Why the Net Matters

netmatters

Why The Net Matters: How the Internet Will Save Civilization is a digital book/iPad app that develops a new kind of way to navigate a non-fiction argument, to zoom in and out on 3D interactive figures, and to navigate with random-access chapters. This is not an iBook, but instead a new species of book. You can pick up Why The Net Matters as an iPad app on the iTunes Store or as an ebook on Amazon.

  • "Some of the most fascinating books around aren't books; they're superbooks -- books with so much functionality that they're sold as apps. Consider David Eagleman's Why the Net Matters, a book about the Internet with photos, animation and even 3D." - New York Times
  • "This is an impressive and intriguing work" - Telegraph (UK)
  • "I read it in one sitting, engrossed.... This bold restatement of the political and social potential of the web was useful and intelligent in its simplicity." - BookFutures.
  • "A very enjoyable app with Eagleman's ideas very accessible and engaging." - FutureBook
  • "Why the Net Matters on the iPad is a breakthrough work, showing the way for generations of digital books to come.  Text has never been so spectacularly illustrated; intellectual argument has never been so fluidly designed.  And Eagleman's message is as revolutionary as his format: The Internet protects civilization from collapse without even trying."  - Stewart Brand, President, The Long Now Foundation

Why the Net Matters was a finalist for the Digital Book World Innovation Awards.

What's the book about? Why the Net Matters argues that the advent of the internet sidesteps the dangers that brought down previous civilizations.  If you'd like a taste of the content, here's a talk I delivered at the Long Now Foundation (For over a week this was the most watched video on fora.tv, and was ranked the #8 technology talk of 2010)

Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization from The Long Now Foundation on FORA.tv

This thesis about the internet started life as a short piece I wrote in Nature in 2006 about the internet and epidemics, and then fleshed out in a short essay in WIRED and in the book Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?

Here's a demonstration of the app in action:

Please click on the links on the left to read excerpts and see screenshots.

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Newsflashes

SUM at the Royal Opera House

ROHSUM has been turned into an opera at the Royal Opera House in London (Composer: Max Richter, Director: Wayne McGregor). The London Evening Standard hails the opera as "immersive, meditative and sweetly fascinating". Read about the background of the collaboration in Wired.

How the Internet will save civilization

David's iPad app "Why the Net Matters, or Six Ways to Avert the Collapse of Civilization" was recently called a "superbook" by the New York Times Magazine. For a taste of the argument, read David's article in WIRED or watch a video of his talk at the Long Now Foundation. Don't have an iPad? The manuscript is now available as an eBook.

Musician Jarvis Cocker reads from Sum

Listen to British rocker Jarvis Cocker read the story "Descent of Species" from Sum. He is one of the dozens of terrific voices who read for the audio book.

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Coming in 2014