cover image Release 2.0

Release 2.0

Esther Dyson. Broadway Books, $23.25 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-0011-9

Despite its technical title, this first book from the New York Times-dubbed ""most powerful woman in the Neterati"" summarizes 20 years of experience and intelligent speculation for those who--Web-savvy or not--are wondering what all this wiring is going to mean. Editor of the newsletter Release 1.0 (from which some portions of this book are directly pulled), chairwoman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and president and owner of EDventure Holdings, Dyson doesn't present many surprises here for those familiar with her thought, but nearly everything she says is worth hearing, even twice. With a firm grounding in the status quo, Dyson simply and clearly envisions the role of the Web in humanity's future, from how it will affect education to how new business models for intellectual property will emerge. ""The source of commercial value will be people's attention, not the content that consumes their attention,"" she says. As reproduction is made cheap and fast, ""businesses who make content will have to figure out ways other than selling copies to make money, and they will."" Perhaps the greatest achievement here of this prescriptive visionary is her brilliant balancing of the intersection of life and technology. With a vigorous optimism that will bring some relief to the paranoid, this longtime sage to the wired now puts her thoughts in a form that will allow many to see what the impact of digitization on our lives is, and what it will be. 125,000 first printing; first serial to Newsweek; BDD Audio Cassette; author tour. (Oct.)