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Pinpoint How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds

by Greg Milner

Popular Science The Real World

Pinpoint How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds Synopsis

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. While 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.

Pinpoint How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds Press Reviews

'One of the most mesmerizing and exhilarating, yet alarming modern technology books ... an extraordinary tale.' - Gillian Tett, Financial Times

'GPS guides our world. Here at last is the amazing and well-told story of where it came from, how it works, and where it-and we-are going.' -- Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

'In Pinpoint, Greg Milner gives us a much-needed account of GPS, its history, philosophy, and the overwhelming consequences of its success. Funny, scary, and tremendously readable, Pinpoint will be an eye-opening thrill for anyone who has watched their blue dot dance around an online map.' -- Andrew Blum, author of Tubes

'Milner is a brisk and funny guide.' -- Konstantin Kakaes - Wall Street Journal

'No technology has transformed the human landscape so completely, yet been taken for granted so quickly, as GPS. The reason that brains are so good at storing maps is because the brain is a map, and our collective internal map is now migrating somewhere else. Greg Milner's Pinpoint is a fascinating chronicle of how this happened and why-captured before the details had a chance to escape.' -- George Dyson

'An informative yarn. -- James Anthony, Evening Standard

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780393354362
Publication date: 12/05/2017
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780393354362
Publication date: 12th May 2017
Author: Greg Milner
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Popular Science, The Real World,
Categories: Geographical information systems (GIS) & remote sensing,

About Greg Milner

Greg Milner is the author of Perfecting Sound Forever, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Slate, Village Voice, Salon, Spin, and Rolling Stone. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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