Summary of A Public Apology

On Screwing Up by Not Questioning Assumptions

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A Public Apology summary
Today’s modus operandi need not be tomorrow’s for two of the seemingly most entrenched systems: the Internet and American politics.


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Internet activist and blogger Ethan Zuckerman juxtaposes the Internet with the American political system to identify the ills common to both – design faults that seemed logical at the time of their creation but that are now invalid. With humor – and some colorful language – Zuckerman endeavors to demonstrate that today’s business as usual need not be tomorrow’s. getAbstract recommends his impassioned plea for society to question its existing assumptions.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What ills afflict the Internet,
  • How similar dysfunctions ail American politics and
  • Why both systems are ripe for change.


In the mid-1990s, Ethan Zuckerman worked for an early social media business that hosted web pages. To earn revenue, the firm targeted advertising at its 18 million users. It didn’t want to place ads directly on users’ web pages, because it didn’t know what content they contained. So Zuckerman wrote ...
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About the Speaker

Ethan Zuckerman directs the Center for Civic Media at MIT. He co-founded Global Voices, a blogging platform.

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