unix Usenet users virtual watch what’s wonder word processor write.

It’s a good message for our society. Other editions – View all Silicon Snake Oil: Among these are the notions that electronic stokl will “oil the wheels of commerce”; that electronic voting and on-line public discourse will remedy the shortcomings of representative democracy; that interactive multimedia represents the educational medium of the future; that electronic communication will bring about a “literary revival”; that e-mail and networks are great places to meet people; that the Internet will foster a new culture of telecommuters; that electronic communication is virtually instantaneous; that there is a vast population on-line; and that new data storage techniques will make traditional libraries obsolete.

After catching the hacker, I think Stoll should have gone back to his obser I remember this being too preachy but I still finished it as I had enjoyed his previous book, The Cuckoo’s Egg.