Morozov and Jarvis Clash Over 'Public Parts'
BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 17 2011
Evgeny Morozov guns for Jeff Jarvis in a review of his new book, Public Parts. From The New Republic, here's Morozov:
Why are we so obsessed with privacy? Jarvis blames rapacious privacy advocates—“there is money to be made in privacy”—who are paid to mislead the “netizens,” that amorphous elite of cosmopolitan Internet users whom Jarvis regularly volunteers to represent in Davos. On Jarvis’s scale of evil, privacy advocates fall between Qaddafi’s African mercenaries and greedy investment bankers. All they do is “howl, cry foul, sharpen arrows, get angry, get rankled, are incredulous, are concerned, watch, and fret.” Reading Jarvis, you would think that Privacy International (full-time staff: three) is a terrifying behemoth next to Google (lobbying expenses in 2010: $5.2 million).
A review of value would at least present -- if disagree with and argue against -- the essence of a work. That is what I required of myself as a critic and of critics who worked for me. But that is not Morozov’s intent. As I said earlier, he gleefully announced that he had me in his cross-hairs and would go after my book … even while I was still writing it. He was clearly assigned for that purpose. He used me to attack the “cyber-Utopians” he so regularly despises. Since he published his piece, he has been gleefully goading in Twitter to throw barbs at me and get attention for himself -- he calls this “Jarviscide.” That is not only sophomoric but also violent language and not much appreciated by a man with two cancers and a heart condition.