Book Review

Cyberselfish by Paulina Borsook, published by Little Brown ISBN031684771

If your firm is one of those targeting the new start-ups or high-tech businesses, you will have met with the new breed of entrepreneurs, virtual capitalists and net prophets who are building the new e-conomy.

And in those meetings you may have felt a certain disquiet and put it down to the obscene youth of your client.

But if Borsook's entertaining yet powerful extended essay is to be believed, that unsettling feeling is not born of ageism or luddism but could be a reaction to a new breed of technolibertarianism, a new religion that is driving and corralling this business. For Borsook, this dominant discourse "contains within it all the different colours of free-market/ anti-regulation/social darwinist/ aphilanthropic/guerilla/neo-pseudo-biological/atomistics threads".

Or to put it simply, there is a broad philosophical current that is dominating our culture and business which "bespeaks a lack of human connection and a discomfort with the core of what many of us consider it means to be human".

Here is a new religion that worships the "freedom" that technology enables and by default decries the human, flawed and real world.

Borsook's book is a polemic beyond doubt. You may not agree with all that she says or the way she says it, but if you have ever wondered why you're just not quite convinced by the net evangelists, you should read it.