Over the last 50 years, humanity has developed an extraordinary shared utility: the global positioning system. Omnipresent, free, and available to all, GPS powers everything from your phone to the Internet to the Mars Rover. Greg Milner tells the sweeping story of GPS, from its conceptual origins as a bomb guidance system to its present ubiquity.
While GPS has revolutionized methods of timekeeping, navigation, and seismological prediction, it has also altered human behavior, introducing phenomena such as "death by GPS", in which drivers blindly follow their devices into deserts, lakes, and impassable mountains. Milner also shows the desperate vulnerabilities in the system we now use to predict the weather, track prisoners, and land airplanes.
Delving into the neuroscience of cognitive maps and spatial recognition, Milner's inventive and timely book is at once a grand history of the scientific urge toward precision and perfection and a revelatory philosophy of how humans understand themselves in the world.
©2016 Greg Milner (P)2016 Tantor
"Funny, scary, and tremendously readable." (Andrew Blum, author of Tubes)
I'm a telecom engineer and lawyer. My work sparks my interest in hard and speculative SF. I'm interested in how things work...people, too.
I had no idea of how deep and how long the development of the modern GPS system Took them came about. This is an outstanding history of navigation and GPS. Absolutely recommended.
Not unless the friend had a lot of extra time to waste.
I am a PhD physicist and found it easy to follow. I cannot judge for others.
NO, NO, a 1000 times NO!
This is a fun book to waste a few hours with. But, it is MUCH, MUCH too long for the value of the content. I thought it would be insightful and technical, and it was really just entertainment about the history of navigation and GPS, the fight of the lone individual against all the dumb "higher ups" in the DOD who didn't want GPS, etc. It is a prototypical American novel of an individual overcoming the bureaucracy and I have grown tired of such fantasies over the years.
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