Common Reading

About the Authors

Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human, holds degrees in philosophy, computer science and poetry from Brown University and the University of Washington.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-c1914) was an American journalist and author, known for his strong social criticism. Bierce fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War. At age 71, he went to Mexico to gain a first-hand understanding of the Mexican Revolution. He joined Pancho Villa’s army as an observer and is assumed to have died sometime during 1914, though the details of his death remain a mystery.

Sam Anderson is an American book critic and author. He is currently the critic at large for The New York Times Magazine. His work has also appeared in Slate, The American Scholar and The Best Technology Writing 2010 (where this article was also reprinted). In 2007, he won the National Book Critics Circle’s Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

Kevin D. Miller is an associate professor of communication at Huntington College in Indiana.

Richard Conniff is a science writer and a commentator for National Public Radio. His work has been published in Time, Smithsonian, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, Audubon Magazine and other prominent publications. He lives in Old Lyme, Conn.

S.D. Noam Cook is a philosophy instructor at San José State University. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degrees from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. Cook is interested in social and technological change, as well as other areas of social philosophy.

David Talbot is the founder of Salon magazine and MIT Technology Review’s chief correspondent. He has written for numerous other publications, and has been named as one of “50 people who matter most in the new media world” by Newsweek.

Ruth Schwartz Cowan is professor of history and chair of the Honors College at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She has written extensively on gender and technology. Her most recent book is Heredity and Hope: The case for genetic screening (2008).

Lori Andrews received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and her J.D. from Yale Law School. She is a lawyer with an expertise in biotechnologies. Andrews is the author of 14 books and more than 100 other publications. She is currently a professor of law at Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Eli Pariser graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in law, politics and society from Simon’s Rock College. Shortly after the Sept.11 attacks, Pariser created a website aimed at a multilateral approach to fighting terrorism. His website site soon merged with, where Pariser became the executive director. He currently serves as president the Board of Directors for

Natasha Singer graduated from Brown University with a degree in comparative literature and creative writing. She has been a reporter at The New York Times since June 2005.

Trip Gabriel is a national correspondent at The New York Times.

Danielle Allen is political theorist, known for her work on democratic theory and the history of political thought. She holds two PhDs: one in classics from University of Cambridge and a second in government from Harvard University. Allen was a professor at the University of Chicago from 1997-2007, and is currently the UPS Foundation Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002.

Philip N. Howard is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. He has written several books on the role of digital information technologies in politics, including Democracy’s Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring.

Muzzamil M. Hussein is a comparative international researcher of information infrastructure and social organization and co-author of Democracy’s Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring.

James Paul Gee is the Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University and a member of the National Academy of Education. His most recent books deal with video games, language and learning.

Allan Collins is a professor emeritus of education and social policy at Northwestern University, who worked extensively on teaching and learning. From 1991 to 1994, he was co-director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Technology in Education.

Richard Halverson is an associate professor in educational leadership and policy analysis. He co-founded the Games Learning and Society (GLS) research group at University of Wisconsin, Madison.



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