Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds (review)
In a world of ubiquitous technology it is sometimes hard to remain up to date with new developments. Social networking, wikis, blogs, and internet forums are all different aspects of the growing culture of the internet. With these things come various ethical issues, some obvious and some less so. Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds, with its catchy title and flashy cover, aims at helping readers understand these moral conundrums.
This book is a brief look at some of the most popular topics associated with computers and the internet. Set up alphabetically, each topic has a short essay and bibliography. The topics range from the serious, such as censorship, pornography, and computer viruses, to the silly, such as cell yell, surfer’s voice, and cyberchondriacs.
In the book’s introduction the authors lay out the intent of the book: to help the layperson to understand some of the terms and catchphrases often associated with computers. The book’s glossary format offers an easy way for readers to skim the text and both table of contents and index make quick work of finding a desired entry. However, the authors go on to state that with this book they intended to clarify “issues related to information ethics” and this is where the book is lacking.
While many of the topics listed are important ethical concerns, the book does not present an in-depth look at the issues. Serving more as a dictionary, this book is not useful in discussing moral concerns related to technology. While it may be helpful for a new internet user to become familiar with certain terms included in this book, more often than not the entries do not scrape the surface of the topic.
There are many new books on technology from which librarians can choose.
And while this one may have a place in a large library with many beginning
internet users, it is not a must-have. While it does offer a modicum
of insight into the world of the internet, it misses the mark of informing
readers of the real issues.
Beth is the Book Review Editor for Library Student Journal. She received her Master of Library Science at the University at Buffalo, in May 2007. Her interests include young adult services, Web 2.0 and digital reference. She currently works at UB's Oscar A. Silverman Undergraduate Library.
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