Pinpoint tells the story of GPS, a scientific marvel that enables almost all modern technology—but is changing us in profound ways.
Over the last fifty years, humanity has developed an
extraordinary shared utility: the Global Positioning System. Even as it
guides us across town, GPS helps land planes, route mobile calls,
anticipate earthquakes, predict weather, locate oil deposits, measure
neutrinos, grow our food, and regulate global finance. It is as
ubiquitous and essential as another Cold War technology, the Internet.
In Pinpoint, Greg Milner takes us on a fascinating tour of a hidden system that touches almost every aspect of our modern life.
GPS has brought us breathtakingly accurate information about our
planetary environment and physical space, it has also created new forms
of human behavior. We have let it saturate the world’s systems so
completely and so quickly that we are just beginning to confront the
possible consequences. A single GPS timing flaw, whether accidental or
malicious, could bring down the electrical grid, hijack drones, or halt
the world financial system. The use, and potential misuse, of GPS data
by government and corporations raise disturbing questions about ethics
and privacy. GPS may be altering the nature of human cognition—possibly
even rearranging the gray matter in our heads.
tells the sweeping story of GPS from its conceptual origins as a bomb
guidance system to its presence in almost everything we do. Milner
examines the different ways humans have understood physical space,
delves into the neuroscience of cognitive maps, and questions GPS’s
double-edged effect on our culture. A fascinating and original story of
the scientific urge toward precision, Pinpoint offers startling insight into how humans understand their place in the world.
Boktitel: Pinpoint. How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds Författare: Greg Milner Bokförlag: W.W. Norton
Greg Milner bor i Brooklyn, New York. Bildkälla: sciencefriday.com