To sum up this book in one word: thought-provoking.
The book is a fantastic insight into the current studies surrounding humanity’s past, present and future interactions with the web. Untangling the Web blazes through an astonishing range of topics and ways of looking at our dalliance with web technologies, providing an insightful and understandable overview of what we currently think we’re doing on the web, why we’re doing it, and why some of it might be good, but other bits bad.
The upshot: it’s really not as bad as the web sceptics would have you think, but nor is it the world-changing tool some thought it would be (yet), and we’re all really, really bad at thinking about security and what we’re uploading to the web and to the companies that own a lot of our information.
I’d say the only downside to this book is that while there is a fantastic range of easy-t0-understand topics discussed, there’s not as much detail as I would have liked. It’s clear that the author preferred the former style to the latter detail, so this isn’t a problem: I was just surprised at how quickly I read the book!
For me, reading Untangling the Web hasn’t made me go and change all my passwords before hiding in a paper bag and hoping it’ll go away, but rather just made me stop and think before I upload anything online.
If you’re interested in web technologies and how they (really, actually) affect us, it’s definitely worth a read.