I’m John Naughton, an academic and a newspaper columnist. You can find biographical and other information about me here.
This website is part of a wider project in public engagement. My long-term academic interest has been in public understanding of technology, and in particular popular understanding (and misunderstanding) of the Internet and digital technology generally.
I like the idea of using a ‘thesis’ as a way of starting off a discussion. Long ago, this was a standard way of conducting scholarly debates. I thought it would be interesting to try it again as a way of sparking public interest in what digital technology is doing to us.
We’re in the early stages of a radical transformation of our information environment. It’s happening on a scale that has only been matched once before in history — when Johannes Gutenberg invented printing (or at any rate re-invented it in Europe). The print revolution transformed Western society and shaped the world in which — at least until recently — most of us grew up. The digital revolution is going to be just as far-reaching. So it’s worth trying to trigger some serious discussions about what’s happening and what may lie ahead.