It’s A Series Of Tubes


Title: The Dark Net

Rating: 2 Stars

I could very well be acting unfair here. There’s nothing explicitly wrong with the book. It was decently written and the topic is timely.

It’s just that I expected more. If in the year 2014, a person writes a book called The Dark Net, Inside the Digital Underworld, I’d expect a little bit more than what I read.

There was a chapter on internet trolls. Hey, trolls can be mean, but hey, trolls can be nice people in real life. Surprisingly enough, some have built up an ethos that explains / justifies / rationalizes their boorish behavior. Who would have guessed?

Did you know that pornography was everywhere on the internet? Are you shocked to know there are these things called web-cams on which young women will perform live sex acts for tipping customers? Would you guess that in real life that these young women are actually perfectly nice?

Similarly, there are people in the world that enjoy images, if not actually prey on young children. With the advent of the concept of sharing files virtually anonymously, would it surprise you to know that the number of images and people viewing images are skyrocketing? How astounded would you be if you were to talk about a person convicted of viewing child pornography and that person, although recognizing and admitting his guilt, had a story of how a perfectly normal person (say, like himself) could end up with thousands of images on his hard drive?

I’m guessing that you can see where I’m heading here. All of what was written is true, and any one article might have been interesting reading if you’d spent the last fifteen years in a cave with no access to the internet or to news in general. It’d be a slight exaggeration to say I learned nothing here, but all in all it was pretty simplistic stuff.

The chapters themselves were at best loosely connected. It read like a technology writer at the local newspaper had written a number of Sunday supplement articles and then decided to string them together into a book.

Again, not bad writing. Just not in anyway introducing anything new that anyone moderately tech savvy under the age of 40 hadn’t already previously encountered.


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