Well, Jeff Jarvis is about as insightful, and right, on new media, as Jay Rosen, which is to say bupkis. And, his head is buried so far up Google I've rhetorically asked before if Larry Paige and/or Sergey Brin actually pay him.
Jarvis then apparently excuses the privacy fears of our brave new online world, the book notes, by way of a bad analogy:
Jarvis' claim that errors are OK because "early books were riddled with errors"? What bullshit. Errors improved. People came to expect better.
At best, Public Parts is a reminder that when any new technology is introduced -- be it the growing social capabilities of the Internet or the movable type of the printing press -- the immediate reaction is often fear. Jarvis points out that the earliest books were riddled with errors. These printed mistakes could suddenly spread widely and therefore they were considered to be more dangerous to society.
Let's try this at the Challenger hearings.
Well, Dr. Feynmann, it's OK for O-rings today to be brittle in cold weather because early ones were.
Now, that said, Jarvis is actually apparently analogizing from errors in early books to worries about any new technology. And, it's a crappy analogy. For one thing, errors had little to do with the "fear" of the new technology. Second, books didn't affect privacy circa 1500.
Those of us concerned about privacy expect it to get better in the future. We don't expect excuse-making instead, or claims we should flaunt ourselves online.
And that's key to the "meat" of the book, per CNN. If you're in a "secure" place financially and socially, like Jarvis, you can be more of an online "exhibitionist" than otherwise.
If you're a person worried about what your employer might see you writing on Facebook or Google+, or blogging, you'd like more privacy. If you're a person worried about telecommunications laws and the government forcing such private entities to turn over information, you'd definitely like more privacy. (Maybe TSA, reading about Jarvis, will give his cancer-treatment-treated prostate an extra fondling next time he flies.)
Anyway, I read one Jarvis book; that's enough to last me three or four lifetimes.