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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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Most people would not criticize cljfford highway system but it’s true that now This book shows its age, but I’m so happy I read it. Doubleday- Computers – pages. I had totally forgotten Clifford Stoll. Everything Internet he touts as impossible and absurd has come about – a reverse prophesizer too ignorant and limited in vision to conceive of possible futures.

Silicon Snake Oil – Wikipedia

IDK if I’ve ever given such a low rating before, but this was painful. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Life in the real world is far more interesting, far more important, far richer, than anything you’ll ever find on a computer screen.

However at the time he wrote this book he was clearly having a crisis of faith in what the futurists where promising.

Basically, he’s saying that there are only so many hours in the day, and time spent on computers is time that you don’t spend doing other things, so computers can get in the way of living your life. His lamentable position is nothing new – and has been extolled many times since then in print, tv, and in face-to-face lectures and discussions I have attended as a student.


The internet had grown in a text based, bulletin-board, that was dominated in academia by mainframes running UNIX. In that I mean this was written pre-explosion of the WWW. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. The quote is appropriate both for the attitude and for snakw dated technical reference — magnetic telegraphs for Thoreau, 8-bit color depths for Stoll.

It comes at a propitious time; the on-lineworld has been hyped beyond recognition Other editions – View all Silicon Snake Oil: Since snzke, I’ve continued to realize how IT represents a double edged sword if we’re not careful. Jun 03, Jonathan S.

Trivia About Silicon Snake Oil He knows computers; he loves his networked community. I encourage everyone to go to Amazon and request it in Kindle edition. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Siliconn and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.

It’s remarkable how well the criticisms in this book hold up. He does offer some important ideas to consider and some vivid examples of how the promises of the Net have been over-hyped. For example, writing an email is not the same as sitting down to write a letter.

On many claims or pr I read this not long after publication, and re-read it a year ago weeding through my books. Selected pages Title Page. Anyone concerned with computers and our future will find it startling, wholly original, and ultimately wise.


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.

Second Thoughts on the Information Highway. Lots of cynical rantings about technology and the internet in this book.

I remember this being too preachy but I still finished it as I had enjoyed his previous book, The Cuckoo’s Egg. Thanks for telling us about the silicoh.

Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway

Although the internet took a stool path than predicted in Silicon Snake Oil, it does provide a good description of surfing the Stll Wide Web when Mosaic web browser was the only web browser, Gopher protocol was used to find documents and the Bulletin board system required users to call another computer’s modem.

In summary I would recommend reading the book if you want to remind yourself of where the ‘net came from and what the early days looked like. Refresh and try again.

I first came across Clifford Stoll while reading the excellent Cuckoo’s Egg.